• 30 Jul 2010 /  General Blogging 1 Comment

    First day in Beijing, China

    What an incredible day I have had.

    I woke up at around 11h00 local time (still adjusting to the new timezone) and checked the internet for the Top 10 things to do in Beijiing

    As I love seeing the nature and spiritual history of a country, I decided to visit the Temple of Heaven first. This is an ancient temple with beautiful buildings and gardens surrounding it. The only problem was that it was on the other side of Beijing. With bravery reminding me of my snowboarding experience in Sweden, I set off hoping for the best…

    I saw on a website that one can take subway 5 to get to this cultural site. I have never been on a subway in my life, and I have almost no sense of direction. I walked out of my hotel, and turned to my good friend, Google Maps.

    I typed in ‘Subway’ and a grid of subway stations popped up on my map. I picked the closest one, and started walking. I had no idea which line it was, but I thought it would at least be a start.

    Google led me straight to the subway station, and would you believe my luck, it was Line 5! After a little internal dance, I proceeded down the escalator.

    Someone pointed me in the right direction, and I was off. The tube was clean and well lit. The people seemed happy and relaxed, with young people giving their seats to the old. I found the whole experience very easy, relaxing and fun. Everything was in Chinese, but the place names were also in English. I arrived at my destination, excited and ready to see the temple.

    The temple is within a large walled complex. The whole area is around 270 acres, and it has many holy buildings throughout the complex. There are also many old trees (some as old as 600 years).

    Temple of Heaven as seen from the sky

    In China, even the trees are symmetrical

    One of the beautiful temples

    After about two hours of walking around, looking at the beautiful buildings and surroundings, I was starting to get hungry. It was around 3pm and I had not yet had breakfast. I found a small restaurant, and had to try my luck.

    There is strange waiter etiquette here. They give you the menu, and then stand and wait for you to order. No time to browse through (and find something edible). I said that I would like the ‘spicy chicken’. My waitress responded with, “Noo Noo, wewwy spicy, you no like”. Right… then I chose the chicken curry. She came back with a large serving of curry with a big bowl of rice. It did seem to contain a lot of off cuts (bottom of legs, lots of grizzle etc.) but it tasted very good.

    After this, it was back to the subway and off to my next destination. I decided to stick to my nature theme, and visit the Summer Palace. This is a beautiful nature area surrounding a large lake. There are ancient Chinese houses and buildings all around the lake at what must have once been their equivalent of our Camps Bay.

    A temple in the distance

    The lake

    Here are some of my thoughts on the smog in the air:

    Click here to here my thoughts on the air

    Tomorrow I will continue working my way through the top 10 things to see in Beijing. Thanks to everyone for the comments, it is great to hear from you. My cell number in Beijing is +8613263168520


    Posted by amaAmbush @ 5:39 pm

One Response

  • Mum Says:

    Hi Ross
    Amazing to see those temples and see the sights of China – makes it very real for us so keep up the blogs! Have recovered from the girls 18th and had supper with Lorna and Bill Rawson last night in Bishopscourt in their magnificent home…looking forward to her birthday party in August to which we have been invited…Spent the day doing Tai yoga massage in a loft in Muizenberg overlooking the sea with Lisa who is married to Michael, a musician from Zimbabwe who plays an African piano in a pumpkin shell (his was moulded but you get the idea). he gave me his card as you may like to email him and meet him. The hand held instrument which is half the size of your hung made a sound very similar to the marimba and could be an interesting addition to your bands. Am off again tomorrow for the last in the series of teachings – lovely to combine breathwork, stretches and massage. hard work doing it but very nice to receive. Am off to Durban on Tuesday and really looking forward to the experience. I listened to your comments on no sun and though what a shame to live a life of grey dullness. How lucky we are in Africa.
    Stay safe…
    X Mum
    PS Girls do their drivers on Monday so hold thumbs!

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