Beijing's Parks, Beijing
This theme is 'what the elderly get up to at 6am everyday!'
It was funny because not once did I see a young person out and about doing exercises or just walking and talking. At 6am in Beijing, the young are asleep, whilst the older generation are out in full force having a whale of a time!!! I wish I was that energetic! Well, I probably will be for the next few days until I get back into the right sleep pattern...I wonder where I should go cycling tomorrow morning?!
I just want to add how amazing it was seeing all these things this morning. I didnt capture everything on camera but the things I saw were so much fun! For example, down by the lake, there were people playing badminton, hacky sack, stretching, playing chess, jumping up and down on the spot, putting their leg above their heads almost while leaning on a tree, almost a vertical split(!), rubbing different parts of their body to correspond with the 'qi', fishing (in a lake where fish cannot possibly taste nice!), swimming (again, in a lake where you're bound to catch some disease or another!) and singing.
One of the many areas that tourists often miss are the lesser known parks in the city. There are plenty of them....can't recall the names. Some offer interesting sights and will reward the curious traveller. Anyway, that's me standing next to a frozen pond.
China's wonderful parks and lakes are now open to everyone but it was not always been like that. In fact, most parks were private gardens reserved for the pleasure of the feudal lords and mandarins who ran the country until the Sun Yat Sen republic of 1911.
A board near this rock reads as follows....
BLUE IRIS HILL
According to history, an official during the Ming Dynasty found this large stone in Fangshan near Beijing. During his effort to bring it home, he went bankrupt and had to discard it. Hence the name 'Homebreaking Stone'. Later, Emperor Qianlong had it moved to this place and named it 'Blue Iris Hill'. This is the largest stone decoration in ancient Chinese Gardens.
Xiang Shan. Which is the most relaxing place in Beijing. It's littlebit far from town.I can't remember around 1 or two hour. I will check the transportation later on. Just take by bus and easy and cheap to get there.
you would see at the Parks around Beijing like around the temple of heaven, summer palace, behai park and a lot more, many Old People doing various activities like Tai Chi, Dancing, Playing Chinese Chess and board games and instruments and having old group activities with fellow senior citizens as they are allowed free access at all parks and most have small welfare checks being given by the government hence they have time for many activities which they do at the many public parks in Beijing.
This incense burner stands in Beihai Park, but similar ones are found in the Forbidden City as well (and probably in other historical places, too). The crane symbolised happiness and longevity in ancient China.
In one park, i don't remember which one, i could watch a friendly concert. People sang some french songs, but translated in chinese, very nice.
Qing Dynasty Taoranting Park is an exception to that elitist rule as it is reputed to have always been open to the public.
sometimes you can find some people are doing this in a park or a large space,I once even saw on a street!
In autumn,you can't miss the 'red leaves' on 'Xiangshan' mountain.But it's not easy to come at a right time.
If you want to get a whole view from above of the Forbiden City,go to Jingshan Park.It's just behind the Forbiden City.But people often ignore it.