daphna was forced to wait for me at the beijing airport so she spent the time drinking iced tea and speaking to locals also waiting around about the history of israel. finally together we hired a taxi and 1 hour later we were in our hostel in the center of town. the foot massage place next door to the hostel was very enticing but we decided against for now. the hostel, wangfujing is very nice, clean, cheap, and in a great location.
after a good nights sleep we were up at 7 and wandered across our first meal, a sesame flatbread and potato latkes of sorts from our local street vendor, all for a grand total 2 yuan= .25 cents. our cheapness didn't stop there, we got 2 cups of hot water from the mickey d's across the street and made our own turkish coffee, they don't drink much coffee here. after breakfast we made our way to tiananmen square and the forbidden city which are must views in beijing. on the way we were called out by a couple local chinese tourists who assumed i was australian due to my rugged appearance.we walked with them to the square and then we parted ways. let's put it this way, the sites were what you expect and daph's feelings are that it was an anticlimactic event. after the forbidden city we made our way back to the area, and stopped at a bike shop in my quest to buy a folding bike. good deals good deals!
our next stop was the wangfujing snack street but we weren't quite ready for a crazy meal yet, so we just had a veggie pancake burrito... after a well deserved nap we headed to the donghuamen night market, featured on andrew zimmerman's show. it was a tourist attraction and the stinky tofu, a dish that is called by this very name was stinking up the entire street and so our appetite was severly suppressed. some good photos and video footage is soon to come.
an early morning again, we headed to the hutong next door; hutong is an alleyway where food shops, stalls, and people's houses are located. they run east to west and are a great place to see real locals. we had steamed buns(Baozi) and soup for breakfast. great photos here too. next we took public transport to the summer palace and after some difficulty finding the right bus we arrived and spent the day there. this was a wondeful place with great views ,green areas, a nice lake, and lots of chinese tourists. we went out to a small birthday dinner and then called it a night so that we can take full advantage of the Great Wall ahead of us.