Now in Datong


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Asia
October 4th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
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Miscellaneous BeijingMiscellaneous BeijingMiscellaneous Beijing

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 CItyLargest gate left from Forbidden CItyLargest 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 shotMy attempt at an artsy shotMy 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!


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Bell at Whitecloud TempleBell at Whitecloud Temple
Bell at Whitecloud Temple

Cool place. Run by Taoist monks, all with topknots. You buy coins and if you hit the bell, it means good luck, I hit it twice! I had 50 coins so 2 out of 50, hmmmm...
For those of you who don't think I'm really here...For those of you who don't think I'm really here...
For those of you who don't think I'm really here...

A shot of me outside the Forbidden City. Can you tell I loved that place, I kept going back!
Crowds anyone...?Crowds anyone...?
Crowds anyone...?

No personal space for anyone! I had granny's handbag up my behind for most of this...
A brief look back at the heap of people behindA brief look back at the heap of people behind
A brief look back at the heap of people behind

Sorry it's blurry but you can't really stop and take a decent picture, I'm pretty sure I would have been trampled to death!
no, no, just one more look...no, no, just one more look...
no, no, just one more look...

Those are people across the street outside the entrance of the Forbidden City.
The military...The military...
The military...

either keeping the peace or scratching an itch...
In DatongIn Datong
In Datong

This is at Huayan Temple. This is one of the largest Buddhist halls in China
and finally me at Huayan Templeand finally me at Huayan Temple
and finally me at Huayan Temple

it really is me, squint and you'll see me...


4th October 2010

So what is your overall impression of China so far. Do you like it? The crowds would be tough for me I think. I like the artsy shots you posted...a real travel blogger in the making! Have you met any foreigners over there yet? Where do you go next? I'm glad you are having a good time Cheryl. As for me, I have been paranoid about some bites I have on my hands so I will see a dermatologist this week if possible to see what they are. Darrell and I went to see The Town. It got 95% on rotten tomatoes and deserved it. It was really good. Okay better run. The bus driver has been coming much earlier and I have missed the bus three times. I leave the house around 8 am now...Bye for now, Robs
4th October 2010

you're a Hottie
Cheryl, Thank you once again....your notes will be the highlight of my dreary weeks in the office. God bless the guts you have to tackle this type of travel, hardly serenity now! travel safe....Cindy
4th October 2010

MISS YOU
HEY DEAR MISSING YOU LOTS ALREADY..I HOPE YOUR DOING THAT POSTCARD THING BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE ALOT OF JOURNALING TO DO !!LOL TY SAID TO SAY "HI" I ALSO GOT HIS EMAIL SO YOU CAN ADD HIM TO YOUR BLOG AND TOVA STILL WANTS TO BE ADDED I'LL FORWARD THEM TO YOU AS SOON AS I GET ORGANIZED...DROVE BY YOUR PLACE AND EVERYTHING LOOKS ALL GOOD, IF YOU WANT I CAN TAKE A PIC SO YOU BELIEVE ME...HA HA HAVE FUN CHAT SOON...MISS YA AND LOVE YA LOTS MICH
4th October 2010

很高兴收到你的来信 - (Good to hear from you)
Hey Cheryl, This is very cool! I was just saying how great a time we live in where you can be on the other side of the world and even on a different day and we can communicate (almost) in real time. Great photos and descriptions. I thought Honolulu got crowded. Are you sure it was mammasan's purse? You know, being a good looking haole girl and all. Was I the only one that suggested proof of your being there would be nice? HA! Read your comment and thought that might be for me. If so, thanks! I feel like I made the blog. Can't recall if you spoke of the weather. By the way folks are dressed it seems mild. Is it humid? Does it compare with other places you've been? One other thing I'd like to know is, is the air fresh? I'm sure it depends on where you are but generally speaking what's the air quality like? Are you finding it difficult to eat? That would be my biggest problem. I'd have to train at home to eat lots of fish so I could survive. A friend of mine who I was bragging to about you told me to tell you not to pass up spending time in the country. Says it's amazing and the people are the best. Hope you get the chance to explore that too. Donna is in Calgary for two weeks (guess you know that and hope you hear from her). She surprized Miika at school and he was very excited. Love that little guy. Wow! Amanda has a new truck?! That is one charmed gal. Felicia and I are holding the course here in HNL and things are good. Any chance of swinging through on your way home? If you send me an address as to where you'll be and when I'll send you a care package of anything you need. Take care and I'll read about things next time. Alohas! Mitch 有趣的是安全和有 - (Be safe and have fun)
7th October 2010

hello from Vancouver
Hey Cheryl, just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your travel log. What a great idea! You put so much work in to it and it is so well done. I have never been to Beijing but will be going next month so it is great to see your pics and get an idea of what to expect (with less people) ...although I will be in Shanghai for the tail end of the World's Fair......which could be pretty crazy!! Are you heading there? BTW I have to congratulate you on your spunk.....traveling by your self in areas where it is NOT easy if you do not speak Chinese!! Good for you!! And your determination...trying to see Mao's remains....etc etc etc...!! I am so lucky ....I will be in China with a Chinese speaking friend when I go!! Anyway I am off to Tokyo tomorrow Safe travels Allan

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