Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Lama Temple & Confucius Temple

They are not next to each other, but they are near to each other (about 10 min walk apart). Althought they are near to each other, they are not neccesary mean they look similar.

YongHeGong or the Lama Temple, look so much better in shape. It is very nicely renovated, and look few times better than the Forbidden City that is in such sorry state. Furniture and statues inside there remained the same after many hundred years.

This temple was formerly Emperor Yong Zheng residence when he was still the crown prince.

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Entrance to Yong He Gong

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This building has a very large wooden standing buddha within

Confucius Temple, on the other hand, look worst than Forbidden city. Everything there seemed so run down, broken. In my opinion, people in China these days must not be taking Confucius's teaching seriously anymore, that is why they neglected his temple so much. Hahahaha...

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The bad shape Confucius temple

Monday, August 29, 2005

Toilet in Beijing

I tell you, toilet in Beijing is just so so disgusting. The look at it doesn't seemed dirty, but the smell I tell you, you just can go bonkers getting the smell alone.

Even at high class shopping mall, like the Oriental Mall, it is just as bad. That floor in the toilet always seem so so dirty. No matter how many time the worker mopped with her dirty dry mop, it will never clean it all all.

I mean, the street of beijing is so clean, but the toilet is just so difficult to keep clean which I am not sure why. Apparently they have been doing large campaign to rates public toilets, be it three stars or four stars. But they just can't maintain it too long.

In the toilet at forbidden city, the people was told that they cannot wash their hair, wash clothes, wash leg, etc. so I guess you can see the reason why toilets in beijing never get too clean.

Another thing, is that we can't flush the toilet papers into the bowl. Even though you have wiped your butt full of shit, you just got to throw that disgusting piece of paper on the small little bin next to you. I forgotten about that last night, so I caused one of the bowl blogged till now. Oh well...

In my opinion, no matter how fast Beijing might want to progress, they will have a long way to go when comes to improving their toilets.

Writing from the Backpacker's Hostel

Hie all,

been reading my post lately? :-)

I am still here after being in beijing since wednesday last week. All of my colleagues had gone home yesterday. Mark and I have stayed back, until thursday. We checked into this nice little Backpacker hostel call "The Red Lantern House" in Xin Jie Kou.

It is one of those older brickhouse located in the old Hutong area. But very nearby to the main road to grab a quick bite. There are Mc Donalds, Dairy Queen, Yashinoya, and local stuffs like noodle and dumpling shop.

The courtyard of Red Lantern House

This place is quite nice and homey. There's a man made Koi pond in the middle, and a black color dog running around to be friend with us. The owners are very friendly too.

Cute Michael (read again, I say Michael, not Mark, :P )

Mark's still fast asleep upstair at this hour, while I already fed myself long before. Hehe...

We have been very tire from our whole last week's travel, so we decided to take it easy in Beijing itself. For me, all kind of sickness has been catching up. First had sore throat last week, then a mild cold with coughing, after that was the urinary tract infection. I just kept on needing to go to the toilet. And you know how bad china's toilet can be. Hmmm... also, my knees still hurting since thursday climbing the great wall.

Mark on the other hand is having some stomach discomfort, probably due the oily food he has been getting here. Food is quite a problem here, as it can get very oily most of the time. So once in a while we both just got to pay a visit to the McDonald's for a meal.

The Great Wall

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The Great Wall!!! at Ju Yong Guan

We went to the Badaling Great Wall today!!! And the part of great wall that the guide chose is "Chu Yong Kuan". Heavily renovated according to the Lonely Planet guide. If you ask me, I still think this heavily renovated part of the great wall, to be quite challenging. After all, all the steps are actually not evenly paved.

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Highway branch off to Great Wall

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Perilous slope awaiting

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Motivated at Starting Point

Despite of that, I managed to climbed to the level 4 in 1.30hr. Most of the people that came with me, went all the way up to the highest peak, at level 6.

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I huff and I puff

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I wish I didn't come! Hmm...

The view here is just breath taking, can see more of the great wall section on the opposite of the highway. The weather was rather cloudy, and feel a litty mysterious when looking down. A top of the world experience to me. Yeah!

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But for the nice view...

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Nevermind "lah"!!!

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Made it up also, at the end. Haha!!

Going up is hard, but decending is not easy either. I just got to come down slowly so that I won't tumble over. We stopped at level 3, 666m above sea level to get our certificates. Damn, the girl that engraved our name wrote it so badly.

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Souvinir Time

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Careful when you making your calls to show off at your friends!

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Coming down is just as tricky

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Ming Tomb - DingLing, largest of the 13 Tombs

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This place is very quite a far drive from the city (about 1 hour). After getting down the bus, we walked up a small hill, apparently is the upper portion of the tomb!

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Can you imagine the tomb below here???

Going behind the hill, we reached the entrance to the tomb. And there we walk down the staircase of about 6 floors. It is quite cool inside there. Some might find the coldness eerie. BOO!!

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Various sightings within the tomb

Though the government claimed that everything in the tomb remained as it was first found, I find this tomb to be very empty. Ceiling is high within, built with very smooth wall. I would suspect that must be of very superior masonry skill.

I think I will go the the Ching Dynasty (in He Bei) tomb next time as I heard it is very painstakingly built.

Shopping Trips

What annoys me the most in all these group tours to China are the shopping trips. And these shopping trips are divided into factory shopping (so called factory) and general shopping at goods distribution centers. The guide will also bring you to cultural centers, which most of the times sell all the not so good quality arts and crafts.

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Buses congregating to send their load for slaughter

On the third day of the trip itself, we went to two shoppings alone! It was only scheduled for one, but during lunch time, they purposely chose this restaurant that was attached to the jade factory.

But to my surprise, my colleagues actually do not mind that, because at all these places, they actually bought quite a bit. Especially at the silk blanket factory, they bought so much even though I think the price was much higher.

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No No, No More Shopping For Me

All these shops the guide brought us to, self proclaim that they are government runned. But in my opinion, that will only mean that you have just got to pay more for the genuine stuff. Sigh~ Mark and I most of the time would just hide at one corner waiting for everyone else buying there. It is kinda like wasted good times outside there.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Temple of Heaven

At the Echo Wall

We didn't really get to see a lot of the temple, because it was under renovation. Therefore we were only allowed to see it from outside. It will not be completed until June 2006. So we proceed to the echo wall temple and the open space prayer ground. As usual, they all look very bad shape. Probably due to the harsh weather in Beijing these few years.

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A nice morning at Temple of Heaven

It was a nice little stroll through the surrounding garden here. Lots of elderly spend their time socializing with each other. There were people practising their chinese musical instruments in an orchestra style, there were group singing opera openly. Walking ahead, there were people that practice their chinese caligraphy too. They wrote a big chinese brush dipped into the water, then onto the square pavements. Mostly practice writings on some chinese verse (dui lian).

Others mostly play chinese chess, with many people surrounding them. Some play the 9 dots card (pai jiu), some play normal pocker cards.

Walking around here, it does gave me a feeling that Beijing people are mostly happy and living comfortably these days, under the current government care. In fact, we don't see much that sleep on the street when dusk falls. Every here seemed to enjoys the warmth of the summer as much as possible.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Forbidden City

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Once when I was at my younger age, I felt at awked when I first see the picture of the forbidden city. I told myself that, how nice it would be if I could go there one day.

And true enough, now I get my chance to finally set foot at this so called Forbidden City. I was very thrilled to learn that I will go there on this company trip.

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My first impression of this old palace, is that, it is not that magnificent after all. In fact, it is not as big as what I thought initially. The throne where the emperor once sat, look so dull and smaller than size. The palace ground, at most place, are actually over grown with unkept grass. The beams, wooden window, all look so bad shape.

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There are actually very little thing that resemble how it use to be once upon a time ago. The furnitures settings were all taken off to somewhere, where you need to pay more for to look at it. Most of the buildings are empty.


Here and there, we get to see small scale of restoration on it, but this will be carried on until 2008 for the Beijing Olympic. In fact, many of the old buildings are being restored now. So don't be disappointed the next time you find yourself travelling all the way there, only to find that the place you want to visit is closed for restoration.

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However, I still manage to get a glimpse on how the royalties lived during the pass. This place is mostly a serious administration fortress, there are very little for fun here. Perhaps that is why they have few summer palace here and there.

Tiananmen Square

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Tiananmen at day time

This place is so so big. People are wandering everywhere, there are space for flying kites. Yes, it is so windy here that peddlers actually start selling kites to tourist like us.

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Tiananmen Square - So many people walking around

Nothing much to do here, except taking pictures. There are places of interest around here. Forbidden city is just behine the Tiananmen Walls.

Tiananmen is just as beautiful when comes to night. Bright lights around the whole area, making this place kinda romantic to Pak Tor too. Hahaha...

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Beautiful Tiananmen at dusk set in

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Standing at the Olympic 2008 Countdown, all weary

Bad bad flight to Beijing

Man... so this is what you get if you are offered an incentive trip from the company!

We actually pay extra for this trip and then we were urshered into the plan at 12.30am the night before, and guess what??? The flight is only 6 hours. Just iamgine how groggy we all became when we first arrived at the international airport.


Along the highway from Airport to Beijing City Center

The weather is so so warm, it reminds me of KL. Even known when I am typing this, I feel it was no different from typing at my house in SS2. :-)

Yawn... we want to sleep... there's no breakfast for us after that, since breakfast was provided on the plane! Lucky I flicked the cold bun from the flight, and ate it when we were at the Forbidden City.

Read about my trip to Beijing, China

  • First Stop: Tian An Men Square

  • The Forbidden City

  • Temple of Heaven

  • Shopping Trips

  • Ming Tomb - Dingling, Largest of the 13 Tombs

  • The Great Wall

  • Writing from the Backpacker's Hostel

  • Toilet in Beijing

  • Lama Temple and Confucius Temple

  • Back to KL - Klang Valley Night View

  • Eating in Beijing

  • See my photo album for Beijing Trip here:
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/danachow/sets/870716/
  • Thursday, August 18, 2005

    What's the Sales Person's greatest fear

    Well, for the one that just work from paycheck to paycheck, loosing his job might be the greatest fear.

    But for those that hopes to have a gasp of the whole market, a tender opened up without his knowledge is the biggest fear! And guess what, this is happening to me today!!!! Argh...
    got to run to IMR now to see what's the specs like.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    Haze!! When is it leaving us alone!!!

    I can definately assure you that this smoky haze blowing from the Sumatra is making almost everyone I know, sick! Even I myself is down with this sensetive nose, which then leads to uncontrollable nose leakage, whereby to the end is a full blown cold. My mom in PJ now kept complaining that her throat is feeling so sore, and even the house now is looking very smoky.

    Me on the other hand is rather lucky to escape to Ipoh here to work! Still, the scenery is a bit blurr even though I can see the clouds and pale blue sky. At least the air is not smelling with the burn smell here. I am relieve that I I feel much better after being here for just one day.

    Now, I am wondering if I should go back to KL tomorrow. My company is having a nice company dinner treat at Sasaaki in Menara UOAII near KLCC, but I am so fearful that my nose is going to be that bad again!!! Mark, who's with me now thinks it is not a good idea to drive back as it is quite difficult to see the road clearly, especially on the highway.