Travel Journal

Beijing in Winter (China)

(Tuesday 29 January 2008) by Lynda
After my travel dip in Hong Kong I decided to go to Tibet to see the Himalaya,
Kissing tree in the Forbidden City
Kissing tree in the Forbidden City
visit Lhasa and travel west from there. I'm in Beijing at the moment and indeed, this is not the most efficient route to travel from Hong Kong to Lhasa....... but Chinese New-year is approaching and you cannot be too picky with train tickets at the moment so I just bought the first train ticket I could get, just to be on the road again.

Chinese New-year is from the 7th of Feb - 10th of Feb and all Chinese people want to visit their family in that period, so during 6 weeks (from 3 weeks before until 3 weeks after the actual New-year) around 2,3 Billion trips are made all over the country. So you can imagine it's quite hard to find train tickets, bus tickets or even air tickets.

The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City
To make things worse the weather is not really cooperating at the moment and some areas of China that normally don't get snow are now covered in thick snow and as a result.....the main train connection between the south and the north (Hong Kong to Beijing) is closed down since last Sunday and about 175.000 people are stranded at the station of Guangzhou. Officials think that the number will increase up to 600.000 people by the end of this week. I've heard it's also on the news in Europe but no worries, I was very happy to get my train ticket to Beijing, I passed the station of Guangzhou only last Friday.

So I'm safe and sound in Beijing the only minor is: it's freezing cold here! No central heating here, only air conditioners in an attempt to warm the air.......not really comfortable but at least it's not freezing inside!

I've been in Beijing for 4 days already and still no train ticket to Lhasa, so not sure if I will make it there before Chinese New-year but I keep my fingers crossed. In the meantime I'm visiting some amazing sites here in Beijing. The Summer Palace was great especially because the big lake "Kunming Lake" was completely frozen over and you could walk over the thick ice and see the temples in the complex from an angle you normally can't get. And finally I've made it to the Forbidden City, great place to walk around and get lost in the little streets and walkways and look at the treasures on display. Great place to visit even in winter.

It's great to be in Beijing, many backpackers in the hostel so never a boring dinner or a lonely beer. But I really hope I will be out of here and on my way to Lhasa before the end of this week.

  • Enjoy your journey to Tibet! by Joost
    • Tibet by Lhasa Lynda
  • lovely photos by jacqueline wanjiku

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