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beijing bash: day 4

Published November 24, 2013 by ladyemelye

it is our last day in beijing but we still have so much more that we haven’t seen.  this day, we devoted to exploring the forbidden city since our flight is at 1am the next day so we will be leaving the hotel at around 9pm.

on our way to the forbidden city we passed by tiananmen square again, and also chairman mao’s mausoleum.

chairman mao

chairman mao

after lining up for tickets at the meridian gate, we were finally inside the forbidden city. the forbidden city was the chinese imperial palace during the ming and qing dynasty.  we took a leisurely pace walking around the complex, and we tried to look at every display possible at the halls.

hall of supreme harmony

hall of supreme harmony

it was a very educational and interesting tour.  one can learn about how the emperors lived before.  one can understand more about their culture and their way of living.  the grandeur of the palace complex is indeed breathtaking.

throne inside the palace of heavenly purity

throne inside the palace of heavenly purity

forbidden city

forbidden city

walking inside the forbidden city makes me want to watch the movie the last emperor all over again. 😀

after this, we went back to wangfujing to do a little bit of shopping before going back to the hotel and getting our things ready for our departure  that night.

even though we stayed in beijing for 4 days, there were still a lot of places that we did not get to see.  maybe we can go back someday to further explore this. 😉

xie xie beijing!

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beijing bash: day 3

Published November 24, 2013 by ladyemelye

because we will be going to the great wall this day which is a little far from the city, we hired a van plus a tour guide for this day.  so after breakfast, we met our driver and tour guide at the hotel lobby and off we went to be a hero.

since this is a “tour” we had several requisite stops at some of the factories in china.  according to our tour guide, they are required to bring their guests here, stay for a certain number of minutes, and then leave.  they are given an incentive from the government when they do this.  we are not forced to buy anything from these stores, but be warned that the sales team can be very persistent for you to buy something.  plus the languange barrier makes it a little hard to explain that you are really not interested in these things.

we stopped by the jade factory, the silk factory, a pearl culturing shop plus a sports medicine facility where we got a free foot massage.  this was very welcome since we stopped by here after our great wall hike, so it was a relief from our sore feet.  and being a girl, i could not help myself, so i bought earrings at the jade factory and the pearl store. 😉

jade sculpture of a ship

jade sculpture of a ship

we went to the juyongguan section of the great wall.  here we scaled several meters of the wall, but it was only hubby who climbed a steep stair section going to the first post of this wall.  we were able to see all kinds of tourists visiting the great wall.  there also “love locks” attached to some portions of the wall wherein lovers had their names inscribed into the locks.

juyongguan section - great wall of china

juyongguan section – great wall of china

matteo lost at the great wall

matteo lost at the great wall

a quote relating to the great wall: “until you reach the Great Wall, you are no hero.” so i guess, we are heroes now. 🙂

after the wall, we had a buffet lunch and then we headed to the summer palace.  this is the largest royal garden in China.  main sections consist of the longevity hill and the kunming lake.  the seventeen-arch bridge can also be found at this complex.  we walked around and toured some of the buildings but we were unable to take the cruise which would provide a more interesting view of this place.

the seventeen-arch bridge

the seventeen-arch bridge

here, we learned regarding the lion statues that are mostly found in chinese buildings.  if there is a ball under the paw of the lion, it is a male lion and the ball symbolizes power.  if there is a cub under the paw, it is a female lion which symbolized fertility. 🙂

our last stop for the day was the olympic village.  we did not stay too long and just took pictures here.  i would think it would be more beautiful at night since you will be able to see the different lights in the buildings.

bird's nest - olympic village

bird’s nest – olympic village

that’s it for our third day of touring beijing.

beijing bash: day 2

Published November 24, 2013 by ladyemelye

after breakfast, we left the hotel for another full day.  our first stop was tiananmen square.

tiananmen square

tiananmen square

this is located at the heart of beijing and is considered as the largest city-central square in the world.  the flag-raising ceremony at sunrise and flag-lowering ceremony at sunset are the most magnificent rites, which unfortunately we were not able to witness.  it was a hot that day so we just took pictures around before heading to our next destination.

tiananmen square - another side

tiananmen square – another side

we walked a short distance to qianmen street.  this street hosts a variety of high end shops and some shops that sells various items and trinkets which you could buy as pasalubong.  there is also a tram which “tours” you through the street.

qianmen

qianmen

we did some shopping and pictorials here, but the main purpose of our trip here was to eat at one of the restaurants which serves the original peking duck. 😉 so off to quanjude we went.

qianmen quanjude roast duck restaurant

qianmen quanjude roast duck restaurant

we ordered veggies, rice, red bean cake and of course, the roasted duck.  in most of the restaurants here, they serve the rice last so make sure that you ask your server to serve it to you once most of your dishes have already been served.  plus, if you ask for water, you might likely get a warm glass of water. 😉

sprite and coke

sprite and coke

our lunch

our lunch

steamed red bean cake

steamed red bean cake

veggies

veggies

of course, the highlight of the meal was when the roast duck cart was parked in front of the table.  one of the staff expertly carved the duck, separating some of the crunchy and yummy duck skin, and also slicing the duck meat thinly.  traditionally, you wrap the duck in some sort of pita bread/pancake together with some cucumber/scallions and then you add hoisin sauce.  the remaining duck meat, we ate together with our rice and veggies. 😀

roast duck carving

roast duck carving

our little boy even got a toy duck keychain which goes “quack, quack, quack” once you press the button at it’s side.

toy duck

toy duck

after we were full, we did some more shopping around the area.  we were supposed to go to forbidden city that day, but since the time would not be enough, we decided to go to wangfujing instead.  this is another shopping area which consisted of several shops/malls and also restaurants and fast food.

wangfujing

wangfujing

of course there was shopping involved and we also tried out some of the street food which beijing has to offer.  some of them was too weird and exotic looking.  i tried the strawberries/kiwis covered in hardened sugar syrup while hubby was more adventurous and tried out the fried baby scorpions.  he said they tasted like baby crabs. 😉

street food

street food

on a side note, unlike here in the philippines, in beijing, the sun is still out at around 6pm.  their 8pm still feels like our 5pm – 6pm here where in the sun is just starting to set. 🙂

another thing i observed is that they really give priority to the elderly/children.  we rode a bus going to wangfujing street and we were standing inside.  hubby was carrying matteo, and i was carrying the stroller.  suddenly, the bus assistant was “shouting” angrily to one of the passengers and she was pointing to my hubby.  we somehow understood that she was telling that passenger to stand up so that my hubby can take the seat since he was carrying our baby.  so in the end, he got to sit down. 🙂

more of our beijing adventures next post.

beijing bash: day 1

Published November 24, 2013 by ladyemelye

january 2012. cebu pacific had a seat sale.  we purchased tickets that will take us to beijing, china.  after all the preparations and visa application, june 19 finally came.  we were off to the capital of china.

our flight was at 7pm, so we arrived at beijing capital international airport sometime past midnight. after clearing immigration duties and getting our baggage, we got a taxi that took us to our hotel.  we stayed at the holiday inn express – temple of heaven.

the hotel was nice and simple.  it had everything you need.  the breakfast buffet is also included in the room rates.  the only negative side about it was that they served the same dishes everyday for breakfast.  so by our third day we were already going tired and umay of the food that we were eating.

breakfast plate

breakfast plate

the restaurant

the restaurant

i would like to think that the chinese people are really fond of walking.  whenever we would ask for directions, they would say that it is just near and we can walk the distance.  but it would turn out for lazy, couch-potato, not-fond-of-walking people like us, it was loooooooong!  when we opt to take the taxi, the drivers would sometimes laugh and say it’s just near, but we would still insist.  hey, we are paying after all.

our first stop was the temple of heaven. from wikipedia: “is a complex of religious buildings visited by the emperors of the ming and qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for good harvest.”

hall of prayer for good harvests

hall of prayer for good harvests

temple of heaven

temple of heaven

the temple of heaven is a vast park with several areas in it.  we visited each of the area/buildings namely: hall of prayer for good harvests (this is what is mostly shown for the pictures of the temple of heaven), red stairway bridge, imperial vault of heaven, and the circular mound altar.  the famous echo wall was also located in the imperial vault of heaven.  we also visited the cypress grove where the old cypress tress are located.

for lunch we visited a restaurant which served dumplings and meals.  what i’ve noticed is that most of the restaurants we ate in, they had smartphone-like gadgets wherein they input our orders and it gets transmitted to the kitchen/cashier.  we then are given a receipt-like copy so we can check what has already been served, and how much we need to pay. 🙂

chinese coca-cola

chinese coca-cola

pork dumplings

pork dumplings

steamed fish in soy sauce

steamed fish in soy sauce

we walked around some hutongs around the bell tower and then we went to houhai lake.  did some window shopping and sight-seeing plus we also had dinner here before heading back to our hotel.

houhai lake

houhai lake

that concludes the first day of our beijing vacation.

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