Tag Archives: beijing

Day 4: The Good, the Bad, and the Forbidden

Early morn:

The Good: Finally indulging our itch to shop after being in China for several days already. Shortly after we arrive from Xian, Phoebe and I freshen up and dart for Qianmen Shopping Street, south of Tiananmen Square.

When Phoebe and I laid eyes on the long row of shops lining the boulevard, we knew we've arrived. The main street holds the posh shops alongside the kitsch; take a random turn into the perpendicular alleys, and you'll be greeted by stalls with cheaper bargains and a whole lot of interesting stands for snacks.
Continue reading Day 4: The Good, the Bad, and the Forbidden

When Great Means Epic

First, let me get this off my chest — we sold out! We rode the cable car to get up the wall, instead of that dramatic hike that we originally planned. But just because passed on the chance to go ala-Dora doesn’t mean that it was any less of an adventure.

Follow the Yellow(ish-red) Brick Road!

The Road to Jinshanling

I lost track of when the day ended and when another began. I nodded off to sleep at 2 am, only to wake up at 5:30 to make sure that Jan and Alex made it all the way from the airport to our meeting point safely. Fates be praised, they did and after a few bouts of groggy discussion, we agreed to slightly change our plans. In place of far-off Jinshanling, we were heading to the Mutianyu area of the Great Wall instead, given that we had less time than we thought. Adjustments were made, and after a while we were boarding long-distance Bus 980 at the Dongzhimen terminal. Continue reading When Great Means Epic

The Summer Palace: Why It’s Good to be Royalty

If there’s one thing that the guidebooks don’t stress enough about the Summer Palace, it’s the fact that the Summer Palace is huge. No, I mean REALLY huge. Hail to mind what you think is huge, then double that. Then add in a man-made lake in the middle. Yes, it’s that massive.

As far as the eye can see

I’m more hippie-chick than socialite, but if being a member of the Imperial Family meant having a playground that was as breathtaking and serene as this, then sign me up! I can totally imagine myself as that low-profile royal cousin, who does nothing but meander in the summer recluse given whatever season. Let my power-hungry relatives rule the Forbidden City; methinks I’ll stick with my writing and kite-flying near KunMing lake. Continue reading The Summer Palace: Why It’s Good to be Royalty

The Beijing Express

China — the land of It-Can-Be-Done. Think Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, the capital’s makeover for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Time is of the essence!

We tried our own great feat as well: a city-wide scramble to pack temple-hopping, panda-spotting, bargain-hunting, palace-promenading and kung-fu fighting — ALL IN ONE DAY. We couldn’t afford to waste any time, and we were mad to comb through the ever-spry Beijing. One thing that we had going for us though was that it only took 2 RMB (0.3 USD!) to go to anywhere by subway in the capital. Yup, the Beijing IC transit smart card (or ‘Yikatong’, as they call it) will be your new BFF when in the city. Continue reading The Beijing Express

Lessons in Mandarin

Just when I thought I was getting savvy with flinging myself off to new, strange places, China happened.

This trip was supposed to be a solo jaunt, but I don’t think it would have been quite the same experience if seven of my pals didn’t sign up for an adventure in the Orient as well. There were more than enough bloopers and good times to go around, after all! Continue reading Lessons in Mandarin