Beijing: A Review, Part 2

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.

Beijing Street Food

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.

Bee on Flower

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: Yíhé Yuán; 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:

Summer Palace

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.

Summer Palace

Summer Palace Boat Ride

At the Chinese Opera Theater, we were treated to several musical and dance performances:

Summer Palace Show

Summer Palace Show

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.

Summer Palace Portrait

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.

Beijing Bus

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.

After School

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.

Tiananmen Square

Outside the Forbidden City

My feet were giving up on me. The walk back involved my catching a punk rock bar:

?WHAT Punk Rock Club

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.

Read Beijing: A Review, Part 1

2 thoughts on “Beijing: A Review, Part 2”

  1. Hey, interesting read. I like the way you document your travels. I think I’ll do the same when I go somewhere next time.

    Thanks for dropping by my photoblog. My dad has a lot of cameras thats part of his collection. I posted more photos so check it out.

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