Our recent visit to Beijing was full of pleasant surprises! First, we had no idea that a city with a population of 18 Million people would be so orderly and clean! I expected traffic noise , clutter and pollution, but instead traffic moved smoothly even during rush hour. The people were friendly and courteous even though our language skills were less than perfect! We were fascinated to learn about their ancient culture..how the elderly are well-respected and not isolated as in Western Societies. The young people are adapting to modern times…learning to survive in a fiercely competitive society. Children have to study very hard to get admission to Universities and adults have to work hard at their jobs. The government enforces population control by the ‘One family – one child ruling”!
Highlights of our visit:
We visited the ”Forbidden City”, Tiananmen Square( where the great massacre occured about 20 years ago), the Summer Palace,. the Temple of Heaven with it’s beautiful gardens where the retired people come to relax, socialize and practice Tai Chi. We felt priveledged to visit the “Great Wall of China” estimated to be about 8,000 km long and leave out humble foot prints on this great Wonder of the world! A rickshaw ride to the Hutong district was yet another highlight of the trip, where we were treated to a very authentic lunch by a local family. We also visited the Capital Museum, Lama Temple, Beijing Zoo and ofcourse the Pearl factory, Jade Factory and silk Factory show rooms. Shopping at the various Markets for name-brand shoes, handbags, scarves and jackets was a crazy but worthwhile experience!