Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Currently Viewing Posts Tagged beijing

2013/06/29-07/03 Beijing

Four days of family vacation in Bejing included the China Ethnic Culture Park, the Ming Tombs, Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City, Xidan, and the 798 Art Zone.
In the ultimate family trip, we started a 26-day journey of China and Vietnam in Beijing. By the end of the trip, we would have 8 people in the group. On our first stop in Beijing, five of us flew together.

We picked a hotel near the Olympics site.  We knew the location was by the Beitucheng metro station in north central Beijing, but hadn’t appreciated that there would be a pond just east.

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[See the album of 23 Pearson-Beijing webphotos (with a slideshow option)]

The pond east of the hotel is on the west side of the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park.  Headed out for sightseeing on our first morning in Beijing, we thought that we might spend an hour or two in the culture park, and then move on.  Once inside, we rediscovered the park was much larger than anticipated.  The existence of the park focused on ethnicity is itself a surprise, as the vast majority of the country is populated by Han Chinese.  The south end includes reproductions of buildings in the Uyghur style, as would be found in the Xinjiang northwestern region of China.

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On the east side of the Ethnic Park was a large bridge depicting the She (Hakka) region in southwest China.

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From the Gelo house, we could look at stream depicting the Maonan ethnic minority, both from the southern China.

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Prominent in the middle of the Ethnic OPark was a reproduction of the triple pagodas, as found near Dali City in southwestern Yunnan, Continue reading2013/06/29-07/03 Beijing

2008/03/10 Sanlitun, Beijing

Penelope has been working in Beijing, so Eric and I met her for dinner at Rumi in Sanlitun, and then had tea at her apartment.
Penelope, whom I know from Toronto, has been working in Beijing. After some exchange of e-mail messages, we coordinated to meet for drinks and dinner. Eric and I ran late that day, so last minute replanning targeted a restaurant in the Sanlitun area. We didn’t have the Chinese name for the restaurant, so the hotel clerks and taxi drivers couldn’t give us an exact address. Sanlitun is the district near the foreign embassies, with offices of many multinational businesses.

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When we arrived, it took a few minutes to get oriented. I then realized that on my first visit to Beijing, I had worked in the Pacific Century Place office tower across the street. I shouldn’t have been surprised that our destination was to be one in the cluster of restaurants catering to expats.

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The restaurant, Rumi Persian Grill, is a modern restaurant with large glass windows and attention to decor. This is definitely a level above the native Chinese restaurants where Eric had been taking me.

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Penelope had arrived before us, with Jim. We ordered a variety of dips and breads as appetizers to share. Continue reading2008/03/10 Sanlitun, Beijing

2008/03/10 Haidian district, Beijing

Eric took me for a walk to see the Haidian district, including a visit to Carrefour and the electronics shops.
The Haidian district is the part of Beijing where the city’s major universities, and many high-tech businesses, are located. I wanted to see the neighbourhood, so Eric took me out for a walk. Near the hotel was a noodle shop, so we first had lunch.

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Beef noodle soup is common fare for Beijing. I was a little unsure about risks of eating uncooked vegetables, but Eric recommended the pickled cucumbers.

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Out on the main street, we saw the partitioned streets common in Beijing: outer lanes for bicycles and taxis loading/unloading, and inner lanes for the main flow of traffic.

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We passed a vendor selling pineapple on a stick, and Eric decided he wanted one.

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We passed by Beijing Haidian Hospital. At that time, we didn’t know that it was the appointed medical facility for Olympics athletes. Continue reading2008/03/10 Haidian district, Beijing

2008/03/09 Xidan Market, subway to Wudaokou, Beijing

To finish off the Sunday afternoon, Eric suggested the Xidan market, where locals, shop, and we then took the subway up to Wudaokou.
Before the Sunday afternoon was over, Eric suggested that we go to the Xidan market, where the locals shop. We hopped in a taxi, and jumped out in the traffic jam when we got close.

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This isn’t a market down small alleyways. It’s large buildings on the wide streets characteristic of Beijing.

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The buildings are multiple storeys high, with stalls across many merchandise categories. On the ground floor, selling candy can be high turnover and high profit.

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Upstairs, the stalls are less polished. Eric looked at some manicure sets, but decided he didn’t really want to put out the cash.

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The stores specialize and have depth. Up another floor, here’s one focused on watches. Continue reading2008/03/09 Xidan Market, subway to Wudaokou, Beijing

2008/03/08-09 Dumplings in Beijing, westernized apartment hotel

I flew to Beijing, Eric picked me up at the airport, and we had dumplings with Dr. Gu before retreating to comfort in a western-style apartment hotel
Continuing on my round-the-world trip from Tokyo, my next stop was Beijing. Beijing Capital International Airport is modern, with long walks and grand halls (like most airports). One signal of being in China was a display of temple bells.

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Eric met me at the airport, and got us a taxi to the hotel. I had been corresponding with Dr. Gu, who I’ve met at ISSS and IFSR meetings, and he lives in the university district. From the hotel, we walked around a bit looking for restaurants, until Eric took control and got a taxi over to the area across the street from the front gates of Renmin University. We went Eric’s favourite dumpling place.

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I’m getting too old to rough it — particularly in China. I had booked an apartment at the Beijing Somerset Zhongguancun, taking advantage of a corporate rate. In daylight, it’s clear that this is a western-style hotel.

DI_20080310_Somerset_Zhongguancun_complex.jpg Continue reading2008/03/08-09 Dumplings in Beijing, westernized apartment hotel

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