When you are at Yuyuantan Park in Beijing, you will come across a bazaar located along the footpath of the park near to the Cherry Blossom tree section. This bazaar is usually very busy with local people and sells many items such as food, daily household items, Chinese medicines, tea leaves etc.
Here are more photos of the museum at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. These photos were taken at the history section of the museum, which depicts the historical evolution of traditional Chinese medicines which date back several thousands of years ago in Chinese history when human civilisation was just beginning.
For China, traditional Chinese medicine is more than just medicine, as it is part of the culture of the Chinese people which follows them throughout their history. The fact that it is still here today shows that it has withstood the test of time.
The Beijing University of Chinese Medicine is one of the most famous universities in the world for teaching traditional Chinese medicine. I managed to visit this university during a working trip in 2008, and part of the visit is going to their museum on traditional Chinese medicine where there are lots of exhibits of Chinese herbs, history of traditional Chinese medicine etc. I think this museum is opened to the public and is worth a visit if you are interested in traditional Chinese medicines. Please go to part 2 of this tip.
When visiting the temple of Heaven, most tourists start from the south gate and work their way through the major monuments by heading straight upwards to the north gate. The areas surrounding the Temple of Heaven to the east and west sides are very beautiful and consists of gardens and some ancient buildings which is worth exploring when you have the time. You will also experience many locals relaxing at these areas as this is one of their favourite hangouts.
The Beijing Film Studio. An old Russian era complex once used to make propaganda films. Now, it is the site where Kill Bill, House of Flying Dagger, Painted Veil made used of old leaking sound stages to make movie magic. Located next to the north Third Ring Road, the studio takes up a huge area that including indie TV production houses, post facilities, actor studios, diners, apartments, and even a small park. It is all old and run down. There is even a knock off version of the studio tour on a cheap rusty tram. Lots of people hang out in front of the studio seeking extra work. I think they get around 75 RMB a day. Tough gig!
Have you ever had the urge to put your crazy screaming kids in a big bubble? Now featured at the Chaoyang Park....yep...kids in bubbles! What do they do in the bubbles? Roll around, run, whatever they want! What about leaks? Well, the last time I went, it seemed alright, but then again it's China...hehe
There's also fake horse riding for the little ones if water sports are not your cup of tea.
Chaoyang Park is huge. So you might have to walk around a bit to find this pond with the bubbles.
Due to just having arrived back in Beijing from a 3 week holiday back home in Gibraltar, I was a little jet lagged. I hadn't helped matters either by sleeping during the day instead if keeping awake till night time! So as the sun came up somewhere between 430 and 500am this morning and the day looked like it was going to be beautiful, I decided to go for a bike ride to one of my favourite areas in Beijing, Hou Hai. Camera in hand, I was ready!
So the next few tips are more a travelogue of Beijing from 6am to 8pm on July 21st 2006!
They will be in themes, with this one being the ' hustle and bustle of morning breakfast buying!'
I hope you enjoy reading and seeing the photos as much as I did seeing it first hand and experiencing a beautiful Beijing morning!
This park is called Yuan Da Du Yi Zhi Park. It is located north of the north Third Ring Road near the Beijing Film School. What is special about this park is that it is built on top of the dirt mound that used to be the outer wall for Beijing when it was the capital for Yuan dynasty around the 1300s. The locals used to call it the Stinky Canal because well, the water used to stink. But now it is quite a pretty park full of small bridges and trees. Of course, as in all the city parks here, no stepping on grass...hehe
And to finish the day off, this last theme is 'sights around the lake'.
I cycled for two hours in this area stopping now and then to take photos. I was amazed at how many I could get without people walking in front of them which is usually the case in every photo in China. It was peaceful, serene and beautiful. If only every day in China could be like this! And the one thing i enjoyed was the fact that there was no shouting and no hassling me into bars or shops..pure heaven!
The third theme is 'ways people get about the city'
This was an interesting one as I saw so many forms of transportation. There was of course myself and hundreds of others on their bicycles, some on battery powered motorbikes, buses, taxis, 'iron dragons' which are the little bikes with a seat on the back facing the opposite direction to take a passenger (usually see an old man driving his wife around!), tandem bikes, people being pushed in wheelchairs by their loved ones and of course walkers and joggers!
Later on in the day, it will turn to purely taxis, buses and private cars with poor bicycles not getting a look in and pedestrians frightened to cross the roads!
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 tyhe 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 were fish cannot possibly taste nice!), swimming (again, in a lake where you're bound to catch some disease or another!) and singing.
Ok, we bid goodbye to Mr. Sun and embark our journey from Jinshanling to Simatai at 8am. Can remember how long we trek. Surely it was hell tiring. Because I have a heavy luggage of books plus other other undiscloseable loads, that make my trekking doubly harder.
Finally when fatique starts to set in. At numerous points the roads condition are really bad and the slops are really steep, I really had to go on four. Or else, I might just fall backward.
I can't remember how long we trek, it seems that the route is forever. Out of a sudden far away, I saw a small little figure walking from the mountain side towards the great wall. He was walking with a stick. So I thought he must be a old man. Deep within my heart I was calling out, "Oh watch out old man" and such like, "why do you want to come here?" But only to realise later that his trekking skill and speed beats anyone of us to a pulp.
As we met up with this old man, we found out that he was indeed old, 70 years old. Bought mineral waters from him. There we had our break and we took photos with him. See the picture. And he could be your savior too.
Then he put forth a deal to me, should I buy his postcards, he will take us via the road that he came that leads to the base of Simatai which was a shortcut route. I can't be happier. In fact, I bought his entire lot of postcards. He was so happy that he even offered me free cigarettes.
Think about it. Should we have missed this old man. We could well stay overnight at the great wall the second time. This time without a roof or shelter and food.
Off we go..... con't part 3
Staying overnight at the Great Wall was certainly a marvelous experience. The accomodation includes a dining together with the "Sun" family with home cooked meal, ticket to Great Wall and night accomodation at the Ku Fang lou ( Warehouse Tower )
Mr. Sun can be contacted.
Best to get a Chinese speaker to call up and make the arrangements for you.
If you are calling from Beijing ring Mr. Sun Hai Long on his mobile: 0-13613143948 or his wife (speaks no English) on
0-13932444368. The leading "0" is needed if calling long distance within China, if at Jinshanling then drop the "0". If calling from
outside China drop the "0" and add the "86" country code.”
I am a total Great Wall freak. And certainly I am looking to go back there again at different seasons.
From Xizhimen bus station. Take a bus that goes to Chengde. The cost is 46 yuan. Tell the bus driver to drop you off at Jinshanling lukou when you board it. I was worried and reminded the driver two three times along the way. Got a 2:45pm ticket and arrived at Jinshanling lukou at about 6pm. He is certainly hell of a F1 driver.
If you are not ready to trek, let Mr. Sun bring you back to Jinshanling lukou and catch a transport back to Beijing. Mr. Sun will guide you.
You can trek down to Simatai if you want. But be warned. It is not easy.
Some little pointers in trekking.
Trek light. Don't carry too many heavy things.
Good pair of comfortable shoes. Jogging shoes will do. Even when the temperature is about 2 degree celcius. Bottles where you can store water or mineral water. Bread with your favorite stuffings for lunch at the Great Wall. A solid pair of hiking gloves. Good to have some apples. I was having cool crunchy apples ( Mr. Sun gave me some before setting off ) when the weather was like a natural refrigerator.
Con't to part 2
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