Last winter I was lucky enough to go to Beijing in China. Every Christmas our family has a vacation. It can either be at home or if we are lucky someplace in Asia. I was very excited to be going to Beijing as I hadn’t been to China for five years.
When I arrived in Beijing the air pollution warning was on code red! This meant that you really weren’t meant to be walking around without a face mask on. The pollution is caused by all the industry around Beijing and the thousands of cars and the fact that there was no wind to blow away the pollution. Because of this the air was very smoggy and it smelt a little like mouldy eggs! I could hardly see anything. This didn’t stop me from sightseeing though!
Luckily it didn’t stay like this the whole time that I was there. But the weather was really cold (around 2 degrees celsius most days).
I stayed in the Hilton near Wangfujing Street (this is not a sponsored post!) This is the main shopping street in Beijing. My parents shared one room and I shared with my sister. I love this hotel because it is close to everything and the rooms were really big with large bathrooms. We had Christmas Eve dinner here and it was really funny with the Chinese rock band playing Christmas tunes.
All the food was amazing in China and I am going to do a separate blog about this later because there is just too much to put into just one blog. Here are a few pictures now though to give you an idea of how great it was
One of the best things about China is the shopping. My favourite place is Pearl market where everything you buy you have to bargain for. I bought camera lenses, a portable charger, clothes, handbags, makeup, a watch and a wallet. My luggage was a lot heavier on the way home!
I went to the Temple of Heaven which is a lovely park with lots of greenery and beautiful buildings. A definite must go, if ever in Beijing. When I was there I had the opportunity to dress up in a traditional Chinese royal costume. It made me feel really special and I could imagine living in China all those years ago.
One of the main reasons that our family went to China was to visit an orphanage in the middle of China where we sponsor some of the children. The orphanage is in Pingyu which is a really small town in Henan province. The air was a little clearer in Pingyu than Beijing so it was nice to get away from the pollution. It was fantastic to finally meet the children that I have been writing to for eight years. It was like we already knew each other so well and even though I don’t speak much Mandarin and they don’t speak much English we still managed to get along and have a great time.
At the orphanage we were lucky to be there when they had their Christmas concert and it was really nice to be a part of that. It is amazing how much our kids have changed since they were first taken into the orphanage. They are now doing so well, get to go to school and have healthy meals. I am so glad that we can support them. If you would like to know more about this orphanage you can go to http://pingyu.homeofhope.org
I was really keen to go to the Olympic stadium called the Birds Nest. I like the architecture of this enormous sporting arena. I wish I was here when the Olympics were on.
I love China and can’t wait until I can go back again. Where is your favourite place to go on holidays?