This post was written the day we visited the forbidden city. We tried to visit Tian'anmen square but it was closed due to government meetings. We didn't find out till later that night there had been a terrorist attack until I read all the frantic texts from my mom. We had been right where the terrorist attack happened an hour or two before. I believe we were in the forbidden city when it actually happened because they kept making announcements that there were closing early.
Today we visited the forbidden city. We also planned to visit Tian'anmen square but it was closed for a government meeting. The forbidden city was very cool, it is where the emperors lived. It was very large and there are many rooms and court yards. Only a small section is open to the public.
If you rub the gold balls on the big red doors it is suppose to bring you luck all year
Our next stop was the Hutong tour. Hutong is the original part of Beijing. Many of the houses there are very old. We visited a private house and a public house.
We ate lunch at a local Hutong house. The food was good. Lots of different kinds of food. I was happy white rice was served. Throughout the Hutong tour we rode in rickshaws. Fun way to ride through that part of the city.
The Hutong tour was very beautiful and interesting. After that we went to visit CCCWA (china center for children's welfare and adoption) it is where all the children are matched to their families. We saw the employees at work with many many files of children waiting to be matched to their families. All the children in our group then took a culture class where they learned to do calligraphy and more about their heritage. Our next stop was the tea house. A very cool experience. We were all seated at a long table and they showed us the proper way to hold our tea cups. They were more like tasting cups, very small.
We tried 5 different kinds of tea. They taught us about all the techniques to make tea. My favorite was the tea made out of dried fruit. I also liked the jasmine tea. One of the teas we tried tasted just like roses smell. After we got our fill of tea we drove to a restaurant that served the famous Peking duck. The duck was sliced in front of us and then put into these little wraps ( I think they were rice wraps). Then we added some sauce and a few vegetables. It was a long day! Almost 12 hours of activities! Tomorrow we fly to Nanning.