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Asia » China » Beijing » Temple of Heaven April 18th 2019

Thursday, 18th April 2019 It have been five years since my last visit to China. Arrival at the city of Beijing this afternoon was kind of a cultural shock for me as I soon realised that my Whatsapp and Google apps were not working. My mistake - since I did not do my homework properly. My Singapore Airlines flight was enjoyable as I managed to complete five episodes of the "Yanxi Palace" during the flight. I'm now down with the final twenty episodes of the epic drama. Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 3 is connected to the city via the effficient Airport Express (RMB 25). In no time, my train terminated at the Dongzhimen Station where I continued the rest of my journey through the Beijing Subway. Finding my hotel from the Temple of Heaven Subway Station ... read more
Bus Svc 8 is my saviour
The transport card is a nice investment
Another colorful plate of spaghetti

Asia » China » Beijing » Great Wall of China April 12th 2019

DAY 10 - Although the Temple of Heaven was very interesting, the really big ticket items were still to come on Wednesday. Again we left the hotel early to beat the traffic, a short, illegal park for the coach so we could run (yes, we were told to run, as the driver could receive a ticket), to the top of an overpass to take some quick shots of the Birds Nest Stadium, where the Olympics were held some years back, 2008 I think. So picture this, 18 Aussies running down footpath in Beijing, pushing the locals aside, up the steps the overpass 3 at a time (well, maybe just one at a time, quickly), across to the other side, snap a few quick pics of the Birds Nest, then a leisurely stroll in double double time ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing » Wangfujing April 9th 2019

A rainy day in Beijing was a good excuse to visit a museum. A quick online search came up with the National Art Museum of China, so I headed there. It is really easy to get to and even has its own subway station with an exit right in front of the museum. The museum is free to enter but you must show your passport at the ticket office. I was hoping that I would get a ticket like at the Capital Museum, but not so. Probably for the best as it is a bit of a waste of paper. Since it was raining, I had expected the museum to be really busy, but there weren't too many people. After security, I headed to the entrance, but first I stopped at some sculptures outside. The first ... read more
Salvador Dali
Son of a Miner
NAMOC

Asia » China » Beijing April 3rd 2019

R: First job - find a metro ticket. Rather, find the train ticket again. Unusually there was a ticket control at the main station doors that was besieged by people. This proved harder than expected as we couldn't remember where we had put them and we were now in a slow moving shuffling queue. Next, find a metro ticket. And also, money. Richard had come prepared with some Yuan, but I had not. For now I had to start spending his. We found our way onto the Metro and, by the way, it was much hotter in Beijing than anywhere else we had been yet. The metro was quite an experience - there was a lot of underground walking to get to the trains and we were saluted by the police at every entrance, where, in ... read more
Atop the Drum tower
Below the Drum Tower
Beijing - old hutong and new city

Asia » China » Beijing April 2nd 2019

R: By the time we crossed the border it was about 1am (Chinese time). I set an alarm on my phone as the train passed along the route of the great wall of China at around 7am just after stopping at Datong. Now, having got used to the slow pace of life on the train, and being fairly tired from the previous weeks activities - I didn't make the alarm. By the time I had woken up, got up and out, and escaped the compartment, the wall was in the distance and could only just be seen through the dirty train windows. (This was a Chinese train remember, and I don't think it gets cleaned in Moscow so it has been nearly 2 weeks since its last wash!). I did manage to see glimpses of it ... read more
Proper Agriculture
Arrival at Beijing Main Station
Feeling very built up

Asia » China » Beijing » Dongcheng March 29th 2019

A few months ago, I had done a breakfast eats tour in Beijing. I had really enjoyed it, so vowed to do the evening food tour ran by the same company. It took a while to get round to it, but I eventually did. The group met by the subway station so it was easy to find. I think there were about 11 of us on the tour and we had two guides with us. The guides were lovely, super friendly and knowledgeable. It was great to hear their stories as well as the information about the food, restaurants, and China in general. We headed off into the hutongs to our first stop. Hutongs are the old traditional neighbourhoods in Beijing, but the word actually come from Mongolian, when Kublai Khan invaded China. The original word ... read more
Hotpot
Hotpot
Rice Wine Taster Set

Asia » China » Beijing » Haidian district March 28th 2019

I used to love Cherry Blossom Season in Korea, so when a coworker told me that Beijing has lots of cherry blossoms and Yumyuantan Park, in particular, is famous for them, I knew I would have to make a visit. I had a bit of a walk from the subway station, there might be others closer. I did manage to get lost once before getting on the right track. It took me about 15 minutes to reach the park and I made my way to the ticket office. The park looked quite busy, but there was no queue at the ticket office. I got a lovely surprise when I bought the ticket as it was only 10 RMB. What a cheap day out! The ticket was also rather beautiful as it a special cherry blossom one ... read more
Yuyuantan Park
Yuyuantan Park
Yuyuantan Park

Asia » China » Beijing » Changping January 18th 2019

Wow. Well it's been a whirlwind of a week for sure! Definitely in a good way. Having Dad here was brilliant and it was fun to be able to be a sort of tour guide! We went to the Summer Palace on Saturday, and had a lovely meal together afterwards. Pretty much every explanation board in front of buildings there read “Burnt down in 1860 by Anglo-French forces”! Then on Sunday we visited the Lama temple before going to my Bible study group. Fun to see the massive 18m tall Buddha and all the different rooms there. Then Bible study was a great time as always and I love that Dad now has an idea of what that's like. That's kind of the feeling for all of his trip really - I'm really glad he now ... read more
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Marble Boat at the Summer Palace

Asia » China » Beijing » Changping January 12th 2019

Hello again! Apologies that this update is a little later than usual - all responsibility for that goes to a certain Mr Lapworth. He’s here safe and sound! More on that in a bit. At the end of last week I had my first tai chi lesson! Another au pair found a group of old people doing it in a park and they have a proper master showing them all what to do. We just joined in! It's a lot harder than it looks - there are some difficult stances to hold and we definitely don't look as graceful as the teacher. It's amazing how he just walks around, correcting our form and showing us how to do it! Great experience. I got to have another lesson with Wendy this week which was lovely. It's been ... read more
Hutongs
Bible study!
Cycling to uni

Asia » China » Beijing » Changping January 4th 2019

Happy New Year! Little late, but better late than never. Want to start by wishing you all the very best for 2019 and thanking you for reading these blogs! Your comments and messages have meant so much, and it’s been (and still is) a pleasure to share some of this adventure with you all. Going back to almost a week ago now, Saturday was yet another exercise in spontaneity - if that’s a thing! I was given about 2 minutes notice that we were leaving and as usual not told where. We eventually ended up at an old people’s home, where Robbie and his classmates were doing some singing for the residents. I was watching from the back when Bella comes up and says “Simeon, you can play piano and sing” so I was reluctantly bustled ... read more
more mongolian dinner
new year's eve venue!




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