Day 9, Wednesday, October 28, 2010
We started with our usual 9am breakfast and then MM, KS and I headed to the Forbidden City. We kind of rushed all the way through (from back to front) and then M had to leave; so we went back through towards to climb the hill in the park across the street so we could see into the Forbidden City from above, not to mention over Beijing. The Forbidden City is really pretty and impressively restored. And jampacked full of tourists. Then we walked around the outside to get to Tiannamen Square which we looked at but didn’t intensively explore. We were on the Forbidden City side of major traffic. We headed next to the Pearl Market which was a bargain shopper’s hell or paradise. There were no prices on anything – you had to haggle for your price. If you said you weren’t interested they would drop their price. I was okay until I had to haggle for scarves… I don’t think I got them down low enough because that kind of haggling was stressful to me. Got some great gifts, and all in all, didn’t spend much $... and most of it was still per diem.
We headed back having been out from 10am to 6pm and joined everyone else who was still in town for a dinner in the Golou Hutong. LKL, our Chinese-speaking TD, found us a great local restaurant where there is no English on the menu. We had a great meal and for the 8 of us, it was only 186 RMB. TOTAL. That was with 4 beers. Such good food.
Also we found out that it is likely that our crew doesn’t know how to read – so all that translated paperwork was for nothing. Poor S who bravely translated it all.
Look: a Tourist Kitty:
Some interestingly/amusingly translated signs:
For my best friend, a firefighting tool:
There are TONS more photos in my China Adventure set at flickr. I may have uploaded 200 pictures along from the Forbidden City. Check them out.