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The quest for good tea in China (Day 1)

Posted by Kimiko URIU on August 31, 2010 (0 Comments)

 First lesson: always have the destination you want to go to in Chinese characters!!

Thinking let us be adventurous, we arrived at the airport and took a bus to the central train station of Beijing.

So we arrived at the central train station of Beijing and see a ton of taxis that are dropping off people, but none of them wanted to take us. After 45 minutes of the same thing, we finally find someone who could speak a language apart from Chinese - French! He told us that the taxi drivers were having a shift change and therefore would not take us.

We thought at the main train station we would find an information stand or someone that speaks english which was not the case. Finally we find out that there is a taxi stand outside the station. As we arrive to the taxi stand we see a large queue of around 150 people waiting for taxis. Knowing that the hotel is just two subway stations away, we decide to take the subway, which was not such an easy task either. After lifting the suitcases through security checks and up and down stairs, we arrive at our subway station at the Forbidden city. We know the hotel is not far away, but nobody can tell us where it is.

We see a rickshaw driver who seems to have a clue where the hotel is. At this point we do not care about prices. Imagine, two people and three suitcases pilled on top of each other in the mini amount of space. I wish I had a picture of that moment, it really must have looked really funny!

The rickshaw driver goes against one way streets, disregards street lamps and suddenly says get out. We are obviously not in front of the hotel, but soon realised that he could not go any further due to a policeman who would have given him a fine for going through the one way street. So we get off, realise there is no way across the enormous road, but through an underpass and finally find the hotel!

So if you are travelling to China, always have the Chinese characters of your destination with you or if you see one of those drivers who know your destination and speak english perhaps it is worth paying some extra bucks for arriving (private cars cost 350 CNY instead of 120 CNY - normal taxi).

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