Thursday, June 28, 2012

China: Beijing, Day 1

"We have to do this!!!" Was the title of the email I received on April 27th from my best friend. It was a link to a LivingSocial deal to go to China for 8 Days. Less than a month later we were on a plane, headed for Beijing.

The LivingSocial deal was booked through Rewards Travel China who was just wonderful from beginning to end. A travel agent reached out to us right away to get the paperwork going. She walked us through the entire process to make sure we were throughly prepared for our trip and provided us with all of the information and details that we needed. This particular tour included 3 days in Beijing and 3 days in Xi'an.

When we arrived in Beijing, our tour guide (also with Rewards Travel China), Vicky, greeted us at the airport where we met with the rest of our tour group. There were 15 of us from all over the US: LA, Chicago, DC, Arizona and Minnesota. Vicky led us right out of the airport to our big, comfortable tour bus which then shuttled us to the International Beijing Hotel, a clean, 5 star hotel with big rooms located in the center of Beijing.

First impressions of Beijing: the warm air smells sweet and the trees are some I've never seen before, they are so inspiringly beautiful. There are stacks upon stacks of old, run down apartment buildings with air conditioning units outside of each of the windows and clothes drying from the balconies. There are so many people on the streets, in cars, on bikes, on scooters and mopeds. The traffic is comparable to that of LA, but in Beijing you can only drive your car on your designated days. 

So beat from all the traveling and with word of a 6.15a wake-up call, we ate and went straight to bed.

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