Let Walk the city!. The...
Let Walk the city!. The streets are colorfull and the people is warm.You can discover a hughe world in the Hutongs. You will miss the 'Silk Market' like me. The hours passed walking, chatting and buying in this market are the most incredible experience I had since my travel to the ancient Medina in Caasblanca (Maroc). After that, a walk around the Forbidden City.
Classic Chinese opera
An absolute must for a first time visitor to Beijing is the Beijing opera (sometimes called Peking opera). The plays are a mixture of song and acrobatics.
Some performers (definitely not all) have painted faces. The color of those faces signal the type of character. Here are some examples.
A red face symbolizes bravery, uprightness and loyalty.
Purple symbolizes a noble character
Black symbolizes a rough and bold or an selfless person
White symbolizes a villain: everything that is bad in a human: Treachery, craftiness, greed.
If you go to an opera, make sure there is an English translation somewhere if you don't speak any Chinese. A ticket should not set you back much. For a little extra you get to sit at a table being served tea, but be aware of that some of the performers have quite powerful voices and sing in very high pitch.
Walking around the Olympic Village
After visiting the National Stadium and walking by the National Aquatics Center, we had some time to kill before we had to take the night train to Shanghai so we strolled along the Chaoyang district. We walked towards the west and after crossing the North 4th Ring Road Middle, we noticed some interesting architecture on what we first thought was houses in an advanced state of decay (picture #2). On closer inspection we realized that the houses weren't decaying, and that the tiles on the roof was another way to make something simple interesting. The houses looked like part of a temple/complex of some sort and unfortunately we weren't allowed to go in that day because there seemed to be a private event. The houses can be found crossing the main street by the Beichen West Bridge (the one closest to a KFC shop and Pangu Plaza).
Moving on following Beichen West Road, we walked the block until we found a totem pole (picture #3), and then some inscriptions on a wall and thus we found the China Nationalities Museum (picture #4). China is the biggest country population wise, and there's a lot of minorities (in relation to the Han Chinese, which is the largest ethnic group), some of them being Uighur, Manchu and Tibetan. We didn't get inside the museum so I can't comment about the exhibitions. The museum is located on Minzuyuan Road.
On the same block, still on Minzuyuan Road, I found these buildings, with the kind of architecture that I have always associated with China. One of them seems to be a restaurant or a shop of some kind, but that we saw several tourist buses indicated that something was going on there. I was captured by the covered bridge (picture #5) and we wondered if there was a way that we could cross the street by using the bridge, so that we could also see it from the inside but we didn't find any way to get in. It is on this site, but across the street, where we found a cake shop and bought a snack before heading back to the hostel, picking up our bags and heading out to Shanghai.
Directions: all these places are accessible by metro stations Olympic Sports Center and Olympic Park (line 8).
Dachilan Street has a medieval flavour but polluted with hordes of tourists. It was here, outside the old city walls, where merchants sold silk to the elite, back when emperors held sway and shops were forbidden inside the Imperial City. Stores date back centuries, including Liubiju, a 400-year-old pickle store. The Tongretang pharmacy still sells remedies it once dispensed to leaders of the Qing dynasty. Dachilan is still the place to buy silk as prices are cheaper than you will likely find anywhere. Silk
Tourist Crap It's a tourist area. Bargaining is the rule so never go with the first quoted price.
Sail about In Xidan
Go on sail about, pass Xidan culture square, it's Zhongyou department store, women's heaven. However, what it sale is not topic. I prefer Zhongyou during close time. People have gone leave quiet building stand in light. It's seems more beautiful, isn't it? still whatever