From August the 16th to the 29th
Beijing. It is in a fast-changing capital city that we end up. Buildings are standing next door to pagodas. Tourism and industry are growing fast, but the rickshaws are still streaking across the city. Pharmacies still provide traditional medicines and we can still observe bunches of people in the parks, performing some physical activities in the morning, such as Tai Chi. The old and narrow streets, the « hutongs », let live the traditions and the cultural heritage of the Chinese civilisation. Young people our age are very proud of this modernisation. But they avow not agreeing with the previous generation that fights in order to save Confucianism and traditions. Being fond of Chinese history, we have visited the Forbidden City, the temple of heaven and the summer palace, holy places where different Chinese dynasties evolved until the popular revolution. Because the organisation we were in contact with to perform the civil action had dropped us, we spend the first two days going to association of good will. Our goal was to experience the Chinese culture, and we did it thanks to two young Chinese we were lucky to meet. They led us to the Chinese eastern coast on the Yellow Sea, to spend few days with fishermen on a beautiful island. We have shared great moments with this family who were very happy to teach us the art of fishing and how to play a game Chinese people are crazy about : the mah-jong.
The family gave us a shelter for two nights and made us taste some local specialities : fish and seafood, even for breakfast ! Our two guides who spoke English very well allowed us to communicate easily with these fishermen. The two young Chinese who went along with us during these days taught us a lot about their country, their history, their religions, their culture and their traditions. Our wishes have then come true. With this trip, we hoped we would discover Beijing and its surrounding area, the mountains and the nature. We thus have spent two days hiking on the Great Wall. The night spent in one of the towers is definitely unforgettable ! The overview we had of the « Empire of the middle » only enlarged our will to discover still more, and we will certainly accept the proposition our guides made us : coming back to discover the areas were the minorities live.