Friday, September 17, 2010

People I met in China - part 1

The trip to Beijing focused on the grand sights. Like I said before, it was a whirlwind holiday giving a taste of what the capital city has to offer. Our hotel was ideally located near Tian'anMen Square which made commuting easier as the huge roads are crammed with cars.

Let's get real - be prepared to bear up with some retail therapy when visiting China on an organised tour. Of course it can get out of hand if that's what you want! It's hard to zoom in and make a purchase right away as the choices are mind boggling. Our guide cued us on striking it hard and wished us luck at the huge bazaars like the Silk Street Market. So as much as you think it is ridiculously low, stick to your price. Chances are you're a welcome customer!

Here are pics to show you some of the people I met . That's where the local flavour surfaces.

Wanna be clad in an armour and feel the strength of a warrior of bygone eras? Dress up at The Great Wall for some good memories to take home. Many people seemed game to try a costume or two. Nothing like getting under the skin of your hero!

A shop assistant packaging the jade ear rings and pendant . The shops are never short of customer service which is always with great smiles too. English is not an obstacle - especially when you talk in yuan!!

Truly marvelled at the skill of the craftsman - expertly drawing with an angled brush inside the glass globe. I couldn't resist getting 3 small globes with the Chinese zodiac animals for my children - monkey, dog and tiger and their names written in English.

Much interest in buying freshwater pearls as authencity is guaranteed in this government outlet - hard to resist taking home genuine gifts .

The shop assistant spoke almost impeccable English. She briefed us on the differences between saltwater and freshwater pearls, asked us to guess how many freshwater pearls there were in the oyster. No correct answers when she prised it open. Not one or two but many like 20!!

She did her job well - explaining about the silk cocoons and how they differ from Thai or Indian silk types. I was impressed by her English and how well she articulated . We're enjoying the silk quilt we bought. Choose one to suit your clime.

A street artist displaying his art outside the Temple of Heaven

Such a nice chunk of sweet juicy melon sold by the street vendor.

I was warned about the hot weather at this time of the year. Luckily the temperatures hovered around 29 - 30 celscius and was breezy. Anyhow, shades of any kind are always welcomed. Try a concertina-like hat and be noticed. They are abundantly available in the stalls and sold by so many itinerant vendors.

It's a colourful world - outside imperial times too. Have fun and wear an empress' headgear.

In his wheelchair, he had a captive audience and sold little replicas of the Bird's Nest in the grounds of the Olympic site. Yes, it changes colour too if you press a little something! !


  1. Loved it.Every travel is a journey in to unknown.It becomes more memorable, when you have characters there.Simple,smiling hard working people.I have to learn a lot about them,I think. Your travelogue has ignited a quest in me.

  2. Great China with all the great people on the streets and shops who have one thing in common..great SALESPERSON!!!!

  3. Oh Chinese cant beat them.. thats my experience. During my trip whenever I thought that I got the possible lowest price, I was always wrong..

  4. It's nice to see photos with people.
    In China you can't really avoid people... :)
    I'd like to see those street artist's paintings. Were they good?
    Did you eat Beijing duck? It's so yummy when it's good.
    Have a good weekend!

  5. I am so jealous of your travels, Keats! It sounds and looks like you had the most marvellous time in China, meeting a wealth of people and doing a whole host of things. I especially liked the picture of the street artist outside the Temple of Heaven, there is something beautiful about it. And there too were mango vendors when I visited the Dominican Republic, mango is such a delicious fruit! :D

  6. Ah, thank you for this little trip! I have a feeling it was less expensive for me than it was for you!

  7. Looks like you had some good retail therapy in China. I love the personality in all these photos. What a fun trip!

  8. These are wonderful photos, Keats. Thanks for sharing your vacation!

  9. Looks like you had a great and fun trip! Love these interactive photos!

  10. What fun, Keats! People add character to places, and you draw us into your travelogue so well! I love the photo of the melon seller best of all. I don't fancy pearls because I think they belong to the oyster and it's not right for us not to let the oyster keep their own bling :( And I don't like silk because I hear they boil the silkworms in their coocoons.

  11. Very interesting trip you have in China. I guess you have a great time shopping.

  12. Have I already told you that I feel like going on the spot with you, when I read your posts. Well, I truly feel this way. It's always exciting to meet and see interesting people with unique jobs. Have a wonderful week, my dear.


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