Change Yourself…Change The World.

The end of Beijing
June 1, 2010, 3:12 pm
Filed under: China, Pictures Post

Dear friends,

Sorry I have not updated in quite awhile. Going through a proxy server in China proved to be so slow, and our days were so packed, that I literally couldn’t find any spare time to write about my experiences. While complaining about this over the phone to my Mom, she suggested that I just enjoy where I am and what I’m doing, and to update about my travels upon my return. So this is what I decided to do– in which case, I intend to address the end of Beijing!

Our last two remaining days in Beijing were free days (well actually, one of the days were ‘company visits,’ in which my brother’s school visited Lenovo and IBM to see how the companies work differently in China– I thought this would be incredibly interesting and wanted to go, but was goaded into hanging out with my cousins and sister instead). So the first free day, my cousins (Elise and Sam) and my sister (Hillary) were left to our own devices, in which we all unanimously decided that what we needed was a day of relaxation after the intensity of the tour (plus, the day before we had just climbed the Great Wall and were super sore). After about an hour of searching for nice ‘spas’ at fancy hotels, which were WAY too expensive, we luckily came across Bodhi, which gave $30 one hour massages.

This proved to be the most EXCELLENT choice. If you are in Beijing and are looking for a nice place to relax, choose this place! The massage was excellent- a combination of Thai and Chinese massage with a bit of Western thrown in- and there was a hot shower waiting for us afterwards in a gorgeous room, followed by free fresh squeezed juice. Completely worth it after the jet lag and intense climbing ritual at the Great Wall. Moreover, right in front of Bodhi was a cafe called ‘The Olive,’ and for the first time in a few days we were able to get away from the ‘family-style’ meals and indulge in fresh fish, wine, and even bread (my cousin Elise has a severe peanut allergy, so it was a nice break for her as well).

We rounded up the day by meeting up with the group and going into a night market (this was a highly touristy night market, but one nonetheless), whereupon my brother and I (along with another member of the group, Fan) ate fried scorpion to the utter delight and/or disgust of our onlookers– it actually didn’t taste half bad– and then we walked up and down sampling all kinds of strange foods, including fruits dipped in some kind of gelatin, a kind of scallion burrito, and roasted corn.

Unfortunately, apparently the combination of these foods did not suit well to my stomach, and I had some food poisoning issues the following day. After a strong dose of immodium, I ventured over to the Yashow Clothing Market in the late afternoon, which hosts thousands of goods such as clothes, jewelry, make-up, sunglasses, toys, and most importantly, faux-purses galore. Quite an interesting place, and I recommend anyone going to Beijing to check out! And if you’re up for the night life as well, I suggest Vics, which is an incredibly fun nightclub with great American music and a packed house.

Finally with Beijing coming to an end, we said our goodbyes to my lovely cousin Elise, who had to head back to London for her job, and we visited a Lama temple in the morning and then the Summer Palace in the afternoon. We then boarded an 8 hour train ride to Xi’an, in which my cousin Sam, Hillary, Olivia, Fan (two group members), and I watched LOST and scarfed down all kinds of strange food and wine, only to arrive at Xi’an at 6 AM.

And so our Beijing journey ends here, and I leave all of you with pictures below of our adventures from the final few days in Beijing. Hope you enjoy them below!

The beginning of the Great Wall

Elise and I gearing up for our hike.

Elise and I start the climb.

A view from the Great Wall

More of these in Xi’An!

This is what we had to climb. And beyond.

Locks everywhere

One of the watchtowers of the Great Wall

Can you imagine the hundreds of years it took to build this? And how much time and effort it took to haul massive amounts of stone up these mountains? Absolutely insane.

Climbing up the Great Wall is not an easy feat. I’m glad I went while I’m young.

Ancient stone steps, worn down by thousands of footsteps crossing its path


Be careful!

The farther you climb, the most beautiful the view you get.

Elise says hello


On our way back down the Great Wall. As challenging as climbing it– by the time you get to the bottom, your legs are shaking.

Our reward– dried and sugared kiwi.

Fried Scorpion at a night market in Beijing. Mmmmm.

Donner, Sam, Hillary, Elise and I in Beijing

Bodhi in Beijing. Fabulous.

Elise, Sam, Hillary and I looking super refreshed after our massages at Bodhi!

Yashow Clothing Market. Crazyness.

The Lama Temple in Beijing.

Lama Temple

Our group Fan and Kevin take pictures of the Beijing Olympic Square.

A lady shows off pearls she cut out of an oyster.

Summer Palace, Beijing.

My brother, King of the Castle.

Summer Palace, Beijing

My brother Donner with Mary Banks- the most awesome person of all time, our trip coordinator, and the reason why I was on this trip.

CU Boulder students Sanket, Kevin, Fan, and Karen

Fan, Karen, Olivia, Kaelee, Marissa, and Taryn.

Summer Palace

The largest bridge in Beijing

Travel gem!

Beijing Railway Station. On to Xi’an!

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