The drama began even before the flight. I bought a new sweater and had it washed last minute. At the same time I had to wash a load for a visiting pastor in my church. So I gave instructions to the maid what to do. However, Apah was the transporter. The maid hung the sweater in a hanger and the pastor’s clothes in a plastic bag. But Apah has to put in my sweater inside the plastic bag thinking the maid must have made a mistake by separating the sweater! Why can’t he call me to verify?? At the end I didn’t bring this sweater along and thank God the pastor was not leaving the same day and we actually managed to talk to him and asked him to leave the sweater with the church staff! I was so mad with Apah I actually asked him to get another room in Beijing!
It was a midnight flight out and coincidentally, Mom to 3 Angels was on the same flight with me to & fro! It was a 6.5 hours flight and when we landed we were immediately greeted with a pleasant looking guy offering his taxi service. Opening price was RMB450 and we started bargaining he went down a mere RMB50!! When we asked him to drop Mom to 3 Angels & her colleague first and then to our hotel he only agreed if the fare was back to RMB450! We didn’t realise he actually slaughtered us till we left our hotel for the Beijing Airport. The fare from our hotel to the airport was only RMB90! I was so happy I actually gave the cabbie RMB100 asked him to keep the change! So remember, if you do take a cab from Beijing airport to a hotel in the city it should not cost more than RMB150!!!!!!!!!!
Upon arrival we were in for another surprise, as the hotel said the fare we booked doesn’t include tax and we had to pay 15% more! Apah better give the agent a good shelling! However, we managed to bargain for an additional breakfast as the original offer was only for 1 free breakfast and the next good thing was they had the room ready for us by 9+am. This was the Novotel Chungwenmen and is very strategically located right in front of the Chongwenmen Subway station.
We quickly freshened up and departed for Qianmen (the next subway station on the same line as Chongwenmen), our first tourist stop. Wanted to look for a tailor but couldn’t find any and ended up shopping for nonsense.
Qianmen shopping street (very expensive shopping, so I didn’t buy anything there)
Look at the massive number of tourists! Mostly local China Chinese people!
We ate at a descent looking restaurant (located next to the Qianmen Shopping St) and that was our first try on the Peking Duck. They actually roast the duck in full view for the diners. Taste wise…not fantastic but bearable.
Next stop was Forbidden City which deserves a post of it on its own!