As luck would have it, we are in Beijing the same day Xi Jingping opens the 19th Party Congress of the Communist Party. This happens only every 5 years and thus is quite a big deal in China. Also, this means tightened security! More men (and a few women) in uniform and more security checks everywhere. Waiting in a queue to be able to enter a subway station can therefore be quite normal. At one exit we counted 11 guys in uniform! But checks seem to be quite inconsistent and usually only bags are checked. As if someone way up in the party said, “everybody most be checked!”, and this is now happening… everyone is checked, how thorough is a different question.
Otherwise, what an amazing city! People, noise, lights, any kind of transportation vehicles are everywhere…! Oh, and the food! Any kind of Chinese food you can find here…We already had Xialongbao dumplings, hot pot, Beijing Duck, beef noodle soup and so much more..
Our hotel was in a type of small street Chinese call “hutong”. We loved the atmosphere with all the small houses (many still without toilets) and the many people driving through the street like crazy (many on electric motorbikes/ transportation bikes).
Two pictures of the hutong are below. Chinese flags everywhere:
People cover the tires of their cars. We heard because they want to prevent dogs from peeing on them… 😀
Here a few more highlights of our 5 days in Beijing:
Lama Temple, 4 languages (from left to right: Mongolian, Tibetian, Mandarin, Manchu):
Wedding photo shooting at the Workers Cultural Palace:
Playing cards in the Long Corridor to the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan):