For the past few weeks I left big, beautiful Canada behind to go explore big, beautiful (and crowded) China with my boyfriend. We'd been planning this trip for most of the year and it was pretty exciting to finally have it arrive.
I won't go into a long, detailed post of everywhere we went and everything we did, but I wanted to share a few of the highlights.
The city was super safe so we were free to wander up and down the alleys finding little shops, even at night. There are still pick pockets, but violent crime is really low so we just kept an eye on our wallets and were free to go wherever caught our eye.
One of the most memorable parts of the trip was when we took a day trip out of Beijing and hiked the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. The section hasn't been renovated so the wall is the original ruin. It's a stunning area, but some parts of it are dangerous so we hired a private guide to take us along the beautiful yet safe parts.
Once we reached the first tower of our hike we didn't run into anyone else until we arrived at the renovated section which is a popular tourist spot. Having the wall to ourselves was awesome, we already want to go back so that we can hike a different area
Sadly, any calories that I might have burned were more than made up for by the constant eating that we did for the entire trip. In Beijing we ate noodles, noodles, noodles. Often when people think of Chinese food they think of rice, but the Northern part of China uses mainly wheat (noodles, buns) and also has a fair amount of dairy. The blue and white bottle on the right is a yogurt drink that was for sale all over the place. It came in a little ceramic jar that you had to give back when you were finished.
Once we left Beijing we headed to Shanghai where we made it our mission to find delicious dumplings and Shanghai street food. Those tiny eggs on a stick were fried at a stand on the street, then slathered with either sweet or spicy sauce. I'm pretty sure that they were quail eggs despite the fact that the stand had a photo of a bird that looked like a hawk.
Beijing was a big city, but Shanghai was on another level altogether. The population is around 15 million! Considering that Canada has roughly 35 million total it's hard to wrap my mind around so many people living in the same city. The skyline was surreal....
We hit up museums and popular neighbourhoods, but just walking around the city was entertaining enough. It's a mix of glittering new buildings and crumbling old neighbourhoods. Beautiful gardens like this one often had skyscrapers looming nearby.
Just when I thought I couldn't eat any more, Hong Kong inspired a feeding frenzy with it's amazing food and delicious baking. I was so in love with the cocktail buns from a streetside bakery near our apartment. I literally ate one every day and still regret not eating more of them. Soft, sweet white bread with buttery shredded coconut filling, amazing.
Now I'm back in Canada with pants that are slightly too tight and 100s of photos to sort through. So long China, and thanks for all the food!