China - Beijing Edition


I'm back.

I'm dusting off this thing because I'm going places again; this time straight out of my comfort zone and into China. 

I'll be visiting a number of Chinese cities as part of a subject at my Australian university before I finish my course at the end of this year. It's all about marketing in China, and I'm here with 19 other students and a couple of mentors. We'll be doing the touristy stuff, but also it's actually coursework, so we'll be working as well. We're visiting companies, listening to presentations, coming up with good questions, discussing marketing things, writing research projects, not swearing on this blog and probably eating a lot.

There are a couple of things to note before we go on. Firstly, for those of you who are new, (welcome!)  this blog is mainly about pictures and not words, because that's boring. Secondly, to everyone else, part of my assessment is documenting everything about what I've seen and learned from this experience. So, this blog is rather convenient. And thirdly, because of that, in some posts there might be a bit more talk and less walk (photos), as well as some marketing discussions and reflections on the presentations I'll be seeing. Hopefully you'll find this interesting/be assured we'll get back to shiny pictures soon.

However, we left on the Friday and work things start on Monday, so here's a weekend of that touristy, photo-filled stuff. 


Welcome to Melbourne airport. Not so exciting. But soon you'll meet all the people I'm travelling with and it will get a little more so. 

I'll introduce them as we go along.

The studious backs of Dr Jimmy and Mr David, our mentors.

Bec. Yeah.

Wai Sin grinning at us there.

Our flight was to Hong Kong, then on to Beijing, the capital of China. Look how educational I'm being.

Flight was pretty dodgy. Spent a lot of it listening to soft music, eyes closed, trying not to throw up, which was an irritating infringement on my movie marathon time.

Anyway, Hong Kong has an almost rather Vancouver-ish feel to it, as one of the first things you see is cloud capped mountains. It was only an hour or so layover at the airport, but even the security queues had great views.

There were some touristy things, plus waiting.

This is Nina, plus another Bec. Say hi.

Dunno who this is.


Fun fact: Hong Kong coins are all pretty in an almost flower shape.


Filling out Chinese things.

Nina and Wai Sin. 


Putting the camera to good use again:

These massive high rises are everywhere.

See all the dozens of boats down below.

Arrival at Beijing International. About 9pm. Greeted by Tim, another of our mentors. 

It was a little foggy.


Bec + Jo.

Surprise! It wasn't actually fog. Tims showed us an app on his phone which had info on the air quality. Beijing: hazardous, at level 500 (it only goes up to level 500).

Me: What does that mean?
Tim: It means you try not to breathe so deep.

On that note, we got into the bus, about an hour to our hotel.

Our driver and guide, with us the entire time while we're here.

Shiny hotel lobby.

A group of us decided to go out and try to find something to eat, despite it being about 11pm.
Apparently we're in the university district, which means everything's a bit cheap, dodgy and very interesting.

By interesting I mean, road rules? What road rules?

The taxis just stop wherever the hell they want and you just get in.

Our indecisive group wandered around a bit. We didn't settle on a place because we all had different tastes, from "Give me all the hot chilli you have" to "If a hot chilli comes within one metre of me, I will die."

Blasphemy: KFC chips are thin and like Maccas fries, without chicken salt. 

Our couple of life-saving Chinese speakers asked some people on the street if there was a good place we could go, they directed us from one creepy street to another down the road.

Creepy, but interesting.

We stood awkwardly in one for a little bit, but our non-adventurous side took over and we quickly left, to go our separate ways. 

There was a tiny market right beside the hotel, and despite warnings and promises to not to have street food (because death, apparently), we were hungry, and for me, little places like this where all the locals seemed to go is exactly what I wanted to find.

Not sure if that smell stinky tofu or sewer. Both. Probably both.

Found a stall with panfried tofu dumplings, made in front of us.

Us couple of white people were a bit of an attraction.


You pan fry them for a bit, then pour some water in, put the lid on and so they're half steamed as well. This is the last batch, too. Oh yeahhh.


Next was famous lamb sticks, which may or may not have been actual lamb; we don't question these things, nor why she's wearing a mask. She was really sweet, grinning at the camera and the guy with her was laughing at us.

Whitney + dumpling time.

Rat or not, the lamb sticks were amazing.
Quickly went into a little shop to get about 8 bottles of water (do not drink the tap water because, again, death) and thought it'd be nice to get some ice cream.

Can afford little things like this because everything's really damn cheap - the currency is the Yuan ( ¥ or  元 in Chinese) which you divide by a little more than 5 to get the AUD equivalent. Which is creepy because you'll get a cup of coffee or something, and "40.00" will come up on the cash register and you'll have a slight freak out moment before you remember it's all good.

Anyway, ice cream. 

It was revolting.


So that's just the first night. Apologies for this all being the first night, but believe me, there's so much more, and it'll all be here eventually.

Until next time, mes chers. 

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