My First Time in Beijing : It’s Really Crowded
I’ve been two weeks in China. After my friend, Irvhan shown me around several famous place in Tianjin, yesterday he invite me and my girlfriend to go to another city. The nearest city to Tianjin is Beijing, the capital of China. Because this trip was unplanned, then we just departed in the morning and went back to Tianjin in the afternoon. We went with 1 Korean friend, 2 Japanese friend, and 3 Indonesian friend (including my girlfriend and my friend Irvhan). This is the first time i go to Beijing. And this is the first time i use the famous bullet train in China (we called it 高铁 here). The cost of the bullet train is only RMB 58 (around $10). Actually, we need 2 hours to go from Tianjin to Beijing by bus. But using the Bullet Train who can speed up to 250 km / hour, we just need only 30 minutes to arrive. The bullet train was so amazing, it’s very luxurious and we got the most expensive mineral water in China (Tibet Spring) for free. The price if we buy in the supermarket is RMB 10 (around $1.4).
After down at 北京南站 (Beijing South Railway Station), we directly took the subway (MRT) to the city. The cost of Beijing Subway is very cheap. It’s only RMB 2 to go to any station you want. Our destination for today is the most famous tourist destination place in Beijing, 故宫 (Former Place) or usually well known as Forbidden City.
It’s very easy to go to Forbidden City from Beijing South Railway Station. We took the MRT and get down at 天安门西 (Tian An Men West). Actually it’s better if you get down at 天安门东 (Tian An Men East) because it’s closer to go to Forbidden City gate. But that time we want to enjoy the atmosphere in this area, so we get down at Tian An Men West. This is also my first experience to try Beijing Subway. The Subway here was really shocking. It’s really really crowded. I even have to push every time i enter the MRT. Irvhan said to me that if you still can look your own feet, then the Subway is still not to crowded. It’s really not convenient.
After down at Tian An Men West, we took a walk to Tian An Men. The atmosphere in this area is similar in every place in Beijing. It’s crowded. But it’s good, because the weather was very cold that time. So with more people around, it became warmer.
After walk for hundreds metres, we finally arrive at Tian An Men (Forbidden City front gate). There is a very famous spot in this front gate. It’s the giant Mao Zedong picture in the front gate. We took a picture in the front gate.
After took a pictures in Tian An Men, we went inside the gate. To enter the to Forbidden City (Imperial City), we must buy the ticket (门票) for RMB 60. But because we have student cards, we have 20% discount, so we only have to pay RMB 40. After took a photo a while we finally enter the Imperial City.
Me with my Indonesian friend, Alan
Me with my girlfriend outside Imperial Palace
故宫 (Imperial Palace)
Along with Great Wall, this place was the symbol for the length and grandeur of Chinese civilization in Beijing. The palace is open daily from 8:30am to 5pm. This building was built in 1406 to 1420. You can find a lot of extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties in Imperial Palace. Actually Forbidden City has no different than the outside. But the building is really really big. The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2. It needs about an hour just to walk from front gate to rear gate. Actually there is nothing inside the Forbidden City. So for me RMB 60 is quite expensive just for this.
Inside Imperial Palace (Forbidden City)
After came out from Forbidden City, my Korea friend decide to go home earlier because her shoes was broken. From Forbidden City, we continued our trip to Wangfujing and had a lunch there. We took the bus from Forbidden City rear gate to Wangfujing. Because Beijing is famous because of its 北京烤鸭 (Peking Duck), my friend had lunch at a Peking Duck restaurant. The restaurant is in Wangfuqing area. Because i am the only one who can’t eat the duck, i decide to take a walk by myself around Wangfujing area. After half hour, my friend finished eating and we go to Wangfujing Street. Wangfujing Street is a street where there a lot of food counter along the street. Unlike, usual food street area in other country, there are a lot unusual food you can find here. Beside common food like Tofu, Satay, Corn, you can also find starfish, cockroach, scorpion and larvae satay here. It’s really disgusting… But surprisingly, my friends buy the scorpion satay and eat it without any disgust feeling. They even say that it’s quite delicious. Oh… my God.
We spent one hour in this place, before we went back to Tianjin around 4 o’clock. This trip is really a new experience for me and its quite exciting. Since i arrived at China 2 weeks ago, this is the first time i go to other city in China.