When I was in the north, I took a trip to a little city in Hebei province called Chengde. Chengde is known for being a holiday resort for emperors of old, and features a lovely mountain park area with fresh air and rolling green hills as far as the eye can see. The place also has nice little temples and old (albeit renovated) buildings scattered around, and proved to be a great solo 3 day expedition.
For me though, it’s not the tourist areas or the “escape the big city” feeling that I get, it’s always the funny little things you see on the way, which for me was happening to bump into the 7-people strong expat community during my travels.
I had finished the usual day of sightseeing, I had seen the famous mountain resort and had been to a few temples, and as dusk settled I decided to sit down and have a beer whilst I read a book. The venue I had chosen to relax in was the city’s Tsingtao beer garden, and it was packed with drinkers and folk indulging in barbecue, and I was soon the victim of an arm grabbing by a semi-drunk Irishman who spotted me and got me over to join his other crew.
Upon being introduced to the others, who like me were all teachers, we sat down and commenced several drinking games amid loud banter and joviality. The next thing I knew, it was almost 5am and as we enticed a group of locals to join us for a drink, one of the group decided to take a drunken plunge into the river, alerting the attention of the beer garden’s owner.
After my unexpected antics with the Chengde expat crowd, I spent most of my last day in the hotel lying with a despicable hangover, though went back to Beijing that day with some memories I’ll never forget.
Tags: drinking Travel Chengde
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