Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DEPARTING AND ARRIVING IN BEIJING

waiting for the flight in the wee hour of the morning

23rd NOVEMBER 2011: The moment I had been waiting for finally arrived. I was on a group trip to Beijing, China - thanks to my student, Syazwan and his father and family for inviting me to squeeze in. There were altogether 13 people on board and we left Johor Bahru in a BIG bus at 12 midnight and arrived at LCCT KLIA by 4 a.m. The flight was scheduled to take off by 8:30 a.m. so we had a lot of time to kill.

after checking in

thanks Air Asia, no everybody can fly


This is my very first picture up close in front of an aeroplane. Why? My first time travelling in a group so there were always people to help me (or were forced to) take my photos.

The journey took about 6 hours and 30 minutes. Upon arriving at Tianjin Binhai International Airport, we were greeted by the tourist guide from the travel agency, Miss Yang. There was a change in the schedule so we were taken to dinner and were sent to the hotel right after that.

Miss Yang carrying out her duty in the coaster

So what was my first impression of China? (1) Freezing cold: We were told that the temperature of the day was -1 degree Celcius. (2) Busy city, busy road: The travel should take one hour and a half from Tianjin Airport to Beijing. There were a lot of vehicles on the road and the stretch of traffic jam seemed to be endless.

sunset seen from the coaster's window

This is our hotel room but silly me. I could not even remember the name of the hotel, I need to ask Syazwan after this. The room was spacious and this hotel was chosen because it was a special one chosen for Muslim group tours. The two characteristics of the hotel were: it served halal breakfast and there was a qiblat (direction for prayers to be performed) sign in each room. The journey was long and tiring and we needed a good night's sleep and be prepared for the adventure awaiting the next day.