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Beijing - The End!!

Written on: Monday August 10th, 2009

A journal entry from: London to Beijing overland!!

In July & August most years is when the Chinese do their holidays and sightseeing and we can confirm this as I have never seen so many bloody Chinese tourists in all my life.  We had heard stories from our group how the sights they went to see were almost unbearable and not enjoyable because the amount of people also at those places.  We went to the Forbidden city yesterday and it was absolutely crazy, probably worse because of the weekend, we even got their early! So we took some snaps and got out of there, we walked across the road to Tiananmen square and the peoples monument where there wasn't so many people and had a walk around.

The day before that was the one sight we really wanted to see, The Great Wall.  We hired a taxi for the day and he took us up to Mutanyui about 80 km north of Beijing.  There were a few spots you could choose from and this one sounded ok.  It has been rebuilt a couple of times we believe but it stands in great condition and although it has been set up for the tourist in mind it actually wasn't that busy.  This part of the wall is a 2km section that winds up and down rolling valley hills with forrest and bush making the scenery all around it.  They have a chair lift that takes you up to the top as it is fairly steep to reach.  From there you can just wander along the top as it is about 3m wide on top, however some parts it was bloody steep and Heather took one look and decided against it.  We spent an hour or so walking along the top before you can't really go any further and the wall turns into a bit of an overgrown bushland. To finish off the trip to the wall they actually had a tobbogan ride down.  It was kind of fun at the same time a bit tacky but hey it was better than walking down the hill!  Only problem was we got this little kid in front of us going super slow, he was atleast 10 years old and should have flying down it but no he wasn't.

We've had some great Beijing duck whilst in China and went out with another couple and shared a duck between us to make into the little pancakes - very yummy.  Different style to what we were expecting as it wasnt crispy like in London or Oz but very juicy and great meat.  Theres always lots of dumplings to be had and noodles.  All very different tastes of course to the regular chinese back home but still fantastic and all pretty cheap, I think the whole duck was about $35 aud.

As for the more risky cuisine we passed.  We headed off to the local markets and the first kekab i saw was of scorpions on sticks about 5 still wriggling - from there it just led onto a different array of insects, crickets, silk worms and quite a few bugs we hadnt seen before.  A lot of the meat kebabs we are not sure exactly what they were but we saw signs for snake, eel and I'm sure the red meat was probably rabbit, squirrel or gods knows what else.  We saw a group of american men standing wth a local Tsingtao beer in one hand and a kebab stick of scorpions in the other munching away - obviously they needed the beer for some courage, braver than us though. 

So that was it for Beijing, China and our Overlanding experience, we had visited 13 countries and seen and experienced some amazing things that we will remember forever. Our friends on the truck are some of the best people we have met and it wil be strange not to be around them every day.  We left the hostel and jumped on a train to the airport. After travelling about 25,000km by land we boarded our first flight. 


Oh but to be in Thailand with the beautiful beaches and fantastic food, well the beaches are a little rough at this time of year so we made sure we are staying in a place with a nice pool.  We have been hopping into the local seafood as we havent had any for quite some time. Just relaxing away now, no more camping or bush toilets, life is good!!!   We have 10 days here in Phuket, meeting some friends tomorrow to stay with for a week and then a few days in Kuala Lumpur and that will be it, the end!!!!!!! 

Thankyou for reading........See you in OZ...........

Russ and Heather


From Ruth on Aug 15th, 2009

The China photos are great - but Heather, don't you sometimes get scared about how much Russ looks like Mark with that beard??!!

From Caroline & Mark on Aug 19th, 2009

What an amazing journey. Can't wait to see you both. Will the beard be still on when you get home Russ?

From Em and Red on Sep 1st, 2009

Hey!!! When are you home???? We know it is overwhelming with everyone wanting a piece of you when you first get back to oz - my mobile is the same (0407507417) when you are ready for a catch up. Look forward to seeing you and hearing your awesome stories. Em, Red and Jai

From Susan on Sep 9th, 2012

We like your adventure, if interested check out our current contract. If may be of interest to you. http://www.WorkForBackpackers.com Apply if interested. Please include BLOGGER in the future travel area. Thanks, Susan HR