Beijing itself was everything I thought it would be :: an eastern city trying to be a western city. The old parts (the hutongs) were my favourite areas (see pic below), and I hope they resist the urge to remove these old streets and courtyard houses. The pollution is just as you've read about :: a brown smog blankets the city almost every day. We ate some amazing food, mostly chinese (including several Peking ducks, as you do!) but we also had one of the best Italian meals ever at a restaurant opened by an Italian a few months ago just north of the CBD (Eatalia, incase you ever go) :: unexpectedly superb!
It was 6 days of total departure from everything we know about Australia/Europe/North America. It is unlike any place I've visited, even within Asia. I thought I knew a bit about Chinese culture, but it turns out that I had no idea. If you have the chance, I highly recommend visiting.
GOMA Winter Design Market
Saturday 22 June 2013
9am - 4pm
GOMA Forecourt, Southbank, Brisbane
Finders Keepers Market Brisbane
Saturday and Sunday 6 & 7 July
10am - 4pm both days
The Old Museum, Herston, Brisbane
Have a wonderful week!