Okay, so I may have given the impression that I don't like China. Just because the Government officials send me the wrong way when I ask for directions, Facebook is blocked and everyone stares at me, doesn't make it a bad place. There's actually some great things about China:
1. Beijing Zoo – Where else can you see a panda bear? It's worth the visit just for that (and the wolf).
2. Beijing Acrobats – If you want to know how many people you can fit standing on a bicycle then this is the place for you. Edge of your seat, jaw droppingly spectacular!
3. The Legend of Kung Fu – A great story, karate chopping, fighting scenes and flying monks and it's in English.
4. Summer Palace – only one phrase can sum up this amazing place: serenity at its best. Hours of peace and quiet away from the bustle of the city with a gorgeous lake and stunning views. (Plus: great for Tai Chi spotting).
5. Pearl Market – An indoor market in a huge department store with everything you'll ever need. From cuddly pandas to fur coats, and because it's all ‘Made in China‘ it's cheap, cheap, cheap.
6. Tiananmen Square – Home of Mao's Mausoleum but more famous for the massacre in 1989 where hundreds of protesters were killed by the Chinese Army.
7. Forbidden Palace – A cluster of ancient buildings once home to 23 Ming and Qing Emperors and their many concubines (mistresses).
8. And of the course: The Great Wall – What more can I say? Accessible on day trips if you don't fancy trekking it.
1. Watching two pedalos having a water fight at the Summer Palace
2. Our local guide on the Wall showing me pictures of his family then taking my photo for his collection
3. Surviving the Beijing tube at rush hour
5. Being greeted by ‘Hello Lisa, you're back,' by the hotel porter upon my return to the Redwall Hotel.
6. An old man taking pity on me and helping me find my way to the nearest McDonalds, escorting me there.