So I apologise in advance for the bad quality of pictures, I was using my phone and they look fine there but when they’re blown up they don’t look so fine anymore. I also know that I’ve posted some of these already but I felt they would make it look complete, sort of. This is a response to misswinnielondon‘s comment about more photos. I hope you enjoy them 🙂 The Main Building. We had Tai Ji in the courtyard outside (you can see some people there) and had some lectures inside too. It has over 17 floors!
A model of the University campus, which is huge. If you look really hard in the bottom right corner one of the buildings has an orange slice roof. I never saw it but it looks cool on the model. It’s in the main building (1st picture)
The front of the Forbidden City at night. I went twice (at night), this being the first time.Just before the opening ceremony starts. They introduced our student volunteers and Mandarin teachers and also gave us a chance to talk to the other students on the programme. We also had a group photo which they gave us a copy to take home at the end. I don’t really need to explain the above pictures, except maybe the last one which I’m not quite what it is to be honest but lots of people were taking pictures of it…so I did too. Actually the picture before is just a statue/piece of artwork we saw when we were walking around.Hotpot. It was really spicy and really nice. There’s an earlier blog post about this.
Forbidden City Entrance, visit 2. It was so cold that night. The coldest I think I felt (until we went back again…)Outside Wangfujing shopping centre, the most Christmassey/Western decoration we saw whilst we were there.The entrance was in the subway station…that was weird. It was closed when we got there (about 8pm) but I don’t think we would have gone in anyway.Reception in the company we went to visit. The map has the times for countries around the world, which we corrected because of the daylight savings time so their clocks for the UK and Europe were out by an hour. That was a little awkward but they trusted us (being from the UK and all that).You can just about see the panda hiding behind the bamboo. It was not a happy panda.The moment before it hit the window…that was scary.Cutest animals ever.Very big, cool looking statue near the lions, tigers etc.The beluga tank inside the aquarium, which was the most expensive part of our ticket. If we didn’t visit the aquarium the ticket would have been much, much cheaper. The show was cool though.One of the many elephant statues near the elephant house. There are pictures of us sitting on the bigger ones…This hawk was way too chilled out. It must be the cold. Very big turtles. The dinner our host family gave us. It was so yummy. Even our lop-sided dumplings.The little girl and her mother had stayed in the US the year before and so had been introduced to the idea of Christmas and had a tree which we helped decorated. It had lights and music and everything. They even gave us a little Christmas gift each.Actually, this day was the coldest. Apparently the coldest in 13 years or something, my friend said. The third time I went there but the first we actually got to Tiananmen Square and saw Mao’s body.The Forbidden City. It was really open, which made it feel ever colder despite how pretty it looks.The Fu Dogs were everywhere, this is the first of many pictures.The Temple of Heaven on a very cloudy, snowy day. The Lama Temples were really pretty. I prayed quite a bit whilst I was there and probably used up most of our student volunteer’s incense sticks but she was really nice and let me use them. She even showed some of the others how to pray and which temples were for what.Another Fu Dog at the Summer Palace.The frozen lake at the Summer Palace. My friend went over Easter and went on a boat. We just took a few steps on the ice. No boats. Not sure which is better.You can walk up the stairs here and go to the top where you can see some nice views of Beijing. It was sunset too so that made it better. We managed to cover the Lama Temples and the Summer Palace in one afternoon – about 4 hours. It impressed people a little when we told them what we did. Carpe Diem.Just outside Tianjin train station. Also near the station, showing how fast development is.A frozen river. With people fishing. One guy rode his bike across!Inside Culture Street. Very cheap market and really, really friendly vendors.The Tianjin Tower. Just managed to fit most of it in one shot.Tianjin from the tower. How high we were compared to the lake it’s in. Which was also frozen and some of the local children were playing ice hockey! I sent this picture to my friends and they all didn’t realise how high it was. At night time, just before we got the train back home.The Great Wall with its crazy signs.Another great visit with our host family. Just outside Food street near Wangfujing. Western-style malls next to a small, hutong-esque food market. I went twice in three days.
So that’s about it. There are a lot of pictures and I think I repeated quite a few of my earlier posts but it’s a snapshot (or whistle-stop-tour, as one of my uni friends said) of my three weeks in Beijing.