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Beijing Travel Blog

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Obviously, this is us in our rickshaw before we started to move. We were still relaxed and looking forwared to the ride!

MAY 4, 2007   Another amazing day in Beijing..  We went on a tour of the hutongs.  We rode a bus into the area and went to a regional tour guide who specialized in Hutongs.  We went to bicycle rickshaws.   David and I got a tiny,  older man as our bicyclist.  On the hills he could not keep up with the group and labored to pull us along.  I told David I could die of embarrassment.  I was ready to get out and push.  or get out and run away! 

We stopped at a "typical" house and spoke to the couple who owned it.  .......So there we were,.... 12 people stuffed into their tiny living room asking the man questions.

isnt this beautiful?
.   They told us to look into the rooms if we wanted.  Heavens,  how tacky are tourists?   A few people walked over and looked into the bedroom but ... It seemed rude.... We didn't peek into the rooms and felt content to walk out to the garden.  Before we exited the house area another group arrived to tour the house.  I hope they were getting good money for showing their house.  They were a lovely couple.  The man is a retired archaeologist who worked at the Xian site.   One comment he said that stuck with me was that the statues were like 3 dimensional jig saw puzzles... That was interesting to hear about although the guide/translator soon dominated the conversation with his experiences growing up in the hutongs. 

Then back out to the bicycle cabs and watch our guy straining to keep up with the group then getting off to push the bike as he tried to catch his breath.

isn't this outstanding....
   A younger guy rode next to him and appeared to be encouraging him... (probably reassuring him that the next people would be lighter.....)  
We went to the Bell Tower and climbed up the 69 steep steps to watch a drum demonstration.  We both love drums so it was really neat to watch..  They had girl drummers which we felt broke from tradition : the drums told time before everyone wore wrist watches.   Like our night town criers in the United States.  There was also an ancient clock in the tower.

We returned to our bicycle rickshaws.  Our guy was resting in the shade and for a couple of minutes we thought he had run away (who could blame him?!) but he reappeared and we went to the Temple of Heaven.

this is a crest type thing on a wall: houtongs beijing, china.
  At the end of the ride we were happy to tip him and stop his suffering.   David and I are not thin so he was happy for the end of the tour and the nice tip we gave him.  Our picture is featured in the rickshaw.  We had not moved yet when it was taken.  We looked really relaxed and happy.....  We looked a little stressed later.....LOL.

The Temple of Heaven is a wonderful imperial temple.  The emperors came to worship and ask for a good harvest.  It had great gardens and rocks.  The actual temple of heaven is beautifully colored and perfectly painted.  It was really important for an emperor to have a good crop and no natural disasters as they showed the emperor was in heavenly favor and the dynasty was stable.   It was my favorite building in Beijing.

one of the china dragon dogs
 

We drove out to the great wall at the Badaling site.   Although I read quite a few people say it was horrible to view the wall at that site I really liked it.   I thought it was crowded but it was still the "great wall" and I was there!  Happily so!  Our tour guide said to turn to the left for fewer people and we did..  it did make us climb right away but it was still great.  

We went about a mile and enjoyed every foot of it.  One thing I found really interesting is the lack of uniformity in the steps.  Some would be 12 inches high and some would be two inches high... next to some 6 inches high....  the craftsmanship was there but.

bell drum tower ... no drum beating allowed but they gave us a great demonstration
... why didn't they match?   When we were heading back we came to a section that looked like it went straight down..... I couldn't believe I walked up such steep steps and didn't realize it.... I couldn't walk down facing down....  I was a dork and had to go down backwards like a ladder.... The wall is supposed to be wide enough for 6 horses side by side but a horse couldn't possibly travel on the actual wall..... (maybe a goat could!)

We didn't get very many pictures....  but ...... we have our happy memories and we are so glad we got this wonderful opportunity.  It was too short of a time for me ....  that is often how it is.  It gives me something to see the next time I go to China.

powderfan says:
LOL awesome trip report!
Posted on: Aug 10, 2012
bkretzer says:
Now I have incentive to diet before I go see the Great Wall!
Posted on: Sep 19, 2009
Jacqinmiddenamerika says:
Wow the pictures and your trip to China are amazing and very wonderful!!! :-)
Posted on: Jul 12, 2008
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Obviously, this is us in our ricks…
Obviously, this is us in our rick…
isnt this beautiful?
isnt this beautiful?
isnt this outstanding....
isn't this outstanding....
this is a crest type thing on a wa…
this is a crest type thing on a w…
one of the china dragon dogs
one of the china dragon dogs
bell drum tower ... no drum beatin…
bell drum tower ... no drum beati…
detail of the buildings
detail of the buildings
Do you see the bat? on the pole?
Do you see the bat? on the pole?
looking down from the bell tower: …
looking down from the bell tower:…
temple of heaven...   my personal …
temple of heaven... my personal…
the knobs on the dooors are nine u…
the knobs on the dooors are nine …
the temple of heaven was a huge hu…
the temple of heaven was a huge h…
looking back at one of the first t…
looking back at one of the first …
roof tops....
roof tops....
side buildings in the temple of he…
side buildings in the temple of h…
this is a carved stone that ran up…
this is a carved stone that ran u…
decorated roof
decorated roof
looking into one of the throne roo…
looking into one of the throne ro…
this guy loved bats: can you see t…
this guy loved bats: can you see …
temple peeking from behind buildin…
temple peeking from behind buildi…
one of the temple buildings
one of the temple buildings
loking back at the first building.…
loking back at the first building…
This one is my favorite...
This one is my favorite...
this is so stunning to see... but …
this is so stunning to see... but…
My traveldude partner in front of …
My traveldude partner in front of…
look at how intricate the painting…
look at how intricate the paintin…
more beams in the buildings
more beams in the buildings
Dave and David on the Great Wall
Dave and David on the Great Wall
Dave and David.... great guys on t…
Dave and David.... great guys on …
We were so thrilled to be there
We were so thrilled to be there
starting out on the wall at the Ba…
starting out on the wall at the B…
I still look pretty good.... the b…
I still look pretty good.... the …
Max on the wall.   He ran to a far…
Max on the wall. He ran to a fa…
dave and kathy waving... they met …
dave and kathy waving... they met…
the wall is interesting: some step…
the wall is interesting: some ste…
sylvia with the wall stretching ou…
sylvia with the wall stretching o…
Beijing
photo by: Deats