Later then I thought you're going to hear from me again. I've been quite busy to be honest! Last time I wrote something down I was in the middle of the Gobi desert, going from Ulaan Bataar to Beijing. I arrived the next day around 14:00 local time at Beijing Railway station.
The first thing we did was getting some money, as we had nothing but Mongolian Turik. That behind us, I got a Chinese simcard for my phone to call my friend Vikcy. Vicky is a friend I got to know in Couchsurfing and she was going to help me find a host. Usually I would be prepared better and find a place to sleep two weeks in advance, not relying on some last-minute-plan, but this time everything was a little but different.
Vicky is a great organizer and just came back from a Couchsurfing weekend trip where she got to met my next hosts, Phillip and Dawn from the states! They accepted me last minute which I am really grateful for. Living in the second ring of Beijing, it didn't take me more then 30 minutes to get to the place. Right now I am sitting on their couch, preparing to leave the house for the last time because they're most likely going, just like everyone else, on trip during the national holidays. (01. - 09. October)
What can I say? If I told you everything you probably wouldn't be finished reading by tomorrow :) Beijing is great. Flashy, Busy, Loud. Very different then Russia and Mongolia, in a good way.
I am here now for a week, and I guess you could even spend two without getting bored. One thing I really couldn't get over was the Smog. I've never seen so heavy smog in a city. Walking through the sights, feeling like you're in a cloud is not really the best experience. Everything is blurry, so bright that you wish you had sunglasses eventhough you cannot see the sun, is not a real pleasure. Luckily yesterday the wheather changed and it got a little windy so that most of the Smog is gone now.
I've visited most places of interests by now, except for the great wall, which I am going to do tomorrow! Our plan is it to camp on the great wall, spend a night under the stars. If that's not possible we'll just go there like everyone else does. Anyhow.. I've made about 600 pictures in three days. Because of a certain Chinese girl in our group ;) We all know Asian tourists, right? I kind of know the drill now. If there is a camera, something that might be interesting to take a picture of, there is no way around not taking a picture with you doing something funny infront of it ;) I didn't even try to not play along... enjoy!
Also, China is a lot less expensive then Russia and Mongolia. You can get a good meal for around one and a half Euro (14-20RMB), a Metroride will cost you about 20 (2RMB) cents, a bus ride around 0,04 (0,4RMB) cents. The Bigmac-meal index is around 3 Euro (24RMB). Entrance to different sights vary from 2 to 5 euro in Beijing. Something I am totally happy with! :)
What I am probably going to do
So it's national holidays. That means everyone, goes everywhere. Train tickets were completely sold out from 30th to the second, so I got a first! class train ticket to Wuhan on the third. That was the only way to get out of Beijing the next week. I'm going to Huang Shan (The yellow mountain), and then probably to the Hunan province where I'll spend days hiking and relaxxing. I picked out a few places of interests, called: ZhangJiajie and Fenghuang. Search google for pictures if you want to know why I want to go there :)
The "Soft sleeper" tickets to Wuhan cost us around 44 (410RMB) euros, additional tickets to Huang Shan around 18 (200RMB) euros.