Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 0 - Leaving Singapore

After almost a month since the trip to Beijing and Tianjin, it is time to embark on the memory lane back to 8th September 2012. Even though the images may not be as clear since, the emotions not as strong, the lessons learned would never be forgotten.

Day 0 (8th September)
The meeting time was 1430 at Changi Airport Terminal 3, but my group and I reached there slightly earlier. Even though none of us mentioned anything, I believed that we were rather anxious to leave for China. It was not the location that attracted us. Rather, it was the idea of traveling without our families that excited us. For most of us, it was the first time traveling without our parents.

While waiting for the check-in, Yam was busy snapping away at her camera. Thinking back, I am so  grateful to have such a task-orientated group mate, since I only realized my camera was not in working condition on the 2nd day. Clearly, Lady Luck was not shining on me since it was working when I checked it the previous day.

Queuing up for the group check-in
Our trip tees

And, off we go~

Even though the flight was supposed to be comfortable since it was Singapore Airlines, for someone who just could not sit still, a 6 hour flight was indeed a very very very long and tiring flight. After what seemed like years, we reached Beijing. Finally.

And again, queuing up to clear the customs

I guess, for everyone, the first thing they noticed: there was no air conditioner in the airport. Maybe there had been, but it was not like Changi Airport. We could not feel cool air. The second difference: the baggage claim was at another place. We had to take the sky train to get there.
Waiting for the sky train
On the sky train
Once we were done with our luggage, we met with our tour guide. In no time, we were loading our things on the bus and on the way to our hotel, Holiday Inn, for the night.

Inside the hotel room

We were rather hungry and decided to search for food after settling down in the hotel. I guess that's where I noticed a lot of seemingly "weird" things about Beijing. Firstly, one would expect at least an eatery where there is a hotel. But, no, there was nothing other than a hospital across the streets. So we decided to try our luck in the hospital. And that's where the second "weird" thing hit me; the hospital did not have a cafeteria. The only food in the hospital came from the vending machines. In the end, we had to settle for instant noodles from the reception counter. And finally, just when I thought I could finally sleep, I noticed the air conditioner was not working and it was stuffy in the room. What a way to end the day.

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