Spring in Beijing

Only fog, rain and wind when we were at the Great Wall

I had arrived with the night train from North Korea early in the morning and was looking forward to meeting my friend Robert who would join me on a month long trip along the Silk Road.

I had already seen the most important sights that the city had to offer on my last visit to Beijing, but agreed to go to the Great Wall if we could go on a quick trip to Badaling, one of the most touristy

and closest spots to Beijing, being just an hour drive away. We picked the cheapest tour of 180rmb, which was a horrible idea as the reason for beiing so cheap was that the driver would let us off at multiple souvenier shops to get paid from letting then try to push on us jade jewelery, tea and lots of other things that we had no interest in. The weather was also horrible with lots of rain and no sight at all so we drove back after having spent less than an hour at the Great Wall. What a bummer.

Things got a bit better in the evening when we went to a couchsurfing party in the Wudaokou area where most the foreign students live. A draft beer at “the Red House” was just five Yuan, so the students would usually sit there until midnight and then they would move on to the clubs close by. We went to a student bar called “Sugar Crush” which was absolutely crazy. They had beer pong tables lined up and several times throughout the evening they shouted free shots for everyone waking their shirt off. It more like the American college movies than anything else I have seen before. We spent more than two hours trying to find the way back to Dragon King hostel where we stayed, after several taxi drivers had given up and just asked us to get out. Having an adress to go after, preferably in Chinese would have been of great help.

We met up with our small group of two aussies and two kiwis who would join us on the 32 hour train ride to Urumqi and the rest of our Silk Road adventure with Vodkatrain.

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