Thursday, April 05, 2007

The journey begins....

After months of painstaking preparation we are finally on the road. Our first stop is ...

Well, this is not technically our first stop. The very first thing we did on the trip was to arrive in Bangkok and have our fill of massages, movies and good food. It was all so comforting and familiar and I was loving the humidity!

We then hopped on a plane for the real journey to begin and arrived in Beijing. Things we like about Beijing so far:

  • Wonderful exhibition of American art from the Guggenheim(s) which is currently taking up two thirds of the national gallery.
  • Contemporary Chinese art, such as that displayed at the red gate gallery, and the Liu Qinghe exhibition, at the National Gallery.
  • Dedicated bike lanes.
  • Listening to the Bangles in a McDonalds outside the Summer Palace.
  • Getting the inside story of an expat's life from Stew, an old friend from Cambodia.
  • A plethora of delicious fake meat restaurants. I even stuffed myself at my first Chinese vegetarian buffet.
The city is also nearing the end of a manic beautification phase - which has seemingly transformed the city and supplemented some of the drab Communist era buildings with some very cutting edge contemporary designs. The hidden cost of all of this progress can be found in stories like this subway collapse that happened last week.

It's also really cold here. Thankfully, today we both bought big jackets. Although, according to Stew it is positively tropical at the moment. I guess these things are all relative.

And can I just say, to further elaborate on the faux meat restaurant thing. We have found simply the best vegetarian restaurant in Beijing. And possibly one of the best veg. restaurants I have ever been to. We ate the most "I can't believe it's not pork" sausage in the world tonight - complete with fake fatty bits. Yum! And that was just the entree, for mains we ate deep fried fake chicken covered in cumin and sesame seeds and served with fresh coriander and faux Beijing duck (pictures hopefully pending).

We are currently planning our next steps, which involve a trip to Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors. However, we still have a few more Beijing sites to cover... like the great wall.


Veggie Friendly said...

Good to see that Andrew is already looking left...

The Chinese vegetarian buffet sounds great!

Assume you went to McDonald's for the postmodern experience of eating there outside the Summer Palace in a Communist country... or was it some kind of trade-off for Andrew having to eat fake meat?

Can't wait to hear more about your trip.

Kratzy said...

Good to see you are both on your way! Let the blogging commence. Hang on a second... It's Andrew I'm talking about! In that case... look forward to hearing about your trip when you get back :)

Hmmmm... fake pork soysages sound a little wierd. Have a wonderful Easter. Love me.

jLo said...

Hooray! You're off! How very exciting. Looking forward to living vicariously through your travels... and to seeing you soon!

jLo xx

The Editor said...

Sorry Bec and I missed your going away drinks in Melbourne, guys. Will be following your adventures in my RSS reader.