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Travel in China- Beijing, Huangshan, Hangzhou, Shanghai

By Jennie Ng

My family joined a travel agency in Singapore for an 8-day tour in China consisting of Peking (Beijing), Huangshan, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The group including my family, which is 10 of us, consists of 16 people.

Day 1

Left Singapore flying Singapore Airlines on June 2 2002 to Peking (Beijing), China's capital. As the flight we took was at 1.15 am. Feeling rather hungry went to Fast-food restaurant Burger King to grab a packet of onion rings and a piece of strawberry cream pie to share with my elder sister. Got on the flight SQ812 which is a B777-200 Jubilee. Found my seat, which is an aisle seat. Bucked up and started having fun with the In-flight Entertainment. Lot of fun stuff for me to do like playing games, watching movies etc. Cool right? Supper was served to us. Had a tuna sandwich very yummy. Played and watched some short shows till 2 plus. Went to dream land.

Day 2

Woke up at 6. Was greeted morning by the air-stewardess. Washed up. Had breakfast, which was omelette with potatoes. Watched a movie "rossroads" by Britney Spears. Plane touched down in Beijing at 7 plus. Left the plane. Great flight, I would say. Once I stepped out of the plane, I find the airport look totally way different since the last time I stop over in Beijing in 1998. Went through the custom and found our tour guide. Tour guide was a female. Got on the bus. The tour guide told us that the airport, which I stop over in 1998, was the old airport. Now the old airport is closed down, the one we arrived in is the new airport. I was very amazed as China has changed a lot, was wondering if the bathroom changed too? We went to our 1st destination of the day, is Temple of Heaven which is the largest of all parks in Beijing. Collectively known as the Temple of Heaven, one building stands out - the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. This place is where the late emperor pays there for good harvest and the ancestor's stuff like that. The route to each different part is pretty long, I would say. There is this part, which there is a wall when you talk, and you put your ear on the wall, you would be able to hear what the other party on the wall is talking about but the wall is protected. Our next destination was the Forbidden City as known as Gu Gong in Chinese. It is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. As the bus is not allowed to alight in front of the Forbidden City, we have to walk in. The day was so hot; everyone went to buy a bottle of ice-green tea or drinks to cool ourselves down. There's a part, which I find it amazing. The tour guide told us that the Emperor only got three or two days to spend time sleeping together with the Empress and these days are the only day to produce babies. I hope I didn't sound gross or what. I saw where the Emperor used to sleep and where he hold meetings with the Minster etc. Within the Forbidden City is the Imperial Palace that was the residence of the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is a remarkable complex of palaces and hall s comprising 9,000 rooms, all built of wood and bricks in an area of 250 acres. After visiting the whole of Forbidden City, We went for lunch at a Chinese restaurant, our very 1st lunch at Peking (Beijing). After our lunch, we sat an hour or so bus to Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is sort of like a get-away bungalow for the Emperor and the family something like that. The palace grounds cover an area of 290 ha. Over three-quarters of which are covered by a landscaped lake. There is a boat made of marble floating on the lake. Before ending our day, we went to a Pearl factory. Everyone got a pearl but I decided to dump it because that tour guide gave it to me. I thought of asking where I can get local souvenirs but cancelled the idea of asking. I decided to buy my souvenirs in Shanghai. We ended our 1st day and went back to the city for dinner. As our tour guide asked if we want go to their local street to take a look at what the local food is. We decided not to join as we wanted to visit Tiananmen Square also known as Gate of Heavenly Peace as this attraction is an important place for the China's Chinese citizen as this is where everyday, people would make an effort to come and see the flag-raising ceremony and this is also a place which they will celebrate their important day and event. Therefore after we check in into the hotel we were staying for the night, my whole family 10 of us decided to visit the Gate of Heavenly Peace on our own. We set out by my uncle asking the locals for the direction to the place. Thank God, his mandarin is very good. We walked all the way to the place. We started taking photos here and there. The lights were switched off, so we decided to walk by to the hotel and have our rest.

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