Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 2 - Intensity

I woke up at 4:00am. We went to the flag-raising ceremony at Tianmen Square. It was really, really early, and the weather was chilly and biting at the skin of my legs, which turned pink and itchy. I honestly did not know what to expect from the flag raising ceremony but it neither surprised me nor bored me.

At Tianmen Square. There were a lot of people.

We walked back to the hotel, ate some more breakfast, and were off to the Temple of Heaven. We took the train there. I must say, the train station is extremely clean and seems very safe because we had to go through a security check. There was a lot of pink too!! Hen ke ai!

Jackie, Kyle and Tom on the pink/gray chairs waiting at the train station.

The park surrounding the temple of heaven was filled with elderly citizens practicing Chinese yo-yos and exercising.

Old man playing with his chinese yo-yo. Behind him, an old lady doing some tai chi.

A lady on the "outdoor gym" that looks like a playground.

Deutschbag John laying on the ground next to a group of elderlies doing TaiChi

The temple of heaven was huge and colorful, it seems like it was repainted again and again because the colors were so bold.

Kyle in front of the Temple of Heaven

The echo wall was pretty cool. We were chanting “Let’s go Red Sox / Let’s go Huskies” to the other group who was on the other side of the wall. We moved on and I got to stand at the place where the emperor communicated with the gods! I was exhausted and hungry by then though, too bad I couldn’t connect with any god to ask for food. Haha…

After that, we took the bus to the Forbidden City. It was crowded to the max. I wish I wasn’t as tired and as hungry as I was by then, otherwise I would have taken my time to really appreciate the architecture and cultural value of this historical landmark.

Outside the Forbidden City - a huge picture of Mao Ze Dong.

We finally got in and it was just a vast space with a lot of people spread out and a lot of sunshine hitting us hard.

We finally had lunch, which was at some noodle place. Pretty yummy. I got full immediately. We weren’t done yet though, but our next activity was pretty cool. We got dropped off at HouHai, a nice place to hang out near a lake surrounded by bars and hookah cafes. We sat in a bar with nice couches and drank, then we went to a cheaper place on a rooftop and drank.

This is a stand at HouHai. It's colorful. Everything else there was colorful like this during the daytime. You should see it during the nighttime. Beautiful.

Then we went back to the bus where we got driven to a local comedy place. We just sat and waited to leave. There was a family of cute dead-looking cats/kittens napping. They were cute. Then we ate roast duck, my first good meal, and fell asleep at the Peking Opera show. Almost everyone was nodding off. The grown ups were laughing at us. The day was completely jam packed. The minute I got back, I showered and fell asleep with no problem at all.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

i have a chinese yoyo if u want to play with it. the temple of heaven looks soooo nice - it was closed off the year i went cuz they were repainting cuz of the olympics in beijing.. i don't like how a lot of the structures in forbidden city are repainted.
did you remember to communicate with the chinese gods in chinese??? haha