Grab your walking shoes and head to Beijing (part 2)

I’m back! Sorry that I haven’t been active lately, I had to sit for an exam (without getting any time off work) so I struggled to find time. But I’m glad to say that I passed and can forget all about it.

Here’s part 2 of my post on Beijing for tourists.

 

Beijing is a great city to absorb Chinese culture, although some of the attractions are targeted at tourists rather than locals’ actual practices (for example, the food street in Wangfujing). Here are some of my recommended experiences in Beijing.

Hutong, Nanluogu Xiang

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Hutongs are the traditional streets in Beijing, with narrow alleys and old buildings, some of which are still being used by residents. A typical old building is made of grey bricks, single storey and is centered around a courtyard. There are rickshaw tours available if you can’t be bothered to walk, but I highly recommend walking along Nanluogu Xiang. It is one of my favourite spots in Beijing, as it is fully pedestrianized (although you should still look out for bicycles and motorcycles), has lots of stalls and shops selling souvenirs, also cafes and restaurants. It looks beautiful with the lanterns hanging along it and lights in the evening. There are lots of hidden gems in the small streets around Nanluogu Xiang, including the Great Leap Brewery and the Black Sesame private kitchen. Continue reading

Liebster Award :)

I’m thrilled to say that I’ve received an award from a great travel blogger. Thanks for nominating me, Audrey! Check out her blog:

Living for Experience

What is Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

 

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Grab your walking shoes and head to Beijing! (part 1)

Even though Beijing is not an ideal city to live in due to the high level of pollution, extremely cold winter and high density, it’s a perfect place for a sightseeing trip as it’s steep in history and culture. Unlike Shanghai, Beijing does not feel like a modern city. Instead, it feels very communist and the historical monuments and architecture are still very prominent. I recommend spending at least four full days in Beijing and definitely wear comfortable shoes because there’ll be lots of walking involved. In part 1 of my post on Beijing for tourists, I’ll focus on the historical sights that can’t be missed while in part 2, I’ll focus more on the cultural parts of Beijing.

The Great Wall

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Scenic views of the Great Wall

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Was the July 1st Anniversary a Celebration?

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Photo courtesy of crienglish.com

Last Saturday, it was the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China. There were fireworks, lots of news coverage and President Xi graced us with his presence. There were also lots of crowds gathered – mainly in Wan Chai where the celebrations took place, but also around Victoria Park where there were protests.

Back in 1997, China agreed to ‘one country, two systems’ which meant that HK will remain independently run for 50 years. It is debatable whether China has kept to their end of the bargain. Most Hong Kongers would say no. I only moved to HK at the end of 2013, but even so, I can tell that HK has changed a lot over the years. Continue reading

Saying goodbye

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Today is a sad day because one of my closest friends is saying goodbye to one of the most important persons in her life and I’m not able to be there with her. Her dad passed away yesterday and it was a rather sudden departure. My thoughts are with her  and I know that she has lots of support from friends and family.

When I was growing up, I got to know the parents of a few of my friends. Specifically, I saw the dads of three of my close friends fairly often. This was through time spent hanging out in their homes or getting lifts home. Sadly, all three of them have left us.  Continue reading