Cheap food intake is the priority of the day. The street food vendor was too obvious in overcharging us by 1RMB with what looked like a large serving of lumpia.
The toll of sudden-trips is dawning upon us: it took us some time to figure out how to get to the Summer Palace. We did take the right bus, but we stopped at the wrong Summer Palace first; the Yuan Ming Yuan. I was all for checking the place out, since it wasn’t generously peppered with people. Though, yes, we didn’t have the luxury of time, so we just took a few pictures at the flora in front of the venue, and boarded a bus again.
This time, I insisted we at least take a map. The voice-guide gadgets required a 100RMB deposit, so that was out of the question. We had some sort of direction this time.
But, you ask, what’s with the Summer Palace anyway?
The Summer Palace or Yiheyuan (pinyin: YÃhÃ© YuÃ¡n; literally “Garden of Nurtured Harmony”) is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meters high) and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. In its compact 70,000 square metres of building space, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures (via)
Its huge. No, the better word is: vast. And I’m still at awe how people more than twice my age can keep up with all the climbing:
The skies were dim, and there were random minutes of slight rain. Numerous rest-stops had to be implemented, since now, because of the precious map, we knew we had a lot of ground (and water) to cover.
At the Chinese Opera Theater, we were treated to several musical and dance performances:
Bad picture angles meant I was too short to photograph the event, and my camera lens was not so capable that time. Then again, there was the realization that I’m actually enjoing Beijing this time.
A shot stolen from the kid’s parents, with the Seven-arch bridge behind her.
Tired, with the place nearly closing, we decided to call it a day, knowing we’ve probably walked the important 75$ of the palace, missing only Suzhou Street (a mini-Suzhou city, a popular daytrip destination for Shanghai-based tourists). Doing a quick review of the official site, I think we’ve probably missed a bit more.
FACT: Beijing traffic is bad, which I believe some Beijinger friends confirmed. I settled for taking pictures of student, wearing what appears to be the official school uniform across China: the jogging outfit.
Oh yes, blame it on my lesbian officemates, the number of boyish-looking celebrities, but I’d almost always second guess the preferred gender of these strapping young, uhm, ladies.
Before heading back to the hostel, I went by my lonesome to Tiananmen Square again, to take some more shots. The next day is Great Wall Day, and I should be leaving right after that for Shanghai.
My feet were giving up on me. The walk back involved my catching a punk rock bar:
I stayed like a curious urchin around the area, punk posses slowly starting to grow. I saw familiar bands from the Beach Rock Shanghai concert, which made me re-think if I should watch the show, since I’ve already seen them perform before. I didn’t get the courage to talk to anyone, despite white, caucasian faces I could approach. Thrity minutes passed since I decided to observe this peculiar Beijing subculture, when I finally put a period to my second stay in Beijing.