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Archive for February, 2013

Week 8 – Five Days Trip in Beijing (1/3)

DAY ONE –
(2013.Feb.12)

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Wang Fu Jin Street is a shopping street with 15% old and 75% new, 8% traditional and 92% modern buildings, mixed together. I don’t feel I like this kind of mixture. If I were asked to describe the street simply in one or three words, I would say, uninteresting or out of harmony.

Travel Tip: Please consider not selecting Wang Fu Jin Street as your first place to visit in Beijing. Visit it only after visiting Da Shan Lan Street, which is located near Qianmen Station. Both of them are shopping streets, but the difference is that Da Shan Lan Street is surrounded by famous traditional Chinese stores and old buildings.

DAY TWO –
(2013.Feb.13)

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Pack of people lining up at the ticket office at the near entrance of the Forbidden City. That day was the fourth day of Chinese New Year, and the number of visitors that I saw at the place had made my desire of getting in the museum to shatter.

After taking some photos, we both decided to leave.

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Following the direction shown on the website Tripadvisor, we took the subway line number 2 and got off at Yonghegong Station to look for a vegetarian restaurant.

I know that there are two vegetarian restaurants in the Yonghegong area. One is located besides the entrance of the Lama Temple (雍和宮), named Fairy Su, and the other one is located at the street opposite to the entrance of the Lama Temple, named Xu Xiang Zhai Vegetarian Restaurant.

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After lunch, we walked to the Lama Temple. The most interesting thing to see in the Lama Temple is the Giant Buddha at the Ten Thousand Happiness Pavilion, which is located at the rear part of the temple. This Giant Buddha statue is 26 meters high, 8 meters in diameter, 18 meters above the ground and 8 meters underground, and it says that such huge wooden Buddha statue is rarely seen in the world.

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People were praying and burning candles in the Lama Temple.

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After visiting Lama Temple, we went to the Temple Fairs at Ditan Park (地壇廟會), which is a common custom during Spring Festival. It cost only RMB$10.00 to get in the park. Things to do in this place are watching folk dances and performances, tasting local snacks and shopping. It is worth a visit if you like cultural experiences.

Travel Tip: By subway, go to Yonghegong Station via subway line number 2 (RMB$2.00), follow the sign post in the subway to “地壇廟會”. Located not far away from the subway station, it takes about 10 minutes of walk to the destination.

There are at least four places to visit at the Yonghegong Station:
1. The Lama Temple (雍和宮)
2. Temple Fairs at Ditan Park (地壇廟會)
3. Imperial College (國子監)
4. Hutong (老胡同)

There are two vegetarian restaurants nearby:
1. Fairy Su Vegetarian Restaurant (next to the entrance of the Lama Temple)
2. Xu Xiang Zhai Vegetarian Restaurant (opposite to the entrance of the Lama Temple, at the Imperial College Street)

To be continued.

Camera: Iphone 4S and Canon 500D


Week 7 – Versatile Blogger Award

versatileblogger
Some of the rules for accepting Versatile Blogger Award are:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you.
– Share seven things about yourself.
– Nominate up to 15 fellow bloggers.
– Add the Versatile Blog Award logo on your blog post.

I’d like to say thank you to Angrygaijin (Cameron Ohara) for the nomination!! You’ll never get bored when reading his blog. 😀 His humor writing style impresses me a lot!

Here are the 7 things about myself:

– I love visiting zoo.
– I love planting.
– I love traveling.
– I love Linkin Park.
– I love dreaming and I love keeping a dream journal.
– I love watching Master Jing Kong youtube channel.
– I love to be with my parents, they are the most loving people in my life!

Here’s my nominations:

http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/

http://guapola.wordpress.com/

http://cocomino.wordpress.com/

http://clover58.wordpress.com/

http://herenownotforeva.com/

http://legomyphoto.wordpress.com/

http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/

http://mikeshinoda.com/

http://likeitiz.wordpress.com/

http://refrigeratormagnate.wordpress.com/

http://thejourneyofawoman.com/

http://helenog.wordpress.com/

http://urutoranohihi.blogspot.com/

http://shellriver.wordpress.com/

http://thismansjourney.net/

P.S.: This is a scheduled post. My mind and body are still in Beijing. 😀


Week 6 – The Lunar New Year

week 6
According to the lunar calendar, today is the last day of the year of the Dragon in 2012, and tomorrow begins the year of the Snake in 2013. The first day of the Lunar New Year is the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth. So, people will refrain from eating meat on the first day of the New Year because it is believed that this will ensure longevity and happiness. On the second day, people will pray. Normally, they pray for ancestors and to all the gods. The third and fourth days are the days in which sons-in-laws pay respect to their parents-in-laws. On the fifth day, people stay home to welcome God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the fifth day because it is said that it will bring both parties bad luck. On the sixth to the last day of the Spring Festival (the 10th day), people visit relatives and friends freely. Also, they will visit temples to pray for good fortune and health. Moreover, according to tradition the seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. Farmers collect seven types of vegetables to make a special drink to celebrate the occasion. Also, the seventh day is also known as the birthday of human beings. It is believed that eating noodles on this day will ensure longevity and eating raw fish for success.

The things listed above are only part of the traditions of the Spring Festival. There are so many other details which I haven’t described them here, like giving and receiving lucky red pocket money, burning firecrackers and fireworks, family gathering, playing lanterns, put money under the bed, pillow, kitchen, lion dances, lucky words, lucky dessert, new clothes, new shoes, color to wear, color not to wear, words to say and words not to say, etc etc…

Although it sounds that the to-do and not-to-do list set for people to follow in the Spring Festival is endless and a bit “tiring”, however, I don’t see many people here are following strictly to all of those details. 😀

To me, the things that make me really happy and enjoy to do during Spring Festival is that I can receive lucky red pocket money, no need to go to work for a few days, and to hang out with friends and family. 😀

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!

P.S.: I’m traveling to Beijing to spend the Lunar New Year and Valentines Day! 😀


Week 5 – Little Story About Macau (2/12)

week 5 kuan yin

UNITY
This is the statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of mercy, located on a manmade island off the city, near the Cultural Center of Macau. The statue is clad in bronze. It weighs 50 tons. The figure measures 20m (65ft) in height, and the lotus stand measures 7m (23ft) tall.

Although this statue represents Guan Yin, the Goddess of mercy, but when you take a closer look at it, it looks like Virgin Mary as well. This reminds me of a dream of mine in few days ago, in which I saw a figure who was dressed in a blue and white robe with a head piece, praying for the souls in the hell, with one hand in the praying gesture, standing on a lotus flower. That figure, at the same time, represents Guan Yin and also Virgin Mary.

I hope this spirit of unity of different cultures will remain and more of this kind of work will be seeing in other places as well. Let our world to be unified as one. 😀

Cristina

Camera: Canon EOS 450D
Location: Statue of Guan Yin