Smokie - I was at the Badaling section, which is the one most visited by tourists. Was there in the morning, before the big crowds! Saying that, it's low season. My guide told me it's MUCH busier in Summer. Beijing is hopping with tourists, even now (it's freaking cold, below 0 at night! I had to buy a coat at Beijing Walmart!). Most of the tourists are from other parts of China.
Today's adventure was the forbidden city and Peking Duck! My guide was a nice girl who spoke very good English, but had way too many stories of emporers, their wives, and their concubines!
I had a good time though! After the tour, the other tourist - a girl from Korea, and I went to a restaurant for Peking duck. OMG. Our tour guide recommended the restaurant and a side dish of cabbage with sesame oil and a sauce akin to hoisin. The duck and cabbage were both amazing! Unfortunately the restaurant is about 3 blocks from where I'm staying - I may have to go back!
The only downside of my trip so far is being cut off from Facebook. Maybe I should just enjoy the respite.
Funny, I can connect to porn, but China blocks facebook (and almost everything by Google)!
Uploading pics is now giving me issues, so I'll post some when I get back to the USA. Wandered around this morning. Wound up at Tian'amen Square. It's strange seeing English on almost every sign. Strange, but very welcome.
Made the mistake of hitting two places for breakfast! Pot stickers at #1, and shumai and a meat and noodle soup at #2. I'm still stuffed!
You have to carry your passport everywhere. Cops can randomly stop you and ask for it, and there are security checkpoints around every tourist attraction. They even scan your backpacks in the subway. I don't know if I should be happy, or concerned. Ten days - I'll go with happy.