Beijing is an insanely intense but absolutely brilliant city. You'll see sights you've never seen before, and more people than you can imagine. The thick smoke will make everyday seem the same despite the range in temperature. Again, it is just too hard to properly describe.

As we were hosted our tours of the city were organised to perfection and we got to do some pretty cool things that, if I were a tourist I doubt I would have done myself (we'll certainly not aged 17!).

We took a tour of Tianamen Square; where again people seemed more interested in taking my photo than some of their iconic surroundings! We then ventured into the Forbidden City and spent hours exploring (cue a lot of photos, apologies).

We took rickshaws around the hutong district and were invited into an elderly woman's home for tea where she talked about her life. A real privilege as her home was tiny, yet she graciously let 15 school children inside and enthusiastically chatted to us all through a translator. 

2008 was also Olympic year in Beijing so we visited the birds nest and enjoyed a water and light show inside the water cube. Having watched these venues be showcased on TV for weeks it was pretty cool to have the chance to wander around them.

My 10 days in China only gave me a tiny insight into the vast and diverse nation. I will have to return one day to get a more authentic experience, but that said I wouldn't swap the opportunity I had one bit. It was an exceptional trip and hope this last few posts showed you that!

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