Beijing the capital of China, is the nation’s Political, Educational and Cultural capital. Located in Northern China, Beijing literally means Northern Capital. The name was coined during the Ming Dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing, the southern capital.
Before I could land in Beijing, I did a through detailed study of the Subway lines, cross checked the interchange station & which station to get off at. The airport transfer train is very efficient, it was effortless to reach my Travellers Hostel at Qienmein.
The moment I got off at the Qienmein station – I was pretty surprised by what I saw! Just outside the station, a group of small kids were warming up for their early morning classes of Kung Fu. I was not expecting this – I wanted to see a scene like this but dint actually expect to see this the moment I set foot in the city. I was ecstatic to see this scene. I next saw a guy, practicing some lethal kung fu chops on a tree trunk! As I approached him, he saw that I was a tourist and needed help and greeted me with a warm NiHao. I showed him the address on my phone and he guided me with the best sign language there is! He instructed me to cross the street, walk up to the signal lights and take a right turn 🙂
Coming from a tropical country like India, low temperatures never fail to amuse me. It calms me and brings a smile no matter what. The people were totally amused to see a non-Chinese walking admist them. I got several second looks. I even saw a child run up to his friends and they came to see me 🙂 LOL
My first morning in Beijing was by far the most memorable. It filled me with a sense of calm and comfort. I was not apprehensive at all, I strangely felt safe in a foreign land and I absolutely loved the city.
I stayed at a Hutong – a traditional courtyard residence. My days in the hutongs of Beijing were beautiful, the days bustling with eateries, serving steaming hot dumplings, the nights alight with people walking about, pleasant music playing in Hutongs, the residents out in the courtyard enjoying a game of badminton. Several evenings I would sit on a patio at the hutong with a smile, immense gratitude in my heart to be able to witness a beautiful cultural interaction such as this.
Beijing is rich in the Cultural heritage and you can immerse yourself in the various flavors the city generously offers.