A week after I got back from China’s capital city, I’m still very much overwhelmed with the joy and positive changes the trip has brought to me. I can’t further delay writing this entry and I can’t spend too much time on it, either – my closets need serious rearrangement. Let’s see how my list of bullet points work out for us.
Apartments and buildings in Beijing are like big bold cubics placed next to each other … Unlike Hongkong, Beijing faces little land constraint, which explains why there are very few skyscrapers in the city.
Wide and long Beijing roads with trees lining up on both sides … Sigh, when will I have such greenery in HCMC?
Beijing’s subways remind me of buses and their conductors in HCMC. I was surprised to see a lady in uniform collecting tickets from passengers at each subway station as I was honestly expecting to deal with a machine of some sort.
To a very large extent, Beijing reminded me of Hanoi. While walking from Tianamen Square to Beihai park, I felt as if I were in the heart of Vietnam’s capital city. Weird!
Beijing residents lead a super healthy lifestyle. Almost anywhere I turned to, I’d see people exercising in one way or another.
The first price offered to you in any Beijing markets is always sky high. Excuse the sellers and try to bargain your way down to hell, otherwise, you’ll be ripped off terribly. I was literally too scared to bargain and decided to switch off my shopping mode completely. All I got for myself was two pretty skirts (one red, one white) and a Chinese lucky cat. And as far as bargaining went, the funniest offer I got was a 2RMB reduction off the price of a long-sleeve raincoat. Oh dear!
The number 1 spot in Beijing isn’t the Great Wall, or the Summer Palace, or Tianamen Square. It’s Houhai – a cluster of live music bars by a big lake right opposite Tianamen Square.
The first thing that greeted me in Houhai is the sight of 70 plus people dancing in line right in front of its entrance. As the music kept switching from Chinese oldies to Macarena and Coco Jambo and more, the big group changed their dance styles accordingly. Couldn’t resist the temptation, my colleagues and I decided to join in the dancing troop. Of course, we were the odd ones out among the smooth local dancers who were already very familiar with all those steps. But a little while was all it took for us to catch up with everyone. And trust me it felt sooo darn good to dance with such a big group of people in the open air of Beijing at 10 pm when the temperature was around 20 degree Celsius.
There are around 20 different bars and restaurants in Houhai. Most bars are decorated in black and red – a super cozy setup, indeed. Each bar offers a different kind of music, there’s even a “Sex and the City” bar with poles and pole dancers behind a silky curtain that separate them from what’s going on outside. The presence of such bar doesn’t spoil the cleanness of this whole entertainment place at all. With a group of people dancing at the entrance, Houhai is no way a Chinese version of Bangkok’s Patpong and Sydney’s Kings Cross eh.
Time for some more pictures … I still got tons of stories about Beijing to share … but the closets are calling … Enjoy my pix …
With Beijing Olympic 2008 maskot
Love locks at the Great Wall … at 9 o’clock on 9/9/1999, 99 couples got married here at the Great Wall … On that day, they locked their love with these locks and threw all the keys down the wall as a vow to keep their love burning for eternity.
Two cool old trees in the Imperial Garden
I heart this bronze urn a lot
Don’t imprison me for life … (Inspired by Rubie Bui’s pic)
The best shot in the Forbidden City
In the Forbidden City
Empress Cixi’ s Summer Palace (Cố Cung của Từ Hy Thái Hậu)
Kiss of the Dragon …………. mwwaaahhhhhhh …………
The inside of Temple of Heaven
Green green grass
All of us in Chinese jih pow
Me playing solo in you-guess-where
The most yummie meal in Beijing: Separate cute tiny little hot pots ….
… and lots of fresh green veggie and raw beef/lamb in supply …
Hot pots – the aftermath
Still wanting to see some more? Check out my Flickr page (link)