Our first stop was Beijing, China. We stayed at Capital Normal University, in the dorms there. It was quite different because boys and girls are allowed to stay in the same dorm, but unlike the ones I am familiar with that have 2 doors, one you have to use your student id and pin number to get through, and a million cameras, and a testosterone detector on the handle. Wego to stay in the same hall, and were actually allowed to go, are you ready for this, we got to go INSIDE of their rooms, and NO curfew. Who knew? That is probably one of the best ideas to let us all stay together, we had some great bonding time, and it was good we were all together.
If you EVER get to go to Beijing, please eat at Cat's Eye. Its wonderful pizza. Oh my goodness, its such a great escape from food you do not know the name of or what is in it. I miss it, I probably ate there oh, 5 times at least. Also, on any menu that you are looking at (hopefully it has pictures) and pick out what looks most like sweet and sour chicken, and bet your bottom dollar it is, because sweet and sour chicken is bomb there. There is also this one dish, that is fried tofu (I think) and is spicy. Its really good. Also, there are these green bean/asparagus sticks with spicy crunchy batter on them, AND there is pumpkin sticks with this sweet cinnamon powder on them. SO good. Chinese food staple is duck. yuck. Try it, but just get ready, I hated it. So much. Also, drinks you should consume since water there is not good for you, don't drink it, get Pocari Sweat, awesome, I miss it. Also, I got grapefruit minute maid everyday. Its so good, it tastes like you are bitting into the fruit. All of the minute maid drinks are so good. (just drink the water out of water bottles)
One of the best things I experienced in China is the Great Wall. Oh boy, its so tough to do, you are doing a StairMaster with uneven steps for 2 or 3 hours. Up and down. Wear tennis shoes, shorts, and bring a light jacket, iPod, and Sigg Bottle (filled with Pocari Sweat) .Prepare to sweat, and breathing get harder since you are getting higher and higher (its on a mountain) Its really hard to do, but its so worth it. It is so beautiful all around , and it truly is unbelievable, that they were able to build this, and that it has stood the test of time. Each step of my journey has made me into a new person, a better person, and I do believe that climbing this was a huge step, no pun intended, in transforming me.
Other things you need to do while in China is, Tianamen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, other shrines that they have, and Bar Street. Summer Palace was one of my favorites, its by water, and has trees everywhere and the gardening is fantastic, let alone, the buildings are so beautiful. The architecture of them is so intricate and beautiful. Granted, all the buildings resemble each other, but they are still beautiful. Bar Street, is exactly what its name is, but it was a lot of fun when we went, they have vendors on the side that try to sell you a ton of different gadgets, and on the other side, all the vendors are different types of food. I did not partake in this part, I will not eat scorpions, baby birds, lamp genitalia, and "chicken". No thank you.