Beijing, China
April 2010  

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I spent a whole week in Beijing, China, a very interesting city, still full of historic palaces and temples, and at the same time equipped with the most modern technology.

I spent my first day, of course, in the forbidden city, a palace 2 dynasties of almost 600 years. Walking through the palace didn't seem to open my eyes to the history behind it, rather I was distracted by the endless stream of tourists wandering in all directions. I exited the forbidden city via the south gate into Tian'anmen Square, a emotionalplace at one point of my memory.

The following day, I toured Yuan Ming Yuan, once it was the most luxourious place in the world, where it was also destroyed by the British and French Army during a war. Then I spent the afternoon in the Summer Palace, and still couldn't walk through the entire place. The same day, I went to see the Water Cube and Bird Nest Olympic venues in the evening.

I followed one of my friend's suggestion to take a bicycle tour. It was fantastic, a small group of us circling through the city into different old residences and narrow streets. Then spent an evening at the Temple of Heaven. It is actually a public park for the neighbourhood, where people played different kinds of sports or even social dances. But we couldn't go inside the temple area at night time, so I visited it in the morning on another day

I, of course, also took the opportunity to go to see the Great Wall. See my trip here.

Overall, I found Beijing a lot slower-paced than Shanghai, more than half the sedans are black-coloured because of the government nature, people like to talk about history, everyone owns a cell phone, taxi drivers pick their customers, English is NOT widely used in this capital city.

The Forbidden City
16 Apr, 2010
Click to view A Palace built 600 years ago, serving 20+ emperors, and it is still standing. After being in this Palace, I may not want to be an emperor.

Yuan Ming Yuan and Summar Palace
17 Apr, 2010
Click to view What Yuan Ming Yuan represented in the past can no longer be seen and envied, where the Summer Palace should be called the Palace from 400 years ago. That's what I think !

The Olympic Venues
17 Apr, 2010
Click to view I so much wanted to swim in the Cube, .... =(. But it was closed for Renovation.

The Temple of Heaven 
18 & 19 Apr, 2010
Click to view I enjoyed most in the Temple of Heaven were local people. Day or night, there were local patrons doing exercise, singing, dancing, or even flying kites inside this huge park. The Temple is just a very small part of it.

798 Artist Zone
18 & 19 Apr, 2010
Click to view A brilliant idea to convert old factory that were left behind by the Communist Era to an Artist Zone, where stuido and workshop for artists. There are also big exhibition halls mingled within the district.

Rest of the city
Apr 2010
Click to view Tian'anmen Square, Old Peking, Hutong District, Peking University, Tsinghua University, & lots of local food.

Interesting Signs
Click to view Lots of signs, lost in translation! Isn't it bad ?

Slide Show - the Forbidden City
Slide Show - Yuan Ming Yuan / Summer Palace
Slide Show - Olympic Venues
Slide Show - the Temple of Heaven
Slide Show - 798 Artist Zone
Slide Show - Rest of Beijing
Slide Show - Intersting Signs
Slide Show - All

Location: Beijing, China

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