On day three of her China tour, BB’s Georgi Gyton experiences high-speed travel and samples some of the country’s delicacies.
Day three: Saturday 12 May
The majority of the day was spent travelling to Beijing for the next leg of our tour. We caught the Maglev train to the airport – the world’s only levitation train (it runs on magnets), and I believe also the fastest train too. It took around seven minutes and travelled at up to speeds of 431 kph. All was going reasonably smoothly until we reached Beijing and discovered that around half the group had luggage missing – apparently it was catching the next plane as there wasn’t room for it.
We then got on the bus to the hotel, with our guide Grace taking us through a bit of the history of Beijing and some facts about its population: 20 million people, 10 million bikes, five million cars, and two million dogs.
She also admitted that Chinese was a very difficult language for foreigners to learn as it has four different tones. Essentially the same word, said slightly differently, can mean four different things. I don’t think I stand a hope then.
After we’d had a chance to rest up at the hotel, we headed to Tiananmen Square in the very heart of the city. Grace told us that, due to its location and proximity to government buildings, as well as its history, the Square is a “very political place”.
We ended the day with dinner at a restaurant renowned for its Peking roast duck, and where I tried duck’s intestines… before being told what it was.