We finally got to sleep a bit longer. However, us being totally in control of our lives, we overslept. Thank god the hotel reception called every morning, but we still had to hurry to make it to the bus in time. In the morning we visited the Lama Temple, where we saw the tallest standing Buddha in the world (26m). There were also hundreds of people worshiping it with incense sticks. So that’s where the smog in China comes from 😉 After that we have been to the Confucius Temple, a slightly smaller site with fewer temples and halls but a very nice inner courtyard with weird-looking trees.
In the afternoon we visited a Chinese family in the Hutongs. By opening their house for tourists and showing them their way of life, they earn a good amount of money. Mostly because of the beautiful garden and the old family pictures we got to see, I found it really interesting 🙂 It was crazy how from the outside it looked so small and run-down, but once you passed the front “gate” there was this stunning garden and a whole big property!
Our limousine service took us from the family’s house back to the main street. Just kidding, we covered the distance by rickshaw. Two people in the back, one driver, and the competition of overtaking as many other rickshaws as possible made for an adventurous ride. I loved it!
In the evening we went into another district: Sanlitun. Close to the diplomat quarter there was another bar street and various shopping malls. The atmosphere was great and we had dinner in a Chinese restaurant where our food was prepared right in front of our eyes. I thought that chef had to be so damn good to get such a job! The food prooved it. Chinese food is amazing. Seriously. There were quite a few people in our group who barely ate anything but I would be able to live on that stuff for months (if my body would be so nice and get used to it…).
We spent the rest of the night in a bar where we managed to get several drinking deals while noticing that literally every bar has at least one TV to show the world cup. I would have never thought that China was that crazy about soccer! On the way back we used the knowledge we gained from our mistakes to get the lowest possible price on a legal taxi ride back to the hotel. Successful night.