The bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing was smooth , except for the food problems. When we arrived in Beijing, we started to notice a slightly different China, different then the metropolitan Shanghai and its high class lifestyle.
The city seemed more like a large urban village. The railway station was more like a airport in India, beautiful. We had our dinner at a McDonald in the station itself. As we exited it, it was much warmer then Shanghai and we got the taste of a lesser developed and poorer China.
The taxis also don't go by the meter but instead you have to bargain for the price. The roads seemed a bit less wide compared to Shanghai, the city was more like New Delhi.
As we gradually went towards our hotel , we noticed many famous monuments and places in Beijing but there weren't as many skyscrapers in Beijing as compared to Shanghai.
Our hotel was much bigger then the one in Shanghai but it wasn't as warm as old west gate. After having a tired day , we just crashed for the night. The next day , we decided to visit the Tiananmen Square but had a change of plans and visited the Temple of Heaven. its supposed to be a place where sacrifices were made so as to pass on the soul to the heavens.
It is four times as big as the forbidden city and has four gates that join up to the centre palace, known as the Temple of prayer. The architecture of the temples was fantastic and showed a glimpse of the golden age of china. After this, we decided to visit the world famous silk market, a market of all the forgeries, be it Gucci, Armani, Rado, Zara, you name it.
We took the famous Beijing subway but it was even more crowded then Shanghai, even more then at Rajeev in Delhi, but it was very well organised so travelling wasn't a problem. We met some Americans, one of whom was Indian born ( and who was listening to our conversation in the train and then later joined in ), they are leaving for Shanghai in a week and so we made up plans to meet in Shanghai.
We had a lot of shopping to look forward to and indeed we enjoyed our time. Picking up a cab seemed a good idea as we had a lot of bags ( you guessed it ! ).
Reaching our hotel, we went up to the cafe and met up with a group of people, 2 from the Netherlands, taking the trans Mongolian express from Russia to here. The other 2 were from Canada. We had a good time with them and then crashed again, because we had to leave early for visiting the great wall of China.