first meal in china! they had cool table cloths with rubber mosiac tops. quite common in beijing i think?
stopped by our 'neighbourhood convenience store' to stock up on food. the atmosphere is somewhat like a dingier ntuc/sheng siong. ^^ and the exchange rate was like, SGD$1=RMB$4.65, but they were selling big bottles of soft drinks for RMB$2.50 or something equally cheap. we could have got coke for singapore cents! OR FREE!
went to watch the typical chinese acrobatic show, really quite good! but i was constantly blocked by big-haired women in front of me. ):
went back to the hotel at night. (crowne plaza sun palace, the bestttttt.) that's the bar.
and our floor had this mini lounge. for people to gather in the common coridors? who knows. but it was nice. so naturally, we camwhored and jumped around. and messed the place up. until creepy chinese men started talking to us.
after being freaked out by strange chinese men, we adjourned to our room...and continued our shenanigans.
k, i don't remember the days anymore. so i'm going to go by place.
THE FORBIDDEN CITY
sorry, i would have more to say about the colour significance or specialty of these rocks and plants, but our really lousy guide spoke in rapid-fire chinese the whole way, even though we asked her to translate. so i only sorta know that the rocks are special spongy stuff. the fact that i got that it was somewhat spongy is a MINOR MIRACLE.
korea has couple tees. japan has couple rings. china has couple trees.
it was really really really really crowded. and hot. and chinese people aren't exactly the most polite people in the world. and they don't believe in personal space. hence our expressions.
but the carvings of the stone were really pretty.
timeline of the all the chinese dynasties.
OMG. EMPTY SPOT!
and because it's china, there're ten million people sitting, squatting, spitting everywhere. did NOT look like a tourist attraction and a national monument.
and in the olden days, apparently the city would catch fire a lot. so they had POTS OF WATER sitting around-and stagnating-just in case they needed to just shove these giant iron things over to put out fires.
TIAN'AN MEN SQUARE
big. (can hold one quarter of singapore's population) flat. extremely hot in the summer. too bright to stand around for long.
NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
ok, this picture is hocked from google images cause there were too many people there when i went to get a nice full view like this.
took a ride around a hutong on these tri-shaw things.
a lot of stuff was under construction. homes and such.
this is a tin taxi. a tin taxi with no air-conditioning. an un-air-conditioned tin taxi which people actually use in the 39 degree weather.
most of the restaurants we went to had heavy chinese decor.
and stuffed us with food.
according to many sources, the peking duck at crystal jade is better.
on our free-and-easy days, fast food was our friend. chicken dishes were sooo much nicer than in singapore! kfc and even the chicken nuggets etc at macs was way better. pizza hut was ok though. pictures of us pigging out on kfc can be seen on facebook soon.
while fast food was our friend, THIS became our BEST FRIEND. the portable air-conditioning.
END OF PART ONE SPECIAL: THE WERID AND WHACKY
yes, if the menu gives you its order, take it.
the chinese style of driving is: dangerous. blasting of horns, swerving in and out of lanes, barely missing other vehicles, DRIVING IN THE SAME LANE AS A CAR COMING FROM THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION and all while reading a multitude of signs like the ones above.
this is a two star hotel in cheng de. if you look carefully, you'll realize this hotel only has a facade. there's NOTHING but a corridor behind this front.
no explosions allowed here.
non-speaking cellphones are fine.
they even provide you with a hose.
next installment, summer palace, great wall and more! :)