Monday, October 19, 2009


We got into Beijing October 16th. The Air Canada Tango Plus flight was surprisingly good. Seatback TVs with a surprisingly decent set of movies (saw the full Bueller at long last) and complimentary hard alcohol helps, as does figuring out that if you walk to the back of the plane and ask they will give you more booze - again and again. A cab from the airport into Beijing cost us a whopping Y100 ($15 not counting bank fees) for nearly an hour ride. The smog was unreal with the view stopping a rather short distance in all directions.

En route to our hostel we witnessed an exciting array of buildings which were evidently built without AC and then had it added to each unit individually. Beijing has an amazing number of bikes (and electrical bikes and trikes) that appear to be peoples primary mode of transportation. Not nice well-maintained bikes mind you, we`re talking about ancient, rusty, about-to-fall-apart things that we`d throw away.

When we reached our hostel a room mixup left us with two 2-bedroom ensuite washroom suites instead of one three-bed ensuite washroom suite. As this would normally be a fair bit more expensive we didn`t complain too much. The toilet is one with the shower but aside from being a bit different it works just fine.

The hostel is very much a match for what we envisioned a chinese courtyard building to be. This is the courtyard you walk into from our room:

Walking out to that each morning is awesome!!

For dinner we strolled around the area a bit and found a nice-looking hotpot place. The food was delicious and the hot pot was VERY hot - the entire cone is loaded with red-hot coals that occasionally blow sparks out the top.

After a rather exhausting week leading up to the flight and a rather long day of transit we then crashed.

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