Beijing

Vacation Time is Coming

My current contract ends in late August which means summer vacation falls within the current cycle.  In EPIK we receive 18 days vacation to be split between winter and summer breaks.  It all works out well because those are pretty close to the actual number of days available after summer or winter camps are finished.  The way it worked out this year, I have 8 vacation days available for summer.  This break I knew it was time to get away and actually go on vacation.  When I first arrived in Korea, THAT was a vacation in and of itself.  Traveling abroad.  New surroundings.  Foreign land.  Vacation!

Two years later, Korea is now my home away from home and time away is needed.  I think any long-term foreign teacher needs to get away just to recharge the battery a bit.  I love Korea - don't get me wrong.  This experience has been the greatest.  Sometimes though, the "Korean'ness" of Korea can get a little too Korean and you just need to check out for a while.

VU in Beijing, China

VU in Beijing China

 As is often the case, you can find scrumptious vegan meals in every corner of the world, and China is no exception. Granted, I was nervous about going to Beijing knowing that the international dish of China was duck drenched in lard, and not speaking a lick of Chinese beyond ‘hello’, ‘thank-you’ and ‘beer please’, I had my work cut out for me.

I stayed in the Hutongs of old Beijing in a quant cosy backpackers aptly called On the City Walls. The snow had suppressed the worst of the pollution and the closure of factories over Lunar New Year meant smog was at an all time low. Even so, the streets echoed of celebratory fireworks day and night and the smoke of incense could be seen beyond the temple walls.


Places to Visit Nearby (Korea)

Travellers starting in, or moving on from, Korea have an number of exciting options of where to explore next with a number of relatively nearby Asian destinations offering an interesting onward itinerary.
Travellers can choose to head for the neighbouring Asian nations of China or Japan, or opt for a complete change of culture by catching flights to Mumbai and heading off to explore India.


Beijing: 10 For the Weekend

Click to view slideshow.

[Click here for more photos of Beijing.]

If you have never been to Beijing then it’s time you went. It’s true it can be very polluted and overcrowded, but it is just one of those places you have to visit before you die. You’ve got the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and a number of new cutting edge buildings going up. Not to mention China is about to take over the world.


For some people it’s not about the destination but about the journey.

Today, I met a French guy who crossed half of the world riding a motorbike. It took him 6 months. From France to Vladivostok on his bike, then on a boat to Japan where he stayed one year. Then a boat again to Busan. One moto, few months and that guy probably has stories for the rest of his life.

3 years ago, I met some Finish people who crossed half of the world riding horses. It took them several months but finally arrived in Beijing, China. They rode their horses on Tian An Men. They got arrested for that, and almost got deported but finally, with some help from friends at their consulate managed to stay longer in China. Horses, few months, and those guys probably have stories for the rest of their life.


Roujiamou – Chinese Hamburger


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