A Travellerspoint blog

Chaoyang Park (Sun Park)

Off to the park - remember how good Chinese Engineering is!!!

We decided to travel to the park - Graham had been to many different parks in his travels but I had not managed to get to them. So one beautiful sunny (it was raining in the morning) we decided to head to the park. It is a fairly long walk from the Subway but still very pleasant.

Posted by deboraht 05:45 Comments (0)

Forbidden City

Our first tourist trip!!

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After a few weeks we decided to venture out into the world of tourists, I kept thinking that we would go home and not been anywhere to seen anything. It just seemed to be work work work and that was not fun.

So on a Sunday we got up and I found how to get to Forbidden City and off we went - subway all the way. We were old hand by now jumping on and off trains but I had only been on Line 10 - and we needed to change to Line 1. Luckily the trains are well marked and signposted so ti was easy to find our way there. It was interesting, as there was so many people in the train and lots got out, but when we got to the gardens we had our first hurdle. Having to dodge scroll sellers, which is a constant thing here and very popular. The sad part about this was the painting were really good, but we didn't want the scroll and you just can't look at anything without the seller assuming that you want to buy it, very frustrating really.

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Well we dodged that bullet and went into the East gardens - they were really lovely and so very peaceful. We kept wondering where all the people were - there were hundreds on the train, but none in the gardens. We looked at all of the buildings and gardens and just thought it was fascinating. Here we are in the middle of a city of 22 million and there is no one around and you can see the tall buildings but are surrounded by green - great really. At one point we found a tour group a managed to catch up with and listened to the spill about the gardens. It was interesting to be part of a large group and not be the only ones that stick out with blonde hair. We got around the corner and then found were all the people where - waiting to get into the Forbidden City itself and it seemed like a quater of Beijing was there. And just because the sun was shining and managing to get through the "fog" everyone had to have umbrellas out which just made it much worse!! We were then inundated with tour guides all offering to do the right thing and take up into the City - always for a special price!

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We decided not to go into the City - just because the line up was over an hour and we couldn't have looked around very much because of all of the people. We went to the West Gardens and looked at them - they were just as nice but had more people in them. We then went out into the square and again found lots of the people......so many people. Tiernman Square holds over 100 000 people and it would seem to be full. It would have been great to actually find out how many people were there - but it seems to be a bit rude to just take random photographs of lots of people.

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Overall I would say it was a great day out - we conquered the subway, found our way there, found lots of people, dodged scammers and then ended up having a great time int the gardens. The only thing is we will need to go back to the City at some stage and then actually go into the Palace..but that will be for another adventure!

Posted by deboraht 04:52 Archived in China Comments (0)

Panjiayuan Antique Market

Our first big outing...

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Here we go to our first real tourist outing. The school asked us to go to the largest Flea market in the world. We had to go around to the different stalls and find specific items and take lots of pictures and then make up a short video for the rest of the staff.

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It was a great day - the sun shone and the weather was perfect. It was a little hot but at least it was clean air for a change!! So much stuff and some many versions of each one. We really want to go back at some stage and really have a good look around.

By now we have learned to ride the subway with the efficiency of a local!! We jump on and off the subway and only got it wrong occasionally!!
So many things at the market, there where buddahs everywhere - made of many different materials. There are wooden carvings and so much furniture.

Can't wait for Christmas shopping....should be a hoot!! We spent the day doing a video and collecting specific images for the final presentation. We now need to find out how to bargin -this is a very important skill here in China.....the markets are especially rip off city if you let them.....so you have to be hard and make sure that you bargin hard!

This is a picture of a table that I really like - I should have bought it then as I can't find it again....but still I guess it was not meant to be...

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Posted by deboraht 02:33 Comments (0)

We have arrived

Starting our exciting life in Beijing as Expats- Can't wait....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We finally arrived at 4am after a very long flight and day - over 20 hours on and off the plane, got to sit on the tarmac at Shanghai for over 3 hours - no beer or food just one drink of water. We were told that the weather in Beijing was too bad to land -after the floods this was a bit of a worry!! But finally we got here and then we had to make our way through the airport - easy you think...not so much in Beijing - even at 4am people looking to "help" you into the hotel, a message to always be careful is always good to listen to, especially when you go into a totally different culture.

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Our apartment is a small 2 bedroom set out, I wanted 2 bathrooms at first, we only got one, but now I am not unhappy because I can't be bothered to clean it anyway. We have a balcony, which is really only a hallway to the kitchen and laundry, the washing machine is all in Chinese so it is a matter of putting in the clothes and pushing buttons and then hoping for the best!

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Thls is just the other view of the room, it does show the table and TV so I thought that I would include it, to be honest it looks bigger in this photo than in really in real life. The kitchen is very unemployed at the moment - it may be something that changes when the temperature drops. Also in the balcony we have laundry drying rack on the ceiling - so good as the clothes are out of the way and do dry quite quickly!! The laundry is a great size - I guess if I wanted to spread out stuff it could so in there!! But trying so hard not to collect too much stuff!!! Only 1 cupboard of stuff in the kitchen so that is not too bad?? We have managed to spread ourselves out into the two rooms - clothes in one and bed in the other...that is not too bad. Clothes are very cheap but I don't want to buy too many as there is nowhere for them to go - also the butt is very big and I would rather not dress it up - I think in winter I will need to have some more jumpers. At the start I needed some more summer clothes - so I spent all of $2 on some tops, unfortunately one needs ironing but I guess nothing is perfect.

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Well then we stared out first day here and it was really "foggy" which is Chinese speak for smog!! I was worried about just how bad the air was - we could look directly at the sun!! This is wrong!! But we woke up the second day the sky was blue the sun was shining.......and it was a beautiful day!

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We were so relieved and spent the day outside enjoying the weather. It was a great weekend - we went to Metro and got the important soft mattress cover, oh yes, wine and glasses as well so we are now all set. We found the supermarket and it had pretty much every we needed, especially given we had no intention of cooking anytime soon. So now we had plates, glasses and most importantly wine!! Luckily the beer is super cheap!! As in only .38c per can so it is great, buying by the slab at a time and it is so hot that we are going through it very quickly!!

Overall the first few days where fascinating, we learned how to cross roads - that is an essential skill here that has nothing to do with red or green lights! Learned just how dirty the air can get and then just how clean it can be the next day.

Our first Chinese words were to order beer - again essential in this heat!! We also learned how to eat a meal with 10 people watching and pointing!

The is the local canal - I think that it is man made and generally pretty gross, this was only 2 weeks after the floods and it was very empty, so it must have been very full and emptied very quickly, This is just by UHN which is a large apartment complex that many other teachers live in.

Overall it was an excellent start to the experience!

Posted by deboraht 01:17 Archived in China Comments (0)

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