Beijing Hot (S)Pot

Finally… After one year intensive training, the Zhen Wu Camp in Beijing arrives. Our flight leaves on one of the busiest days at Brussels Airport, but we don’t see anything of that. Everything goes smooth and after a 10h direct flight we arrive in Beijing airport. Approval goes quick.

Before we know, the 3 of us – Lieve, Jeroen and me – are on the train and in the metro to our hotel. Enjoying the landscape is difficult in this thick smog. Later today Karen and Boris will join our group in the hotel. We all have 2 days for a quick discovery of the capital…

So we start with what lies closest to our hotel… The temple of heaven… Immediately we’ve got an all-round impression: smog – vast architecture – crowds of Chinese people – selfie sticks – waiting rows and ticket offices all around…  Sleepy after that long flight, we soon return to the hotel, enjoy a dinner and go to bed early.

The next day we combine a couple cultural marks during our city walk… We start with the lama temple, pass through hutongs and along souvenir shops to the Bell- and Drum towers, before we’re flooded in the crowds at the shore of Qianhai lake. We find some rest (read a little less crowds) in the Beihai park, before we enjoy some mystical views over the forbidden city… A hot pot relieves a busy day. Delicious! Before bedtime we greet Mao at the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

On our last sightseeing day we explore the forbidden city between crowds of selfie sticks, camera’s and umbrella’s. An exploration here requires miles and miles of pavement and red walls, nonetheless it remains a unique experience…

Late afternoon we grab a taxi to the Dragon Spring Hotel, where we’ll train the next couple of days with an international group under the supervision of some of Beijing’s finest Kung Fu Masters.