Day 1 & 2: Arrived in Beijing!

Written by Chris Lai

Wohoo, we made it to Beijing safe and sound!

DSC07139Our day started with our flight from Toronto Pearson Airport to Beijing Capital International  Airport. Although it was officially a 13 hour flight, it actually felt much shorter thanks to their  wide selection of onboard entertainment. Although I didn’t fancy the plane food, their portions  were adequate enough to fill my stomach.

Just as I was warned, Beijing welcomed us with its warm and humid air the moment we stepped  out of the plane. To our surprise, the weather was actually pretty good; there was a slight breeze  that made it feel as if we were still in Toronto!

At the airport, we were greeted by Cherry, our tour guide who will be with us for the entirety of  the trip. Although her English was not the best, she served us with a kind, enthusiastic heart,  going out of her way to help us adjust to Beijing.

Upon arrival, we took a bus ride to a local restaurant, where we were served with Sweet and Sour Pork, Spicy Eggplant with Pork, and Beijing’s famous Peking Duck.
DSC07150After dinner, we all headed to a nearby McDonald’s. Although the food was not as good as we hoped, particularly their fries and chicken nuggets, they did offer specialty foods such as Taro Pie and Italian Soda.
We ended the day with a group debrief. A lot of the participants commented on how they felt like they “fit in” with the culture in Beijing – we definitely did not experience the culture shock that we expected. We also noticed the lack of development compared to Toronto and Hong Kong.
For the next 3 nights, we will be staying at Chang An Grand Hotel, a beautiful hotel with a grand lobby and facilities like a 3 lane pool, spa, and gym.

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