Well I am man enough to admit when I am wrong so here goes nothing... For most of my adult life I have had no desire to go to China. I really disagree with their govt. there and how they treat the people by restricting the flow of information and freedom of speech. There are over 1 billion people in China so I had always imagined it as dirty and polluted and generally just not a place I ever wanted to go.
So when I found out that my flight to Thailand was being diverted to Beijing,China for a day I was not to thrilled at all. Oh how wrong I was! I soon found out that since I was in China for only 24 hours they would let me stay without the required visa (and 160 dollar fee to go along with it) not only that but the airline paid for the hotel!
So I was starting to get slightly more excited about going to China. Now enter Rob,Thomas,Amber and Sarah. 4 of the coolest people I have had a chance to meet in a long time! So all of us were in the same boat so to speak. We decided to leave the hotel and explore China for the day we had. We all got along really well and had a great time!
Beijing has over 20 million people living there but it is one of the most organised,orderly cities I have ever been too! The pollution was not overly bad and I never once felt over crowded. There was just not tons and tons of people on the streets. The public transport system is cheap,fast and organised. The Chinese people are some of the most friendly,happy,curious people I have met. They bent over backwards to make us feel welcome and enjoy our stay. Everyone was super super nice and made an effort to speak English for us. in my 24 hours in China I learned how to say Hello and Thank You in Chinese :)
We took a whirlwind tour of Tienanmen Square,The Forbidden City and a really really pretty natural park with a great overview of Beijing. The weather was perfect and we had the most amazing lunch! They were playing Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift on the radio in the restaurant (it constantly amuses and amazes me how pervasively American Culture is everywhere!) the only thing I didn't get to see that I wanted to do was the Great Wall.
So to wrap this up I just wanted to say that I really loved China and totally totally want to go back and spend more time there! I will post my pictures to Facebook very soon.
Yall take care,Tyler