First travel post on my trip to China and I don’t even know where to begin! Sitting bleary eyed and tired at Dubai Airport, waiting eagerly to get back to my family, I don’t think I will do justice to any of the beautiful places I visited if I try to recall my experiences now. While I get my thoughts together, here is a glimpse of my time in Qingdao and Beijing. Give me a shout out if there is any part of it that you want to know or read about more than the others! I can tell you, it was all very intense and interesting 🙂
I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity to combine my love for travel and Marine Sciences – I went to China to present my PhD work at the 3rd International Marine Biodiversity Conference. I spent 4 days in Qingdao at the Conference and 4 more in Beijing.
Without further ado, here are a few pictures with whatever came to my head first!
Views from my room on the 20th floor at Huanghai Hotel in Qingdao. Breezy and cool, a fun port city of China with its beaches, German architecture, interesting historical buildings and temples and home to Tsingtao Beer!
I have so much to say about this place! Had some of the funniest lost in translation stories here 🙂 That will be a whole new post, but in the meantime, here are just some of the ‘interesting’ dishes that were served to us during our meals at the Conference. Any idea what they actually are?
Onwards to Beijing by train, very impressed by the railway system here. Super efficient, clean, plenty of leg space, 4.5 hours from Qingdao to Beijing at 300k/hour speed! We got there late evening and set off for the night market. Another whole post on the wierd and wonderful food I have had and seen there!
That feeling after hiking the Great Wall of China from Jinshangling to Simatai! We were one of the few tourists there thanks to its remote location, and it was lovely seeing the Great Wall bathed in Fall colours. Here is one of many amazing pictures of this UNESCO Heritage Site and me slumped after the steep uphill hike!
The rest of the time in Beijing was spent ambling around the many Hutongs (Alleyways) of the city, having delicious food, visiting palaces, temples and parks. Quick two pictures here of Forbidden City and Lama Temple.
And of course there is the random thoughts, insights and reflections on experiences and interacting with people, the rapid development and modernity China has embraced, so many things there I did not expect to see! Lot of it is reflection on what it’s like travelling in Asia again after so many years travelling around North America and Europe. Bangladesh doesn’t count as its home and will always remain a comfort zone no matter how different it is from my last 17 years abroad.
I am sitting at the airport now waiting to board the plane and I cannot express how much I am looking to seeing my family! I am also enjoying being back in the ‘real and fake’ world of social media! To have access to twitter, facebook, Instagram, gmail, google! I must admit it was refreshing to a certain extent but who am I kidding? I like my virtual world of friends, family and other travel bloggers and am happy to be ‘connected’ again 🙂
Even though my time in China was super short, I managed to pack in quite a lot, starting at 8am, finishing at 11pm most nights in Beijing. It really helped that I read up loads on each of the places I visited. It made the experience that much more meaningful knowing I am walking on places with such rich history and culture. I look forward to being back here with the family in a few years time, if not sooner!