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  The Chatter Box : Travel
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China by LSainsbury on 10 July 2004 11:32pm
Hello there,

Anybody here been to China...Beijing to be exact?

Re: China by justdna on 12 July 2004 8:00pm
Yeah, I spent one month travelling through China by train and boat, after arrival in Beijing on the Trans-Mongolian railway. China is an amazing and beautiful country. The language was for me the biggest difficulty - I tried but failed in most cases!
Re: China by Godfather on 13 July 2004 6:04pm

>>Anybody here been to China...Beijing to be exact?

Yes, a couple of times.

Re: China by Helen on 13 July 2004 6:19pm
Don't keep us in suspense. Details! How was it? Did you eat anything weird?
Re: China by justdna on 14 July 2004 1:14am
Ha ha ha! considering the language difficulties I had, I was never quite sure exactly what I was eating! It tasted perfectly okay though - perhaps it was better that I didn't know what it contained!
Re: China by Godfather on 14 July 2004 9:06pm

I loved learning the Mandarin for "Harry Potter". I cannot emulate the hilarious tonal rises and dips on the internet of course. But it's a bit like this - "Hally PooootTUuuuuuh" (the uuuur bit is really emphasized and drawn out (rising also), and the tu bit is very sudden and abrupt like you're spitting at someone". It sounds great when you hear it spoken though :).

Re: China by justdna on 15 July 2004 1:02am
Yes, it is a lovely language to listen too. After a while in the country you begin to pick out commonly used phrases which you seem to hear time and time again, in a shop for instance, and then begin to use them yourself. I agree though, it's the four or so (I think) tones that they use for the same sound, which then then has four totally different meanings. I can't even start to think of the different dialects! Changing the subject ever so slightly, I have never met such studious young people before, other than in China, so eager to learn English. If only I had been so studious when I were at school!
Re: China by Godfather on 15 July 2004 2:29pm

I'd agree with that Paul. Infact,i'd say it's a trait of East Asians anyway. Once they begin studying,you cant stop them. Extremely intelligent people. I have a Chinese Indonesian friend who studys in Beijing. He's in the famous Jingua university there,and my god he can start studying at 5am and finish at 11pm. Just leaving it to eat. Same with languages. He arrived from Indonesia last year,and can now speak virtually fluent mandarin. Most westerners would take about 4 years minimum for the basics apparently. This guy can now read and write it. He was also learning Russian and Japanese while i was living with him. Amazing.

Re: China by justdna on 16 July 2004 8:29pm
I'd certainly recommend the Great Wall outside Beijing. Well away from the tourist parts at Badeling (I think that's the correct spelling), you can walk the "wild wall", over something like ten kilometres of rough, unrestored stone, through eighteen watch towers. It's not for the faint hearted as the drops are deep both sides and the wall is very, very steep in places, taking hours to complete the walk. The views as the wall snakes its way into the haze of the low hills are, however, absolutely amazing. There are also very few people around. I nearly died getting there in a hired minibus, but that's another story entirely!
Re: China by Godfather on 17 July 2004 1:19am
Are you referring to the "Simatai" section of the wall,Paul? Went there again last year. This time i was with my Chinese friend and we stayed in a village nearby the night before so that we could get up at 4am (bloody freezing),so that we'd avoid the guards that now arrrive at the 12th tower at 7am. In 1999,it was totally open. But so many Chinese students dying by falling off the wall,meant they posted guards at the 12th tower to prevent you going further to the really dangerous parts such as the "Heavenly Ladder" section. But by the time the sun was rising,we were well up there and on our way. Got some great pics on that trip of those sections. I'll make a gallery sometime.
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