Monday, 28 July 2014

The Streets of Beijing

Anyone can spend their time visiting China's great attractions while based in one of the major cities of Shanghai or Beijing, but it is a whole different story to be travelling through the streets, experiencing the culture firsthand. While tourists attractions can be interesting, generally you only need to see Rome colosseum or the Grand Canyon once, or maybe twice. On the other hand, if you have a lively city like Beijing, just walking through its bizarre labyrinth of roads, alleys and hutongs can prove to be an fun and interesting way to spend the day which won't cost you a penny - unless of course, you can't resist the endless array of irresistable street food and 10 shops. The streets of Beijing, whether by night or day, are an eclectic mix of sights, sounds and smells.  Smell, and I don't mean this in a negative way, is probably one of the most significant and memorable aspects of China. While the streets of South Korea's cities most often smelled of rubbish, much of the Chinese experience is the diversity of smell. On one street you may pick up delicious aroma of fried street foods, and you'll only need to turn the corner to block your noses with the gagging stench of rotting flesh. Take a left and flowers are everywhere, and Beijing suddenly smells like a garden. Your eyes and especially your nose will never forget the streets of Beijing! So don't spend all your time and money in Beijing with a choreographed tourist experience. Make sure to take the time to discover the real China - it's not changing any time soon.