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September 30th 2019
Published: February 26th 2020
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30th Sept: The train journey to Shenyang wasn't too long. The station and the adjoining subway station was a sea of people. I managed to make my way to the ticket machine and onto the subway fairly quickly. The subway station that I alighted at was also packed, probably because it is a transfer station. It took about 10-15 minutes to reach my hostel. Even though it was rather early, I was able to check in. I loved my room. It was a dorm, but the beds felt like a mini room as there was a small patch of floor, a bedside table, curtains all around and space to hang stuff. It felt like a palace.

I was rather hot and hungry so decided that lunch should be my first port of call. I looked online and found a mall about a ten minute walk away, so headed in that direction. I was staying really close to the TV Tower, so took some photos of that and the cute river next to it. I hoped that the TV Tower would be lit up in the evening. I was soon at the mall, it was a rather high end place, but they had a few restaurants with outdoor patios. When I saw a Blue Frog, I knew that's where I would be eating. I was happy as they have a brunch special that runs until late, so I was able to opt for a meal from that menu. I went for the salmon Eggs Benedict and a coffee, not cheap by Chinese standards, but not too expensive. It was nice to sit outside and there was a nice breeze. I sipped on my coffee, while waiting for the food to arrive. The Eggs Benedict was really nice and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, I couldn't resist a slice of cheesecake after it. Bloody delicious. I was feeling a little tired, probably a food coma, so I made my way back to my hostel for a nap.

I ventured out again that evening. I had a walk through the night market that was in the street next to my hostel. There were so many delicious looking foods on display, but I was still too full from lunch. I made my way down to the TV Tower to get some photos of it. I was happy as it was lit up and kept changing colour. I spent a while there taking some photos before heading on. I made my way over to the Shenyang Youth Park. The first couple of entrances I came to were closed and boarded up, not a good sign, but the main entrance was open. I took a walk through the park, there were quite a few people exercising or playing with their kids. The park was a bit underwhelming, however, as it was getting dark and there were no lights lighting it. If there weren't so many people around, it would have been creepy. From the opposite side of the park, there were some great views of the lake and TV Tower. I spent a while taking some photos of the view before deciding to venture on. Shenyang was now as Mukden in the past. During the 17th century it was conquered by the Manchu people and was briefly used as the capital during the Qing Dynasty. So I decided to head up to Mukden Palace (Gugong). I knew that it would be closed but though that it might be nicely lit up. The walk took me about 40 minutes so it was quite far away. However, when I got there, there wasn't too much to see as part of the street was cordoned off as there was some private concert going on for the National Day holiday. I took a walk around the area for a bit. I quite liked it as it was traditional Chinese and there were quite a few people about. After that, I had the long walk back to my hostel, stopping off for a late night snack on the way.

1st Oct: I didn't have a great night's sleep due to the noise from outside. People might think a morning market is cute and quaint, but in reality it's bloody noisy. I made my way to Maccy Ds for some breakfast and planned where I would go. I decided on Beiling Park as the weather was nice and even if the park was rammed there should still be plenty of space. The subway station was quite busy, but the train itself wasn't too bad. Outside the park, there were a tonne of people. I headed to the ticket office to get a ticket and discovered it was cash only, bugger. It always trips me up when I find a place,that only accepts cash as China is pretty much a cashless society these days. Looking on the map, there appeared to be a bank a kilometre or so away. A bit annoying, but at least the extra steps are exercise. Armed with some cash, I made my way back to the ticket office, and bought my ticket. I think it was about 65 RMB. This allowed me entry to the park, the tomb in it, and an exhibition.

In the park, I had a good wander round and tried to cover all of it. First, I headed to a lake that was covered with lotus leaves. It would have looked nicer if there weren't so many dead and decaying lotus leaves. I loved all the decorations that were up for National Day. All the red is great for photographs. There were also people dressed up in traditional clothes that looked great. I made my way round to another lake or part of the lake. This was really pretty with the low hanging tree branches swaying in the breeze. The next part of the park I came to was rather busy. There was a statue of some guy looking very bad ass and lots of displays to celebrate the holiday. It was hard to find a spot to sit down as every spare space was covered with people. I came to another lake that had pedal boats on it. It looked like a fun activity to do.

Beiling Park is famous for being home to Zhaoling Tomb. It was built in 1643 during the eighth year of Emperor Chongde of the Qing Dynasty. The tomb complex looked to be in immaculate condition. I entered through the stone gate archway which is flanked with stone lions. I love these lion statues. I entered the Main Red Gate and came to a grassy area. I really liked the ornamental stone pillars that were in this area. The architecture and buildings can be a bit samey throughout China, but I don't see it often enough to get sick of it. I walked through the inner part of the complex, which was lots of traditional well cared for buildings. I headed up to one of the turrets and took a walk along the walkway around the complex. It reminded me a bit of my trip to Shanhaiguan. Then I came to the central mound, which looked like a burial mound, known as Treasure City. Under the mound, is the Underground Palace. I wonder what it would be like under there. It would be cool if these places were excavated and opened up, but it would probably be disrespectful. This part of the park was also a lot quieter, which I enjoyed. There was also a really random exhibit in the park, which was in German. After leaving the tomb complex, I decided to leave via the back of the park as there was a station near by and this part of the park was a lot quieter, no fighting the crowds to leave.

I was in need of some hydration after I came out the park. Just across the road there was a Starbucks so I headed there for a nice cold drink and some chill time with my book. There was another subway station right by this entrance of the park, so I was able to take the subway back to where I was staying. After picking up some supplies from the convenience store, I made my way back to the hostel. Since it was really quiet, I had a cheeky little nap. After my rest, it was time to venture out for dinner. There were a few different places that I fancied trying, but I plumped for the Indian place that was only about a 5-10 minute walk from where I was staying. I think it was called Bagangwan. I had expected it to be busy with it being a holiday, but there were only a couple of tables taken when I arrived. It might have been a hot day, but the restaurant didn't seem to want to turn the air conditioning on, it was a bit unpleasant. I looked through the menu and was a little dismayed that they didn't have my favourite kind of naan bread, but I could order all my other staples so that was okay. I ordered a mango lassi, palak paneer, cheese naan, and veggie samosas. My lassi could have done with more ice especially since the restaurant was so hot. My food soon arrived and I was rather surprised to find that the sauce accompanying my samosas was tomato sauce. I left that. I love the sauces that you normally get with samosas so that was rather disappointing. The cheese naan and the palak paneer were good apart from the huge piece of bark that I found in the curry, I presume it was a spice. The food wasn't too bad considering Shenyang isn't exactly an international metropolis. It was also only about two thirds the price I would pay for the same meal in Beijing. I decided to walk the long way back to my hostel. I quite liked Shenyang and I would like to visit again in the future when it's cooler and quieter.

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