Yesterday was our last day in Beijing and we spent it doing a traditional tea tasting, seeing the Temple of Heaven, shopping and finally having Hot Pot before leaving to the train station.
The Temple of Heaven was the first time on the trip when we all started to get the hang of traveling and avoiding the hecklers.
HOT POT! I finally got to have hot pot! We had Lamb and Beef with assorted veggies. It was just as spicy as I anticipated and every bit as delicious. Dahui assured me that we would have it at least 2 more times during our stay in Tianjin. It was the best meal we've had yet and It took an enormous amount of effort to keep from spilling and making a huge mess of the table.
After lunch we rode a bullet train to Tianjin and arrived outside the train station at 4:00 in the afternoon. We reached speeds of about 225mph in just under 2 minutes! The ride was buttery smooth though. Tianjin is every bit as enormous as Beijing, only without the hecklers. The bridges in the city are iconic chinese design. I also noticed that there are fewer road signs that have English writing on them. The flower of the city is the Peony and like in Beijing, they line the major highways and stretch for miles. there are so many sky scrapers here and they stretch in every direction. They aren't the simple box buildings either, but are instead elaborate designs ranging in styles from all over europe and some distinctly Chinese flavors. The centerpiece of the city is a large tower that is narrow at the bottom and top and bows outward in the middle. It seems precariously thin for a building clearly over 100 stories tall.
We then had korean bbq with some Nankai students. Its a relatively simple process and was absolutely delicious. I haven't ever seen anything like it in America though I know there are places that have it. The way they do it here though would never fly at home. They laid out all of the raw meat on a plate next to your dinner plate with juices just dripping off of it. The beef and pork were just fine, but the raw chicken was a little unnerving so close to our plates and then using tongs to load food onto your own plate was strange. Oh well... no one has gotten sick yet off of anything and everyone has been enjoying all of the food.
If this seems like a very disjointed post I apologize. I tried compiling notes. I will actually have to update about the last night in Beijing too, but that will have to be a later post.