Day 1 , June 29
This officially marked our first day in Bejing. With just around 4 hours of sleep, we woke up on a drizzling Friday morning (yey, no work for today!).
Breakfast was a veggie surprise..especially for me who doesn’t eat vegetables. While Jaycee totally enjoyed all sorts of veggie dishes and soya drink, I had my first of the many servings of He Fen. Good thing someone cooked that, or I’ll starve!
Our tour guide, Alex, fetched us early. He was there even before we finished breakfast. =)
Our first stop was the Jade Factory. We learned about Jade and how it was being carved tediously. It was explained that Jade is one the gemstones associated with Love, Healing, Money, Protection.
We were told that it Jade is like diamond in Beijing, and when you see a person wearing Class A Jade jewelry means he is rich! Yeaboy, we wanted it too! But it’s so expensive!
The saleslady was trying to offer me a Jade bangle, pinagpilitan pa isuot sakin ang isang masikip na bangle (ouch!). But as much as we wanted to, we explained to her that we are in Beijing for sightseeing and not for shopping. “No push”, she said, but looks rather disappointed, hehe.
Next stop is my bucket list item: GREAT WALL! We realized that our tour guide has changed our itinerary and started with Day 2 destinations instead. And so, off we go to the Great Wall (excited much!).
On our way there, Alex was having a chat with us —
* that Great Wall is also identified as the largest cemetery in the world, as the workers trying to build it years ago died out of exhaustion or hunger.. they were buried right where they work.
* that China has now an old generation because of the one-child per family policy. Unlike the Philippines–where people can have as much babies :p
* there was a time in China that baby boys are preferred over baby girls in China. Then came a point where men couldn’t find wives! our tour guide was even asking if I have single friends who would want Chinese husbands, because he has lots of single men friends, haha!
– When we arrived in Ju Yong, we started our climb up. And what a climb it is. It was amazing how that was built. A lot of people were there–young and old– just to experience and see the Great Wall’s beauty 😉
By the time we were back, it was lunch time and I was so hungry (veggie breakfast sucks). We ate at a buffet lunch nearby, which is part of our tour itinerary. It was the first decent meal I had, with Coke, and meat on the menu. I used 2 forks to eat, since I really don’t know how to use chopsticks ;p
After lunch, we headed to another gemstone store. There we weirdly met the “master” of that gemstone Chinese business, and able to buy (the only purchase we did in Beijing) a Jade bracelet for Jaycee, and a Ruby ring and bracelet for me 😉
I luuuvvvvvvv my Ruby set. I feel rich, haha! I was not really into jewelries, and since this is my first ever Ruby, I was kinda excited to have it, haha. Jaycee’s Jade bracelet is nice too, there’s even yellow and purple jade stones in it—not the usual jade green =)
Our next stop is the Herbal Facility. This used to serve Olympics athletes. There we had a pre-paid foot massage (foot reflex). It was a good treat to our muscles which are aching from the Gret Wall climb. At mejo ayaw nila tantanan ang kalyo sa right foot ko =pThey were offering 100yuan to remove it, gosh!
Doctors also attended to us for a free medical checkup. Jaycee was told he needs to prevent high blood pressure, and me on blood circulation. We didn’t buy the prescribed medicine because we were out of Yuan 🙂 No pictures were allowed in the massage room, so we don’t have any pictures here.
After that, we LITERALLY dropped by to an overpass to see the Bird’s Nest. I was so disappointed because I was expecting that we will go around the Olympic Village, and not take pictures from an overpass. Oh well, we did not insist on going to the Olympic Village –we will just to it on our own on the free time the day.
We were dropped off at our hotel by 6PM. The sun is still up ath that time in Beijing..they have long days. And because we were so hungry, we went around to look for a place to eat, and to buy water. Our hotel is not near any decent restaurant, so we ended up buying Nissin cup noodles and ate in our hotel room.
It was a loooong first day, and we were more excited for the next day. As early as 10PM, we were sleeping soundly =)