Beijing Journals

Big Capital, Small Pleasures

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A travel journal to Beijing by SeenThat

Beijing Zoo Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: ‘It is very convenient’ is a staple sentence of the pragmatic Chinese and visiting their intriguing capital, Beijing, is a convenient way to investigate this interesting and rich culture; even the shortest visit will be transformed into an exciting adventure.

Big Capital, Small Pleasures

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Overview

Beijing Zoo Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Beijing is an impossible mix of an Imperial and a Communist city; both styles share a taste for huge administrative buildings, despite the slight difference in the ornaments used by each. If you combine that taste with the fact that both regimes controlled vast areas of the planet, the result is a plethora of ‘must-see’ blocks of cement, stone and wood. You may spend a long period of time exploring them and still miss the main treat of the town: its people and their culture. My idea of exploring the place is to begin with the ‘unimportant’ things: visit the Dashalan Market, eat some local food, explore some Hutongs, learn some Chinese Characters while trying to find an address and try to get the tones...Read More

Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck

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Restaurant

Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
More than a meal, a Beijing Duck is a symbol. A symbol of a far gone imperial era. A symbol of dishes designed to symbolize status. A symbol of institutionalized discrimination. A symbol of yet another futile attempt to reach an inexistent perfection. This is what makes a Beijing Duck an essential part of any visit to the Middle Kingdom’s Northern Capital. Experiencing the symbol doesn’t mean accepting the ideas represented by it; doing that only adds another layer – culinary in this case – to our capability to understand the culture that created it.Moreover, after a morning visit to the near...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 29, 2008

Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck
32 Qianmen Dajie
Beijing
+86 (10) 67011379

The Purple Forbidden City

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Attraction

Tiananmen Square Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
My main concern while planning the visit to Beijing’s Purple Forbidden City was getting trapped amidst a million visitors and unable to enjoy the place. The planned strategy was simple; arriving early in the morning and then rushing to the main sights, while keeping those next to the entrance for the end. This seemed to be an infallible plan.Next day I bought a ticket and run into the forbidden grounds. I crossed a typical Chinese gate and saw another one ahead of me; "First the palace," I told myself and run through the second gate. And through the third...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 29, 2008

Tiananmen Square

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Attraction | "Tienanmen Square"

Tiananmen Square Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Tiananmen Square is the large plaza named after the gate at its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square includes several important structures, among them the Great Hall of the People (or National Legislature), the National Museum of China, the Monument to the People's Heroes and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum.It has great cultural significance as a symbol because it was the site of several key events in Chinese history, the most important among them being the 1989 violent protests when at least hundreds of unarmed democracy-activists were massacre...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 29, 2008

Tiananmen Square
Chang An Avenue
Beijing, China 100006

Great Wall at Ba Da Ling

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Attraction | "The Chinese Great Wall at Badaling "

Great Wall at Ba Da Ling Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
A dream of years, my visit to the Great Wall posed a huge obstacle: Is it possible to take a clean photograph of the colossus? Would millions of visitors step aside while I laboriously aim my camera? I had no illusions.As explained elsewhere, the visit to the Wall became a literally turning point during my first visit to the Middle Kingdom. Having spent most of my life in warm climates, I pay little attention to temperatures. Yet, in Badaling, I stood atop the colossus with a fierce wind – almost a hurricane in my private definition - and suffered temperatures of -10°C during a col...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 29, 2008

Great Wall at Ba Da Ling
Yan Qing County
Beijing, China
+86 (0)10 6912 1235

Dashalan Lane

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Attraction

Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Medieval China is gone. The picture we all have in mind of narrow alleys packed up with ambulant sellers, traditional medicine shops and a strong smell of incense and spice covering any other foul smell belongs to a far gone past.However, a few niches still exist in which modern versions of those quasi-mythical markets can still be visited; the rest is up to our imagination. Dashalan Lane in Beijing is such a place. LocationDashalan Lane enjoys a superb location near the Purple Forbidden City. The market is a Hutong traditional neighborhood/market ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 4, 2008

Beijing Zoo

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Attraction | "Beijing’s Zoo"

Beijing Zoo Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
I find the very idea of a zoo disgusting; even if justified by the efforts to save endangered species it is just a placebo conscience tranquilizer for ruining their habitat. Yet, time and again I find myself visiting them, since sometimes they offer fascinating insights into the human culture that created them.Beijing’s ZooFor some reason I never managed to read anything positive about the Beijing Zoo, so I took it as a personal challenge to do so; it didn’t took long to get disappointed and find that it wasn’t so hard to do it.Maybe it is done as a way of indirectly criticizing a regime which does not respect basic human rights. Few would argue with this las...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 5, 2008

Beijing Zoo
131 Xi Zhi Men Wai Avenue
Beijing, China 100044
+86 (0)10 6831 4411