Beijing-The heart of China

On 9th March 2016, I followed my parents for a trip to Beijing, China. The trip overall, still considered as okay, but it’s definitely not a pleasure one.

The departure date coincided with my repeat exam, but somehow I was able to make it for the flight haha. That’s the reason I had no mood of travelling prior to this trip.

Furthermore, my mum had a few attempts to cancel this trip because of my dad. He’s quite irksome when comes to travelling in cooler places. He kept worrying that he wouldn’t make it for the cold weather in Beijing. He would always go to accuweather.com just to see whether the temperature had risen or not. In fact, during the previous trip to Guilin, China years ago, he was so anxious about the cold weather till he brought a luggage of unnecessary things. He ended up carrying that extremely heavy luggage (around 15kg+)! But it can’t be helped right? He’s already aged 60+.

Anyways the trip wasn’t cancelled because my mum bought three sets of coats made of feather.

The flight to Beijing was at 7.30pm. We coincidentally met the China Ping-pong team and other China Tourists sponsored by 完美集团. I would like to criticize them because they have no idea on manners. Do you think that winning the table tennis championship allow you to be rude to others, especially in other countries? Not only cutting the queuing line, but also making a huge uproar in the plane! I thought I was in the night market instead. Furthermore, I can’t sleep because of the noise.

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Here I am, in AirAsia Airbus A330. With the slogan “Now everyone can fly”, everyone started squeezing in this plane like sardines. -_-

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Finally, after 6 hours of flight, we arrived at Beijing! I took this photo of Beijing International Airport outside the plane. It’s already 1am in the midnight, the moment we stepped down the airplane, chilling wind instantly made us shiver. I got running nose afterwards. We hurried to the arrival hall, stop at a corner, and immediately took out the feather coat that we prepared earlier. Thank goodness, despite hundreds of tourists like us rushing to the immigration counter, the process was fast because more counters were open.

Again, I would like to scowl on China people. How good their manners are! Always irresponsible and inconsiderate about others! When we went to claim our luggage, most of the China people just cut in front of the conveyor belt the moment we took our heavy baggage. WTF?! Don’t you know that your actions just now had almost cause injuries to me?! Luckily some of the China people (not the irresponsible ones though) gave us a helping hand.

The moment we went out of the airport it’s already 2am, and another 1 hour to the hotel (Maya Hotel), it’s 3 am. Oh my goodness. No sleep throughout the day. Furthermore, my mood worsened when we found out that our room’s bathroom door can’t be shut and my parents argued with the staff in order to have room exchange. For goodness sake, I need a peaceful sleep, for now, at least to heal my running nose……

10th March, 2016

I barely slept in the hotel and woke up at 6.30am, still exhausted. SO imagine I just took how many minutes to sleep. Nevertheless,  we went for breakfast at hotel. Even though walking from the room to the breakfast hall was like a maze, I kinda like the food, and the dining atmosphere.

7.30am, we met the tour guide. I prefer not to disclose his name here (yeah it’s a guy) because he is the WORST tour guide that I’ve ever seen. Not because he didn’t explain well for the place where we visited. In fact, I think he explained a lot about Beijing and I would like to compliment him for that. However, he forced us to stop by the shopping site and keep pestering us to buy a lot of things which is not cheap and not worth it at all. He kept saying that their main income is from the amount we spent on those shopping sites, China government appointed those ‘sponsors’ to subsidise the travel fees and threaten us that if we don’t buy any, tourists in the future will not be able to enjoy the cheap travel fees anymore. WHAT?! I thought we had already paid the tips to him and what’s with this kind of attitude, huh?

We met other tourists from other countries like USA, Indonesia, Panama, Taiwan etc, so yeah, the whole bus was like a ‘world village’.

We departed from the hotel at 7.30am to the first destination- The Forbidden City (故宫). It’s a must-go destination to Beijing. I was kinda glad because the weather is good today and clear blue sky can be seen! Without any clouds at all! I can snap decent pictures without too much of post editing.

20160310_093916The south gate of the Forbidden Palace. Also known as the main entrance, Tian’an Men (天安门). The place where a lot of significant events happened. I took this photo when there were water fountains which refracted the sunlight to create a rainbow. Love it!

Note the portrait of Mao Zedong in the middle. According to the guide, the portrait is drawn by known artists and it changes every year. And it was kinda creepy because wherever we walked, his eyes will be looking at us……20160310_101404Interior view of the palace. Panaromic view :3

Here is full of histories, we witnessed the rise and fall of Qing Dynasty. The huge building in the middle is the place where the Emperor had his meeting. It’s approximately 725000 square meters so imagine how huge is the palace!  I love the architecture design of the buildings and the old chinese culture.

And yeah, don’t get cheated by the sunny day. It’s extremely cold out there and my hands were numb even with gloves on.

Next, we went to Temple of Heaven (天坛) after lunch. The lunch was kinda bad, most of the cuisines are salty and I barely able to finish it by mixing with rice and soup. We walked a long distance to the Temple of Heaven. Most of the temples were destroyed during the Second World War with Japan. Temple of Heaven is meant for the Emperor to pray for rain.20160310_134257This is the most satisfying picture that I took in this entire trip. Love the blue ❤

The structure of the building is amazing. No nails are used to build this temple. Sadly this is the remaining part of the temple.

Happy moment ended after this. Next, the tour guide brought us to the first shopping centre- Tea leaves shop. Where they claimed to be the most authentic and the best tea in China, with long history of supplying tea leaves to the imperial palace. WELL since they are the best, their prices were also the best- approx RMB500 for a small can of tea. More buying, more value. However, we were not attracted by this offer AT ALL. In fact, we wasted 3 hours in this place for no meaning.

After dinner, we went back to hotel. The same hotel though. Luckily no need to shift hotels every day. The security guards were quite strict in such a way that they would always check for our bags each time we went into the hotel.

And we kinda lucky because we got a room exchange! The room was way more better and the location is nearer to the breakfast hall. Thank goodness, this time I had enough sleep and I crossed my fingers hoping that I wouldn’t fell sick throughout this trip.

11th March, 2016

Woke up at 6.30 am, departed at 7.30am after breakfast.

Today was a good sunny day again. Hooray! But the tour guide told us not to be too happy, because this clear sunny day won’t be lasted for three days consecutively.

We went to another shopping station-Jade Shop. AGAIN UGHHHHHH. Wasted 2 hours just to see the world of jades.

We arrived at The Great Wall of China at 10.30am.

20160311_110037The view of the Great Wall at a distance away. Note the beautiful azure blue sky 😀

The tour guide gave us one and a half hour for us to explore the Great Wall. My parents intended to just go climb up to the half of the great wall. However, I insisted on going up to the top, believing that I can shoot beautiful picutres of it. At last, my dad decided to follow me.

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From the photo above, you can see it’s tough to get to the top of the Great Wall. It’s just the same in life: To succeed in life is not easy.

In the end I had to give up going to the top because my dad couldn’t make it due to the extremely cold wind and fatigue.

To climb up the steep staircase is not easy, but going down is much more challenging because if not careful enough , you will fall down and get serious injuries that may be fatal.

20160311_114052I took this photo when I got back from the top. There’s a carved stone writing “You have no guts if you haven’t went to the Great Wall of China (不到长城非好汉)”.

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Me and my mum on a tricycle. The tricycle was not as nice as the ones we saw at Stadhuys Melaka, but it’s definitely comfortable. The service provided was quite good.

After having lunch at the Jade Shop (yeah there’s a restaurant built beside the Jade Shop), we went for a tricycle ride to explore Hutong (胡同). Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys, commonly associated with northern Chinese cities, most prominently Beijing. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.

20160311_144142Photo taken on the way exploring the hutong.

We went to Wang Fujing, one of the most famous shopping streets of Beijing shortly after the ride. It’s a combination of both traditional and modern shopping centres. We decided to just explore into the traditional food stalls. On the way, we tried some of the Beijing delicacies such as Fried Squids, Cooked Goat’s stomach and more.

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Fear Factor at Beijing! Do you dare to challenge on this fried scorpions and seahorses? Hahaha XD

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I managed to take this sunset shot at Wang Fujing 😀

After dinner, we had a bus tour going around Changan Street to enjoy the night view of the Forbidden Palace. The bus was moving so fast and the flash on my camera really sucks, I can only adjust the camera to higher ISO value to reduce the blurriness of the photos.

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The Forbidden Palace at night! Sorry, my camera failed at low-light shooting. Tour guide told us that we were lucky to see water fountains because they will only show fountains when there is an important event or meeting happening here.

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The night view of The Great Hall of People.

We went back to hotel at around 8.30pm. I was quite frustrated when surfing the Internet because of the firewall in China preventing me to surf websites outside of China such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Google!  I can only have access to websites like baidu. So that explains the reason I was not online for almost a week in Facebook due to restricted access. (I forgot to install VPN)

12th March, 2016

My impression of our tour guide turned worse today. We were supposed to go to the Summer Palace, a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing in the morning, but he brought us to the third shopping station, the Silk Shop. Again, he insisted that he was obliged to bring us here and buy something there. He said that “If you didn’t buy tea, I understand because you guys drink coffee; if you didn’t buy jade, it’s because you guys bought gold or diamond instead. But don’t tell me you are not buying silk blankets because you didn’t sleep at all!”

Arghh. I got really annoyed by this. We bought silk blankets during our trip to Suzhou and the price was not cheap either.

Then we wasted a whole morning there. We patiently listened to them explaining how special their silk are, and how low the price we could get as compared to buying branded silk products in other countries. The worst part came when the sales promoters kept pestering us to buy unnecessary things along with the blankets. They detained us in the room like a prisoner if we didn’t buy the amount targeted by them.

When the tourists bought a shitload of expensive blankets, they didn’t let us go. In fact, when we finally went up to the bus, they still forcing us to buy cushions at a price of RMB500 for two. It’s so annoying! They are driving me insane!

In the end? We had only had a short while at the Summer Palace. If we didn’t waste a long time at the Silk Shop we would be allocated more time at there.

Summer Palace was the place where Empress Cixi had her summer break. She allocated a huge sum of money in order to repair it after the British and French army destroyed the palace.

Too bad, however, today is not a good weather. Photochemical smog can be seen. As stated by the tour guide earlier. Furthermore, due to the congestion of tourists, I can barely take good pictures of it.

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The front gate of the Summer Palace. Note the vast amount of tourists.

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The Longevity Hill (万寿山) . Behind the hill there’s a temple in order to calm down the murdered kid’s soul as sacrificial tools in the process of building the tower.

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The view of the Summer Palace! Too bad the smog is way too strong, no blue sky 😦 otherwise the photo will be more superb.

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Macro photoshooting! I think that’s the bud of a blooming peony flower.

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Inside the Longevity Hill. Indeed it looked like a paradise isn’t it?

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I bought a commemorative coin as souvenir before going back.

We were brought to the last shopping station, the Pearl Shop, before going to the Beijing Olympics Sports Village. It’s already at night the moment we got there, the moment we got down of bus the lowering temperature made us shiver. But it’s worth it because the night view of the Olympics Village is superb.

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This is the Beijing National Aquatics Center, also officially known as the National Aquatics Center, and colloquially known as the Water Cube.

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Beijing National Stadium, officially the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, is a stadium in Beijing, where Olympics 2008 was held. I heard that it’s actually Deng Xiaoping’s wish to build a stadium looking like bird’s nest.

We couldn’t stand the cold so after snapping the photos we rushed to the bus as fast as lightning bolt.

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Finally, we got a bite of Beijing Roasted Duck as dinner! The duck was crispy and tasty, and mouth-watering as I saw the chef sliced the duck. And the boiled the duck’s bone as soup, it was delicious too! It was the most sumptuous meal we ever had on the trip to Beijing.

13th March, 2016

The btight, blue sky finally returned. 😀

We went to Jingshan Park, a public park covering 23 hectares immediately north of the Forbidden City in the Imperial City area of Beijing, China.

We saw the old man exercising in the park and some of them performed traditional musical instruments.

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Here’s the highest peak of Jingshan. I took the panaromic views from the peak.

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The Forbidden Palace is just the opposite of Jingshan Park!

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Panaromic view of the Beijing City.

Shortly after, we went to Beihai Park, just behind of Jingshan Park. Beihai Park is a public park and former imperial garden located to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

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Yay another macro photoshooting! The yellow flowers were blooming everywhere along Beihai Park, I chose a best angle to snap this haha.

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The lake view of Beihai Park.

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Ducks are swimming gracefully in water. However, they paddled their webbed feets in water as hard as they can. Sometimes we didn’t see how hardworking they are behind their glorious successes.

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After lunch we went to Qianmen Street, located near Tian’anmen Square. I went to a bookstore and the price of the books (Chinese Books) were so cheap with the lowest price at RMB 5 (approx RM3)! I am a book lover so I bought two books at RMB30 something, which was RM 17 approximately.

Later we went to Xiushui Street. It’s a building actually, and you can bargain the price with the seller if you are interested to buy something. We bought some snacks to be given to friends.

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I took this final sunset photo before going back to Malaysia.

The flight was at 2.30am midnight so we spent our night at the airport. The security check was so strict in such a way that even POWER BANKS needs to be separated from the hand-carry bags. It was a pain in my neck to took out the power bank from my bag because it’s full of stuffs and the power bank was beneath my bag.

Once we got into Airasia plane, we immediately took off our coats and even long johns because we knew that once we got back to Malaysia, the weather would be extremely hot.

Thank goodness the plane wasn’t like night market as before and I slept in the plane.

Except for the bad tour guide, it’s actually quite lucky to me (and my family) because there was no rain at Beijing. Furthermore, I didn’t fell sick! Hooray!

ps: Finally finished this 3000-word review (less than 3000 though) on my trip to Beijing. I wanted to speak out about this trip because I am totally not satisfied with the attitude of China people.

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