Our first impression of Beijing? It's a huge city, not ugly, clean, with cars and bikes everywhere, all respectful. The sky was clear blue and the day sparkling warm. We certainly didn't need face masks, despite warnings. Look at that blue sky! I'm typing this while in Nepal. For our one day in China and the four days in Tibet (which is China), none of our electronic devices worked. Our phones still don't work and we don't know why. Very disappointing. I'm hurrying to get this post finished, because the electricity goes off (and on) at least once a day.
Our guide, Hu Lin, shepherded us at the Summer Palace at Lake Kumming. We entered through the East Gate; the crowd was incredible ... throngs of guide-led tourist groups, pink or yellow caps, many languages, all loud and pushy, very distracting. Hearing devices for one ear were distributed to each of us in our group so we could hear our guide, but it wasn't easy to hear anything at these gorgeous 540 acre palace grounds. We did not go inside.
We were hurried along the promenade to take the dragon boat back to the East Gate. Most of us were now pretty well exhausted, and were happy to return to the hotel for showers and at 6pm, a short walk to our dinner spot around the corner.
The country of China spans five (5) time zones, but uses only one, aptly called "Beijing time." I think all of us were sound asleep by 8pm. Tomorrow we have an early wake-up call -- 4:30am. We leave for the airport at 5am for our flight to Lhasa, Tibet. Altogether a good day, tho very tiring.