It has been more than 2 years since we first started our travelling addiction and the first country we visited was China. As a first timer, we decided to follow a tour group - Reliance Muslim Travel - which we booked during MATTA Fair. My memories are a bit rusty but I will try my best to remember how the journey went.
Date: 18 December 2008
It was a 6 hour journey from KL. We arrived at dawn and it was quite a shock to experience the really cold weather. We met with our tour guide, Fara, a Mongolian who speaks really good Malay!
Beijing City from our bus.
Our first visit was to the Imperial Garden Summer Palace which was built for the mother of the last emperor, Qi Zi. It is very beautiful, and surely, it is more amazing during spring time! The lake was frozen soild!
The guards at the entrance of Summer Palace.
Fara, our guide - the little Malaysian flag was carried around to make sure we know where she was at all time!
Kunming Lake & Longevity Hill
For China tours, it is common for the tourists to be brought to all sorts of shopping places and factories, to promote the locals' goods. We were brought to many expensive shops - which my friends and I just couldn't care less. However, the aunties in our group went wild with joy, they loved to assist China's financial growth! So our first factory visit was the Fresh Water Pearl Center - they showed us how the clam was forced open to extract the pearls... a bit scary...
For Zohor prayers, we went to Nan Dou Ya Mosque, built hundreds of years ago, a very historical mosque indeed.
It was finally time for us to check-in to our hotel: Jingdu Business Hotel. Very comfy but some rooms had problems with the heater. We were freezing through out the night!
The view from the hotel window.
After resting for a bit, we went out again that evening to see a Chinese acrobatic show and had dinner. We had a look-see at a shopping mall nearby and I bought myself a long john... way cheaper than in Malaysia!
The acrobatic show!
Date: 19 December 2008
Another factory visit to start off our day, this time: Jade and Crystal Center.
Jade man making a jade ball. (Lousiest caption ever)
Jade pillow cover - said to be able to heal headaches or something.
Julie Zac & Zera buying some brooches. Enter frame: Boyfren (at that time).
After lunch, the moment I've been waiting for eagerly had finally arrived - Great Wall of China!! It was amazing! The beautiful mountains, sprinkled with snow, and the ancient wall built across them was a very magnificent sight!
Climbing our way up!
O man! We were too tired to proceed!
Obviously, we were excited!
After dinner, we were supposed to go back to our hotel for the night. However, my friends and I decided to walk about the city for a little sight seeing. We ended up in McDonalds for a light supper.
Date: 20 December 2008
Today, we were scheduled to visit Forbidden City. Before that, a stop at a vase factory. While waiting for the others to shop, we took some pictures at the parking lot.
Hasben playing "kick colourful thingy" with the locals.
Forbidden City - the ancient palace for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty.
On our way!
Within the palace walls - prentending to do some kung fu moves!
Looking at the (sun?)....
I feel like a chinese empress!
Not far from the palace is the Tiananmen Square - The Square of the Gate of the Heavely Peace.
It was so windy!
Next, we visited a silk factory, and a white gold shop which was supposably owned by a half Malaysian man. Julie Zac bought a ring but it lost its sparkle a few months later... You can never really trust these business people!
At the silk shop - white thingy is silk...
Date: 21 December 2008
Shopping day! It was our last chance to shop for souvenirs! We bought quite a few things for the family back home. BUT... never buy electronic goods at the market! I bought an MP3 player and a 32GB thumbdrive (which was never heard of at that point of time) which turned out to be fake... and very very low quality!! What a waste of money! And another advice, never start to bargain if you have no real intention to do business... they will pull you and force you to buy. The market sales people were quite aggresive.. I even had a shouting battle with one girl. It was a havoc!
Not the shouting girl...
A more peaceful environment was riding the trishaw through an old village. Later, we continued shopping the whole day!
An open-air barber shop! A view from our trishaw ride!
Date: 22 December 2008
Finally, it was time for us to go home. The temperature further decreased in the night, it reached -7 deg C. We had a photo stop with the 2008 Olympic Bird Nest Stadium.
It started to snow, too bad we couldn't enjoy it since we were on our way to the airport. Bye-bye Beijing!!!
Waiting for the airplane~