Xie Xie, Beijing

Social Media Cleanse

Fun Facts and Travel Stories About Beijing

Morning Careless Readers,

 TCB writing you from the Hello Kitty Café in Seoul! A year older and a little wiser, I am hoping.

If there is a word that sums up this year (so far) is travel. Lately, I have been feeling I am spending more time on air than on public transport in London! Hey, nothing to complain about, really; thought it can get tiring at times. Yep, #firstworldproblems right there, and also, self inflicted.

In any case! Since I just recently gained access to all my social media channels (remember in Mainland China there is no access to Google, Facebook or Instagram, for example) I wanted to tell you about my birthday trip to Beijing.

Beijing has plenty to sightsee: the Forbidden City and Summer Palace a must. But I encourage you to take on not only those touristy spots but also what the city has to offer culturally and socially. Get lost in the city little alleys, try the street food and engage with the community, when possible. Sometimes you don't need words to communicate.

On my 5-day stay there were few things that I learned and that I love to share with you,  hope you are as amazed as I was and that they serve of reference for your travels!

  1. WeChat IS the app to have in China. Everything you wished for in one app! Instant card payment by QR code while chatting to your friends. (Sidenote: even homeless people there have QR codes for payment!). 
  2. No facebook, no insta, no google. DUH!
  3. Uber was bought by a Chinese company, being the only country where the app and the company is run differently.
  4. Silk Street is very real, very huge and very money-danger zone. 
  5. Coffee is a precious (and expensive) thing.
  6. You can have bubble waffles without having to cue for hours (like at Bubblewrap waffle in London).
  7. Pollution can be so high you can be sometimes in danger (though I was quite lucky in that sense, as thanks to the One Belt, One Road Summit I didn't quite feel it!)
  8. The government is kind of 'getting rid off' the excessful immigration by putting lws that ban business in the streets. SAD!
  9. There's only one rooftop in Beijing (called Migas) and it is run by a Spanish guy (smart!)
  10. All foreigners hang out at Migas or at Great Leap Brewing, basically where the booze is.
  11. You can have a meal for less than £2. And super yumm.
  12. Apparently all lakes in Beijing are human-made (I really need to check this fact, though).
  13. Sanlitun is the neighborhood to be if you like fash-un! Or partying. Either way.
  14. Beijingers do not smile much but apparently they are happy. 
  15. Beijingers are also very loud. And phone obsessed! Never felt more ok by taking tones of pics. 
  16. There are smart TVs running on the subway-tunnels, which you can watch for a micro-second while your train is going from one train station to the other. 
  17. There are toilets EVERYWHERE, very handy. Sometimes no toilet paper, though, and they are crouch-style. So, not so handy?
  18. There is a lot of people here, but it doesn't feel as crowded as the streets are super wide.
  19. Roast Duck is THE best.
  20. Burping, Farting and Spitting. They are all publicly accepted and mostly done and repeated by men. DUH!

EXPERIENCE. ENJOY. LIVE. LOVE. RE-CHARGE! That's what travelling does to you, and I love it.