Thursday, January 15, 2009

BeiJing (16-Dec-08 till 18-Dec-08) – No More Excitement

This is the 2nd trip to BeiJing after year 2005 visit, with 3 friends, I was their trip planner. Basically nothing really excited me no more. The main tourist attractions were still the same, except the magnificent new Bird Nest and Water Cube stadiums illuminated in red and blue lighting were truly beautiful.

I always oppose to join tour package because it always in rush, wouldn’t allocate sufficient time to move freely. And it was compulsory for them to lead the tourists to go shopping. I later learned that the commission rebating to the tour guide could be as high as 30% of the sales! There was no doubt the tour guide could provide more professional info with all transportation organized, but I still prefer having my own freedom to stay or to move. The “audio guide” is normally available for rental.

For time saving on the 2nd day in BeiJing, we joined a local tour to Ming Tombs and Great Wall. At the Ming Tombs, we were only shown Chang Ling, but the more interesting Ding Ling (which shows the actual underground tomb) was neglected. I complained to the tour guide, she replied that the time was constraint and said not all tourists are interested to visit the tomb. Instead she spent our time on jade shopping and the lousiest foot massage.