We had a tour leader workshop this morning, followed by a great Chinese buffet lunch at our hotel. It was the best food yet! I was so surprised!
We got up early and had a quick, delish breakfast, so we could get to the Temple of Heaven before most of the tourists. We were there with the locals… the elderly locals ☺️ Chinese people take physical health very seriously, especially after retirement. Thousands of elderly people head to the park every morning to exercise and play! A very friendly woman showed me the ropes! Our awesome tour guide john, taught us some Tai Chi structures at the base of the Temple of Heaven- Wow!!!
The Wall was amazing. Outrageous! The weather was perfect. I feel so blessed and grateful for this wonderful experience.
I had pork dumplings and Beijing noodles. Both were delicious 😃
We got up early to travel a couple hours to The Great Wall! After another great breakfast we packed into the bus and headed into the country. China is absolutely beautiful. The countryside was clean, lush, and fresh. The mountains were majestic. The farmers were hard at work in the fields- pretty much idyllic.
After lunch we went to the Dragon Lady’s Summer Palace. It was really beautiful! We took a dragon boat across the lake to the pavilion then went on a lovey afternoon walk along the ancient covered corridor.
For dinner we went to a restaurant that specializes in Peking Duck. It was so unctuous and flavorful! What a treat!!!
After dinner we had a special Chinese treat- massages!!! Me and ten other girls went to a nearby spa and had amazing traditional Chinese pressure point massages! It was so relaxing and unique- totally different from massages I’ve had in the US. I’m feeling so pampered!
We had an amazing morning full of sightseeing- Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City! Wow! Beijing is a beautiful city. I’m very lucky to be here during the APEC summit. The Chinese government shut down schools, factories, and traffic for the entire week, so the air quality and traffic is at minimum.
For lunch we went to a small dumpling shop near the Forbidden City. Yum! I had quick pickled Chinese broccoli and six spectacular dumplings. The dumplings were rich and spicy pork wrapped in a light, velvety yeast bread. Dipped in hot chili oil they were perfection!
We made it to our comfortable hotel without a hitch! We enjoyed a welcome dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was delicious and generous! We had Kung pao chicken with peanuts, spicy shrimp with cashews, beef and eggs, stir fried lotus root and snow peas, amazing garlic green beans, sweet and sour pork, scallion pancakes, hot and sour soup, rice, lo mien noodles, and beer!!! I’m so glad I didn’t eat much on the plane! What a great start! I can’t wait to try more real Chinese food 😊
Ps- sorry for the ugly pictures. The lighting is no good. Hopefully I can make the food look better in the future 😜