Around a month ago I joined my good friends at Young Pioneer Tours on a trip I have been wanting to do for most of my life. I travelled to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (otherwise known as North Korea, or Best Korea).
The last part of our tour was to get a train from Lhasa to Beijing. It takes 3 days to get to Beijing which means spending 2 nights on a train.
There are many varieties of the infamous hotpot in China. In general they all consist of the same basic idea: dipping cold things into soup and boiling the flavour into them.
On our last day in Beijing, after spending the morning recovering from our hangovers at a tea house we took a quick trip to Tiananmen Square.
Despite it being a Monday, there was still a huge queue to get into the square.
For some reason I’ve been very un-British and never actually visited a single Tea House in China (despite having been here more than a year), but today it was time to break that streak.
After leaving the Bird’s Nest we wandered over to the National Aquatics Center (a.k.a. the Water Cube). The events I focused on when making the official Olympics game were the Swimming and the Diving events, so I had spent more time working with the Water Cube than the other arenas.
My very first job after university was as a Gameplay Programmer at Eurocom (which sadly closed down last year). The game I worked on was Beijing 2008 the official video game of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
Whilst in Beijing we visited the Forbidden City (紫禁城 or Zǐjinchéng). The Forbidden City was once the capital of China where the King/Emperor resided and is now probably the most popular tourist destination in Beijing if you exclude the Great Wall.
The Beijing Temple of Confucius (北京孔庙 or Běijīng kǒngmiào) is the second largest Confucian Temple in China. 庙 (miào) also means shrine, so this place could be considered more of a shrine to Confucius and his teachings rather than an actual Temple.
[caption id="attachment_252" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Entering the Confucius Temple.
Right next to the first hostel we stayed in Beijing was the Yonghegong (雍和宮 or Yōnghé gōng) – the largest Lama Temple in Beijing. 宮 (gōng) actually means palace – a reminder that this temple was once a palace that was eventually fully converted to a Lama Temple.