AsiaChinaBeijing

back to Beijing: riding bikes with the locals..... blending: NOT!

Beijing Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 19 › view all entries
view of reflective ball

We returned to Beijing from Shanghai:  We left the motel in Shanghai  and arrived in Beijing in the afternoon.  We were sad to say goodbye to everyone but it was very hurried at the airport as they left to their next gate  and we left on our "adventure".

So......The group went on and we took off on our own.  We found the correct bus and rode it to the main bus station next to Teinamen Square.  Our motel was about 4 blocks and we walked to it.  Once at  the Beijing International Hotel we checked in and retrieved the large suitcase we had stored there to take purchases home in.

This large reflective ball was really interesting
   We took it to the room to sort and repack in the next day or so.

Davie and I started out walking:  We got pretty lost and weren't finding any of the sites we thought we would:   Then we saw a bike rental place:  I insisted on trying them:  We rented two bikes..... you know that saying about " if you learn how to ride a bike you always can??? " .  Well .....it's not true.   I wobbled all over the place.   The first bike was set wayyyy too high for me.  I fell over several times trying to take off because it was so hard for me to reach the seat....  finally after a couple of blocks I realized the problem....  So we went back and exchanged that bike for another one.

 
So off we went again.

A rather fierce turtle looking thing in beihai park
   It was definitely better!  Only one problem... my bike had crappy brakes so I couldn't stop quickly to avoid things.  I hit a man who stepped off the sidewalk (without looking ...so he obviously had a death wish anyway) I screamed and he somehow didn't get run over. I did bump him pretty good....I didn't stop to talk as I was already having trouble keeping going.  Besides.... I could only say nihou... and I doubt he wanted to be greeted.....David left me  in the dust and then about 4 blocks later he was sitting waiting for me.  

Tons of bikes, pedestrians and motor bikes. The cars drive pretty slow but they have the right of way. ...and buses are over them.. the biggest one rules....... so pity the pedestrians who have to wait a lot.
ceiling shot (what a surprise: Not!) The famous Beijing Hotel. It is so beautiful inside. Don't miss walking through it.
..... although Chinese have nerves of steel.

We walked through a part of the imperial city (forbidden city) pushing the bikes then we rode to a neat place called the Beihai park.   We could see a  large white building that was Tibetan style pagoda.   We were told by gesturing that we could not take the bikes in so we locked them under a tree.  The area had wonderful paths and  a huge lake with boats and an island in the middle.   People were strolling enjoying the gardens and the area.  We walked over the bridge to the entrance and paid to go see the white pagoda.  We found the beams  were beautifully painted in the outside arches and pagotas (like many of the imperial places) and we stopped to take pictures.
there was a large pond that had these guys ..... very serene
  We saw very little of the area because they were closing almost as we were buying our tickets. 
The grounds person was very kind and indicated for us to hurry and held one of the buildings open so we could look at the gold buddah displays.  Unfortunately, the next buildings were closed.  A really nice man reopened his shop and sold us water with slushy ice in it.  I was so excited when I saw the ice I almost hugged him....  We drank it and wandered around looking at the outdoor displays.  There were several pavilions and caves on the different levels.  I loved the statue holding the plate to collect morning dew.

We stopped at a little restaurant and had rice, noodles and dumpling. They had dog and shark on the menu but we were too hot and tired to try anything so adventurous.
beijing park lovely to see.... lovely to be walking in it
The meal cost about $6.00 with tea. We sat outside and watched the people on the lake gather their little rental boats up and put them away for the  night.  We exited the park and retrieved our bikes. 

I was a little better at bike riding at the end...... my "shriek" was improved so I could use it like a horn and warn people. People would glance back and see my blond hair flying and wild eyes and they cleared the path for me. (the brakes were still iffy at the end of the ride so at least that part wasn't me.....)   It was really fun riding and being part of the people flow:  a LOT of people are on bikes.  We didn't blend but it was still great fun.

We walked around quite a while also. approached by probably 10 students.
Just inside the entrance to Beijing Hotel
   (if not more..) ... They have this scam where they talk to you... always the same:  They ask: what country are you from? what city? do you like china ? is it beautiful? then the punch line:  we have a Lovely shop with a show room and pictures for sale.   We were stopped so often (blond gal with tall guy..... it's like waving a flag.....)  It got to the point where it was just irritating.  It would take about 10 minutes for them to cut to the chase so it wasted our time.   If they had been practicing their English that is one thing.... but they weren't.  We got tired of fending them off.  The last few that came up Davie told them right away we are not interested in art.  That cut out some of the talk.

On our way back to the motel we walked through the famous Beijing Hotel...  it is an amazing hotel that has been in existance for years....  many famous people have stayed there....  We did not because we are neither rich or famous.  But we loved the motel and got some great shots.

We still haven't hit a McDonald's but it's on our "to do" list.   I always the regional things at McD's.

sylviandavid says:
It was amazing, fun and challenging.... China is a hoot! We are looking forward to going back... it will be completely different after the olympics..
Posted on: May 09, 2008
cvanzoen says:
Wow, beautiful photo's. This must have been an awesome journey!
Posted on: May 08, 2008
mga_galang_paa says:
Awesome place!
Posted on: May 08, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
view of reflective  ball
view of reflective ball
This large reflective ball was rea…
This large reflective ball was re…
A rather fierce turtle looking thi…
A rather fierce turtle looking th…
ceiling shot (what a surprise: Not…
ceiling shot (what a surprise: No…
there was a large pond that had th…
there was a large pond that had t…
beijing park  lovely to see.... lo…
beijing park lovely to see.... l…
Just inside the entrance to Beijin…
Just inside the entrance to Beiji…
Isnt this great??  A fountain at …
Isn't this great?? A fountain at…
Very classy view of stairway: beij…
Very classy view of stairway: bei…
close up of the vase.... wonder if…
close up of the vase.... wonder i…
this lovely park is the very front…
this lovely park is the very fron…
strolling through the park:  the w…
strolling through the park: the …
views of the park.   lovely stream…
views of the park. lovely strea…
the park next to forbidden city
the park next to forbidden city
Beijing is very excited about the …
Beijing is very excited about the…
a small bridge with a reflective w…
a small bridge with a reflective …
weeping willows reflecting in the …
weeping willows reflecting in the…
the cute bunch of flowers that sai…
the cute bunch of flowers that sa…
a little entry way: the bathroom w…
a little entry way: the bathroom …
it looked like they had entertaine…
it looked like they had entertain…
the Canals outside of the forbidde…
the Canals outside of the forbidd…
david in beihai park
david in beihai park
beihai park
beihai park
we walked over to go through the b…
we walked over to go through the …
This was very beautiful
This was very beautiful
Almost to the pagoda: we were taki…
Almost to the pagoda: we were tak…
going towards the ivory looking ti…
going towards the ivory looking t…
two of the neat statues: were they…
two of the neat statues: were the…
David at the first level of the be…
David at the first level of the b…
A famous little pagoda: there were…
A famous little pagoda: there wer…
Look at the little guy the buddha …
Look at the little guy the buddha…
another cave buddha....beihai park
another cave buddha....beihai park
sign at a mall in Beijing; America…
sign at a mall in Beijing; Americ…
Beijing
photo by: Deats