China trip 3: Living in China (the rest of Beijing’s sights)

In this post I presented Beijing’s touristic sights that we visited in 2009.

In 2010, my friends and I stayed for a whole month in Beijing, in order to have mandarin language classes.

Everyday we had 4 hours (I think) of classes. And we had to study afterwards, so sightseeing was limited on the weekends mostly. These are the places we visited:

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It is the place where the emperors spent their summer vacation. It is a little outside of the “center” of Beijing, but you can go with the subway. I liked it more than the Forbidden City. You pay the entrance fee and you can go wherever: the many different buildings, the huge outside space (gardens, rocks, hills), the amazing lake (you can rent a boat or a “water-bicycle” – no idea how they are called in english).

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It is huge, has many places to discover and there is a complete freedom, it feels like a park with traditional chinese buildings.

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this is called the suzhou street, it was made to resemble Suzhou (see this post

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this stone boat is the main attraction of the Summer Palace

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To sum up, I totally recommend Summer Palace!

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This is one of Beijing’s main attractions.

At first it did not impress me, compared to Forbidden City or Summer Palace, because it is just a few buildings in a big kind of empty area, but this emptiness and space is actually kind of a relief after the bombardment of sights in the other sights. I think it is worth a visit, but on the other hand if you don’t have time and you have already seen the Forbidden City, it will not offer anything new.

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The architecture is similar, so maybe the Summer Palace or Lama Temple will be a better choice.

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I will make another post with more “living in Beijing” info and I was wondering if I should include this there or in the sightseeing section.

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In any case, I believe it is a must-visit place.

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It is an area with warehouses turned into galleries. I love it! And note that I am not very much into art. But this place shows you another side of Beijing and chinese people: the modern and free-thinking side.

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Just go there and spent an afternoon. There are many cafes and places to eat (we actually ate burgers there) and many cute shops with artsy kind of stuff. I still wear a t-shirt I bought there. We also sent a postcard to ourselves, that you could make it arrive much later. Mine arrived 2 years later and it was an interesting experience.

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Don’t miss it!

 

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When Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, they built these impressive buildings. I don’t know if it counts as a touristic sight, we visited it because it was close to where we lived. So here it is:

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this is the main stadium, the “bird nest”

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this is the inside

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and this is the building for the water sports. It changes colors at night

If you notice, weather-wise it was one of the best days I ever spent in Beijing.

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I also don’t know if that counts as a touristic sight, plus I am kind of against zoos now, but we did visit it, so here you go:

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It is a pretty good zoo, many animals, nice environment. But the people… ugh!

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They threw a water bottle to that bear. That is totally horrible, but the result was one of the things I will always remember: the bear picked up the bottle, opened it with its mouth and drunk the water, by bitting the bottle and lifting its head up.

That was repeated later with a chimpanzee (?) and a bottle of ice tea… Although he drank it in a much more sophisticated way than the bear.

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Anyway, many animals and nice environment…

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You can take a boat tour afterwards, it takes you even to Summer Palace.

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It was nice, if you go to the zoo, you should totally take the boat tour afterwards.

PS. We saw someone swimming in that dirty water in the middle of Beijing ❓

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A very famous and huge park. You pay a small entrance fee to get in.

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There is a huge lake.

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And some traditional buildings.

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A nice place to see some nature and forget that you are in one of the biggest cities in the world.

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And there is of course dancing involved!

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Chinese do that everywhere. Someone shows the moves and everyone is free to participate. I danced too!

That’s it for now! I hope I did not forget any touristic attraction.

Next I will talk about living in Beijing by describing some areas for “hanging out”.

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4 thoughts on “China trip 3: Living in China (the rest of Beijing’s sights)

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