China Trip pt5: Beautiful Beijing

After the Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace we spent one more day in Beijing. It’s amazing what we managed to do and see around the city! We walked over the immense Tiananmen Square (see the photo above),  the world’s biggest square (Beijing has a lot of “world’s biggest”-records) and visited the shopping and eating area south of it where the Peking ducks were hanging in the windows and the dim sum was freshly made!

SONY DSCBeijings-15 Beijings-14The night before, we visited the famous Beijing Night Market. This foodmarket sells all kinds of food, but also the weirdest, creepiest, disgusting things imaginable …. :-p Take a look:Beijings-10If you think those starfish look creepy, wait till you see THIS:
Beijings-7  AAAAAAA SPIDERS ON A STICK! And giant centipedes…. hell do I remember both of those lurking around in our house in Kyoto. Yes, you can buy these on the market and eat them as snacks. I have eaten crickets once, but spiders and mukades are on my no-no list. Beijings-8Yeah… Anyway :p…. We also saw beautiful stuff in Beijing! Like the Temple of Heaven! A lovely round temple in the middle of a huge park. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCThis temple complex was built in the 15th century. Here the emperors prayed for a good harvest!Beijings-39Don’t worry, thus you don’t inconvenience me at all! After our stroll around the Temple of Heaven park we went to another very curious place, Dongyue Temple.Beijings-66 Beijings-63What the ….? There were endless rooms filled with statues of demons, drowned people, ghosts, spirits, sick people etc, all being judged by the appropriate god. They represent the 76 departments of the Daoist supernatural world. Beijings-62 Beijings-67Beijings-58Creepy or what?!! There were rooms for “those who were murdered”, “those who were punished”, “Those who were drowned” etc. etc. I’ll let you guess which ones these were:Beijings-68 Beijings-69Beijings-64Lovely temple this….SONY DSCWhat the hell!! This is one of the most peculiar temples I’ve ever been, it was really cool yet nightmarish ;-) To lighten the mood we quickly headed to a bit more upbeat temple, the Lama Temple.SONY DSC SONY DSCThis popular Tibetan Buddhist temple was very crowded with local people who held thick bundles of incense while praying. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC Beijings-75 Beijings-70The temple complex consisted of many interconnected buildings. SONY DSC SONY DSCThe main building held an impressive 26m sandalwood Buddha statue!Beijings-73A lovely place!!  We noticed a lot of Chinese people wanted to take pictures with us, not only at this temple but everywhere in Beijing. The men were usually polite to ask, but the women would just grab my arm and start making photos haha. Anyway, why don’t I show you our hotel? We stayed at a beaaautiful Chinese-style hotel in a Hutong area. Hutongs are alleys that are formed by big traditional courtyard houses. The neighbourhood was really authentic and lively.SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCOur street was very old:Beijings-20 Beijings-19And then, in the back of the street, There was this absolutely lovely hotel!!SONY DSC SONY DSCThe bird said ” nihao”! :-D All rooms were adjacent to a beautiful courtyard with trees and flowers and lanterns. At night, everyone would sit in front of his room drinking Jasmin tea and enjoying the cool air. Beijings-5IMG_1883SONY DSCThe hotel in itself was a real Chinese experience haha. With ” Double Happiness Hotel” as a name, how could you go wrong? :-) SONY DSCOur last night we went out to experience some nice Chinese neon lights: to Ghost Street!SONY DSCThis street is the place to be after sunset, since all Chinese gather there to drink and eat! The waiting lines are immense, and people eat sunflower seeds while waiting. So, when you walk by you hear this non-stop crunching sound as if you’re surrounded by a thousand squirrels haha. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCA really magical street! We went to a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant there that did its best to make all its food NOT look like vegetables. You think this is pork? Think again!Beijings-76Ghost street is a very cool place to wander around at night!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCAnd that was our last day in Beijing…Wow! China is … big!!! :-) especially when you’re used to everything being cramped and tiny in Japan. We feel like we only saw a fraction of Beijing even though we saw so many things. There is so much more to explore! And what about all the amazing stuff in the rest of China?? I think we have to come back here someday and really travel around. I can’t believe we were here for only 9 days :-O!beijings