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Published: October 11th 2010
A street shot just outside where my guesthouse was.
Alrighty, finally left Beijing and am now about 350 kms west in a city called Datong. Just arrived late last night so have only had really one full day here, tomorrow I'm going to see some really cool sites. Let me catch you up since my last post.
Wandered around Beijing at a casual pace, took in some more sights. Tried four times to get into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall where the mummified remains of Mao Zedong are supposed to be. I say supposed to because I never actually made it. Tried twice to find it, second time found the right building but it's only open from 8am to noon, obviously it was after noon. So I prance back the next day, bright and early, on October 1st to do what I had to. October 1st was the first day of National Holiday and Tiananmen Square was shut down for a celebration for the government elite. Okay, still have two days, 2nd and I could hustle down there before my train leaves on the 3rd as a last resort. Nope, the place was closed down until October 4th, not sure why, so my morbid curiousity to see the mummified
Largest gate left from Forbidden CIty
This is where I first thought Chairman Mao was 'housed' but I was wrong.
remains of a man who died in 1976 can't be satisfied, at least not on this trip.
What I also found out is when I said it gets busy during NH, it really gets insanely busy! I have some pics, if you're not good with crowds, Beijing is not the place to be.
Today in Datong, I went to the Huayan Temple which has a building that was built in 1038. This place is an active monastery but not a whole lot of people were there. It was nice to find myself alone in some of the places. Because it's so well kept, it almost seems like a movie set, very interesting place.
Tomorrow, I'm off to the Yungang Caves, 5th century caves with about 51,000 ancient statues. At least that's what Lonely Planet says and since I don't intend on counting them, I'll take them at their word. The next day I'm off to the Hanging Monastery, a Buddhist monastery built into the side of a cliff, then there's another site about 50 minutes away but not sure if I'll make it. My Chinese is severly lacking, I'm not sure I can convey where I want
My attempt at an artsy shot
The sun setting outside the Forbidden CIty and I loved that the sun was reflected in the moat.
to go to a bus driver who likely won't speak english. I have to admit, that's likely been the biggest problem for me, lack of ability to communicate with people. I'm getting better at some things but far, far, far away from where I should be.
Okay, going to post pics. I'll update again later. Hope everyone is doing well, I hear summer made an appearance, yippeeeee! Figures, just as I leave, the nice weather shows up... Take care everyone!
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