China
Longtan

Here you’ll find travel reports about Longtan. Discover travel destinations in China of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

48 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Ankunft in Peking

    December 21, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    Das Abenteuer beginnt mit einer Stunde Verspätung in Hamburg, geht weiter im Sicherheits-Chaos am Moskauer Flughafen, und es wird zur Herausforderung am Pekinger Flughafen.
     
    Der Grund dafür ist eine neue Visa-Regelung für deutsche China-Besucher: Wer China als Transitland bereist und wessen Abflughafen ein anderer ist als der Ankunftsflughafen, der kann sich bis zu 144 Stunden ohne Visum in seinem Ankunftsdistrikt aufhalten. In unserem Fall Peking. Und Peking ist groß. Es reicht bis zur Großen Mauer. Wir sprechen hier von einem Umkreis von rund 200 Kilometer.

    Das jedenfalls ist die Auskunft, die uns das chinesische Visa-Office in Berlin gegeben hat. Also nicht irgendwer, sondern eine offizielle chinesische Autorität. Soweit die Theorie, jetzt die Praxis.

    Der Teufel liegt, wie immer, im Detail. Kaum in Peking angekommen, macht der Polizeibeamte am Transitschalter, nach einem Blick auf unserer Tickets, ein ernstes Gesicht und telefoniert mit gefühlt 20 Leuten. Dann schickt er uns zur Seite mit den Worten: „Es kommt gleich jemand, der sich um Sie kümmert.“

    "Man" kümmert sich um uns: vier verschiedene Leute, alle freundlich, alle höflich, aber wenig zugänglich. Und kaum einer versteht Englisch. Der Haken: Unser Flug nach Auckland hat eine Zwischenlandung in Chengdu. Dort müssen wir umsteigen, 0 Uhr, zwei Stunden Aufenthalt, um das Flugzeug zu wechseln; weiter geht’s - Ankunftsort: Auckland. So hatten wir uns das zumindest gedacht. Das chinesische System funktioniert aber nicht nach dieser Logik. Nach chinesischer Auslegung ist unser Umstieg in Chengdu ein Inlandsflug. Und bei einem Inlandsflug gibt es kein Transit-Visum. Dass wir in Chengdu nicht bleiben werden und nur umsteigen, dass wir dort mitten in der Nacht ankommen und den Flughafen ganz sicher nicht verlassen, dass unser Gepäck durchgebucht wird bis nach Neuseeland - egal. Das zählt alles nicht. Unser chinesischer Kontaktmann Chao versucht es noch mit einem langen Telefonat auf chinesisch. Keine Chance.

    Wir müssen jetzt also entweder ein neues Ticket buchen oder innerhalb von 24 Stunden das Land verlassen, dann gern auch über Chengdu, oder wir werden zurückgebracht nach Moskau.

    Vier Stunden später und hunderte Euro leichter für einen Flug über Hongkong nach Auckland dürfen wir den Flughafen verlassen. Mit Transit-Visa. Zwischendurch sind Micha und ich abwechselnd der Verzweiflung nah. Und wir haben sehr schnell und schmerzhaft gelernt: Das chinesische System ist eines, dass sich nicht bequatschen lässt. Alles erinnert stark an DDR-Zeiten. Niemand will Verantwortung übernehmen. Wer sich also für China als Stopp-Over entscheidet, der sollte Direktflüge buchen, wenn er ohne Visum einreisen will. Sonst wird es ganz schwierig...

    Als wir den Flughafen verlassen und mit dem Taxi durch die milchige Pekinger Luft fahren, sind wir einerseits froh, den Flughafen verlassen zu können, andererseits bleibt ein beklemmendes Gefühl. Man weiß, solche Sachen können immer wieder passieren. Willkür und Überwachung haben plötzlich ein Gesicht: sofort nach der Ankunft müssen wir unsere Fingerabdrücke abgeben, wir (und unsere Pässe) werden fotografiert, auf Schritt und Tritt zeichnen uns Kameras auf, das WLAN schon am Flughafen lässt nur ausgesuchte Internet-Seiten zu - deutsche gehören eher nicht dazu. WhatsApp funktioniert nur eingeschränkt. Es ist nicht so, dass man das nicht weiß bevor man in dieses Land reist. Aber vor Ort wird es beengend und gruselig.

    Wir checken bei Steffi und Christiane ein. 15. Stock, der Ausblick atemberaubend - soweit man sehen kann durch den Smog. Auf dem Nachtschrank liegen zur Begrüßung zwei Atemschutzmasken und ein Buch über Xi Jinping.

    Wir trinken Sekt auf die geglückte Befreiung auf dem Flughafen und fahren mit Steffi eine Runde mit den Fahrrädern durch das Viertel.

     

     
    Vor dem Abendessen bekommen wir eine Mail, dass der Flug nach Auckland storniert wurde. Und da ist es wieder, das beklemmende Gefühl. Nicht zu wissen, ob man Peking einfach so wird verlassen können. Wir müssen auch GENAU auf diesen Flug. Denn das ist die Flugnummer, die wir bei den chinesischen Behörden angegeben haben. Wir können nicht einfach unseren Chengdu-Flug nehmen. Den gibt es ja immer noch...

    Christiane und ich schaffen es tatsächlich direkt bei Hongkong-Airlines noch zwei Plätze zu ergattern. Wir haben jetzt eine Bestätigung und hoffen, es wird alles gut...
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  • Day4

    Tempel of heaven

    July 8, 2017 in China ⋅

    In der Früh waren wir ins einem der Hutongs brunchen. Dann sind wir zum Himmelstempel gefahren. Hier hat der Kaiser früher für gute Ernte gebetet, weshalb der Tempel untypischer Weise blau ist, was den Himmel symbolisiert. Außerdem haben wir hier noch die Echowand und die Parkanlage des Tempels besichtigt. Am Abend waren wir in einer Rooftopbar mit einem tollen Ausblick über die Stadt.Read more

  • Day1

    Beijing

    July 5, 2017 in China ⋅

    Alle begin is moeilijk zeggen ze. Dat bleek waar te zijn bij het volgende deel van onze reis: China. Het begon al op Schiphol, waar we zien dat ons vliegtuig is gecanceld. Een kleine acht uur en een flinke portie geduld later vliegen we dan toch naar Peking. Op dat moment zijn we nog heerlijk onwetend, maar vertraging blijkt pas de eerste hindernis te zijn. Aangekomen in Peking, lopen we met de backpack op onze rug naar buiten, waar de hitte ons meteen aanvliegt. Zweetdruppels parelen over mijn rug. Met de slaap nog in onze ogen, we zijn immers al meer dan 20 uur wakker, gaan we op zoek naar onze geboekte airbnb. Mijn shirt plakt helemaal aan mijn rug vast. Vermoeid zakken we neer op een bankje. Even de rugzakken af. Gelukkig kunnen we de bewoner bereiken en vragen ons op te halen. Hier heeft namelijk het hele blok hetzelfde adres en ook de zijstraten hebben dezelfde naam als de hoofdstraat. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat we zonder de airbnb-gids nu nog steeds op zoek zouden zijn naar het juiste gebouw in deze drukke en volle stad.

    Op naar het politiebureau om ons te registreren, een vereiste als je naar China reist. Maar wel pas over ruim een uur; het bureau gaat dicht tijdens lunchtijd. De airbnb-bewoner laat ons binnen in zijn appartement waar we eindelijk een beetje kunnen afkoelen. Vechtend tegen de slaap maken we de registratie op het bureau af en een slaperige taxirit verder is het eindelijk zo ver. Uitgeput vallen we op bed. Twintig minuten later wordt er aangeklopt. Het is de bewoner van het airbnb-adresje weer. De eigenaar van het pand ziet het niet zitten, ziet ons niet zitten. Zonder reden van opgave. We mogen een nacht blijven maar om 9 uur in de ochtend moeten we de registratie op het politiebureau terugdraaien. Daar gaat ons plan om even vier dagen te acclimatiseren aan de warmte en drukte in de stad. En daar gaat onze nachtrust. Op zoek naar een nieuwe slaapplek krijgen we te maken met de beruchte Chinese fire wall. Ondanks het feit dat we amper op internet kunnen, lukt het ons toch een hostel te vinden.
    De volgende ochtend staan we doorweekt op de stoep. De regen komt met bakken uit de lucht en geen enkele taxi wil voor ons stoppen. Nog doodop door de korte nacht en jetlag, voelen we ons twee weggestuurde kinderen die niet welkom zijn. Maar ook dat is reizen en stoppen is geen optie. Met volle bepakking op onze rug weten we toch een taxi aan te houden en handelen we alles af op het bureau. Aangekomen in het hostel moeten we nog even wachten tot de kamer klaar is. Mooi moment om de buurt te verkennen en een hapje te eten.

    Ons hostel staat in een schattig steegje met allemaal kleine huisjes. Even verderop zit een grote straat met veel toeristische hoepla, maar in de straatjes om ons heen zitten eettentjes, kleine supermarktjes en winkeltjes vol met blikken thee, waaiers en waterijsjes. Na een paar uur stoeien met een vpn - abonnement en de geduldige helpdesk medewerkers op de chat, kunnen we ook weer bij onze mailbox, instagram en Google maps. Als ik naar buiten kijk zie ik mensen die buiten op krukjes majong spelen of voorbij fietsen met een zakje verse noedels. Kinderen spelen met bellenblaas en er staan houten kooitjes op straat met exotische vogels erin. De airco is lekker koel, we kijken vanuit ons raam uit over ons straatje en we kunnen eindelijk even bijslapen.

    Het is gestopt met regenen.

    Ik denk dat ik het hier heel fijn ga vinden.
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  • Day103

    Beijing - Temple of Heaven

    September 15, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    On our last full day in Beijing we went to the Temple of Heaven. It is located in a big park, so it was nice to walk around there for a while. In the evening we had another Beijing Duck! It was soooo great!

    An unserem letzten Tag in Peking haben wir noch den Himmelstempel besucht. Er ist in einem großen Park im Süden von Peking gelegen und es war ganz angenehm hier fernab von Großstadt-Dschungel ein bisschen durch zu laufen.
    Am Abend haben wir uns dann noch eine Peking Ente gegönnt. Super lecker!
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  • Day4

    The power of nine by KC

    July 24, 2016 in China ⋅

    Nine is a special number in Beijing. Here is James checking that the number of stones in each circle can be divided by nine and trying to gain immortality by touching on one of the nine nails in the temple door.

  • Day34

    The Forbidden City is not so Forbidden

    October 16, 2016 in China ⋅

    After a brilliant nights sleep, it was time to see the sights of Beijing but not before the ATMs had to be renegotiated so that we could take out money to pay for our tour of the Great Wall. It seems that the bank had decided that just as we wanted to pay, they would do some maintenence on their systems which meant that no transactions were able to be processed during a 3 hour window and of course that 3 hour window occurred when we were trying to pay. Embarrassed, Jamie ran off to draw some money out of the ATMs while I went and did the most important task of the morning - purchasing breakfast for the two of us at a local bakery.

    Jamie returned flustered, as it appeared the ATMs didn't want to give us any money either, so had to explain to the lady that we would only be able to pay later when the bank maintainance was complete. I watched on, scoffing my face with breakfast as I was hungry.

    We had attempted to be out of the hotel at 10am but due to our financial debacle of the morning taking longer than expected we ended up leaving the hotel closer to 11am. We decided to walk the three blocks to Tiannamen square from our hotel and passed countless rickshaws and cyclists braving the Beijing traffic. As we had three large intersections to cross, we quickly realised the rules of the pedestrian crossing which are there are no rules. Even if there is a green man, that doesn't mean cars stop for you and even if there is a red man it doesn't mean you can't walk. Basically, you walk anytime there is a space in traffic and hope like hell the cars will stop for you. The other striking observation was again the Smog and how our visibility was limited to about 500m. It really dampens your mood being in somewhere so grey and knowing that the quality of the air you are breathing in is equivalent to roughly smoking 18 cigarettes.

    We knew we had hit Tiannamen Square as the volume of people multiplied by what seemed like millions. After walking through a security checkpoint, we were greeted with massive lines of tour groups trying to get it to Mao's Mausoleum, security guards and selfie sticks (God I hate those things). The other surprising observation was how much internal tourism there was in China, with Europeans being few and far in between. Because of this, we had wondered if we would bump into our friends Emily and Victoria from the train and literally about 30 minutes later they spotted Jamie and we laughed at how ironic it was finding each other in such a massive city.

    We realised that we had the same itinerary planned for the rest of the day which included the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven so we decided to hang out together to check out the sights. First stop was the Forbidden City, which was a selection of temples repeating themselves over and over again with a sea of never ending tourists. The shear number of people was enough to drive us out of the place, so after a quick look around we made our way out and walked towards to Temple of Heaven via our hotel to sort out the tour tickets for the following day.

    After our quick stopover, we made our way to the Temple of Heaven via McDonald's where we stopped for an ice cream cone. Turns out the ice cream was actually frozen yoghurt and after craving ice cream all day, I ended up cursing McDonald's for providing me with the healthier option. After this incredible disappointment, we continued to the temple and had the option of an entry ticket or a through ticket which would allow all access to all temples within the complex. After the Forbidden City we were a bit templed out, so we opted for a walk around the grounds where we anticipated that we would at least get a view of the temples. The majority of the complex was just grass/gardens and the only buildings that were found required the through ticket or entrance was available at an inflated sum. Our tour consisted of a lot of brick walls, some roses and grass. As it was getting darker and closer to 6pm, we decided to catch the metro back to our hotel to enjoy two for one cocktails which unfortunately were incredibly disappointing bit as they were supplemented by free left over afternoon tea, it almost made up for it.

    A few cocktails later and it was time to hit the local food market for a bit of dinner. We passed the same wonderful delicacies from last night with the scorpions and cockroaches being in particularly high supply. We consumed corn on a cob which was very chewy, steamed vegetable dumplings which consisted of some vegetsble and some meat, the favourite being a potato fritter with an egg in the middle and dessert consisting of a hot waffle cone with a scoop pf icecream.

    Our night ended with a brief walk down one of the expensive shopping streets which had light up stairs and some cute little pop up art things. We started making our way to the Tube station where Emily and Victoria would go the opposite direction to us and the second disaster of our holiday struck as I fell down the stairs and landed heavily on my left arm, scratching and brusing my arm and losing all the feeling in my little finger. Jamie said I was fine if I had broken my arm as long as it wasn't my ankle. Awww young love.
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  • Day34

    Braving Beijing (and it's smog)

    October 16, 2016 in China ⋅

    When we woke at 8:00am this morning, the train was approaching Beijing. The wide open plains of Mongolia, and the rocky desert of the Gobi had been replaced overnight by towering mountains, dammed rivers, and heavy, heavy haze.

    You'll see from the photos just how spectacular the scenery was, as we followed along the side of a river gorge, popping in and out of tunnels, as below us, on the river, farmers tended to their orchards, in the narrow river plain before the gorge wall. After a while, it quickly became apparent that the haze we were looking through, was not from the early morning cold, but in fact, thick smog. A proper pea-souper. This realisation was particualrly awful because, we had four days to survive in this polluted jungle.

    As the train pulled into the station at Beijing, we said our goodbyes to our new train family, unsure if we would see many of them again. We had vague plans to go on a tour with Emily and Victoria, and catch up with a few more for a drink in a couple of days' time, but didn't know if it would happen.

    After the obligatory team photos, we made for the nearest ATM, to try and get some cash. This proved to be a problem. China is not the most traveller friendly place that you will ever happen upon. Finding a bank was easy enough, there was one across the road from the train station, but finding an ATM that would work with any of my cards. As it turns out, some ATMs will work, and some won't, so after trying five ATMs and three separate bank cards, we eventually got some money, and headed back to the train station, to buy a subway ticket, to go the one stop to our hotel.

    With all the hassle getting money, we had contemplated just walking to our hotel, knowing that it was close by, but without access to GoogleMaps, or any Google app, we thought it best to get the subway, as we knew our hotel was right next to its local subway station. After 45 minutes of trying, we finally got ourselves our subway tickets, passed through the secutity check point to get into the subway (every station has an x-ray machine and metal detector you have to pass through), and got on out train. Two minutes later we at our stop, and two minutes later we were in the lobby of our hotel.

    Having dressed for the cool weather we had become used to in Finland, Russia, and Mongolia, Beijing was not cold at all - it was ~15C - so by the time we got the room, we were saturated in sweat. The first order of business was a shower, and clean clothes, though clean clothes were in short supply. The second order of business was catching up on washing. Knowing that hotel cleaning costs are extrotionate, Courtney went down to the concierge, to try and find a local laudromat. While there she met Sebastian, an MBA student from Mexico, living out of the hotel for the past to months, while doing his MBA placement. He recommended a service called Laundrytown, where your clothes are picked up, cleaned and returned to you two days later. It was much cheaper than the hotel costs, and about the same as a laundromat, so we thought why not, and arranged for our clothes to be picked up the next day.

    Having dealt with the admin, and had some lunch at the hotel, it was time to go for a walk. We headed for the main shopping street. While there we found a crazy market, that had a lot of food stalls, and some other shops selling awful Chinese tat. The foods available were a bit crazy. There were scorpions, locusts, cockroachs, starfish, seahorses, and sea snails. We didn't have anything to eat, as we were still working of our lunch, but agreed to come back for dinner the next time.

    When the light had faded on the day, we headed back toward the hotel, and stopped at a local Chinese restaurant on the way. Courtney order a tofu dish, that nearly killed her. Not because it was bad, but because it was egg, in the shape of tofu, and a lot of egg at that. There must have been seven or eight eggs used at least, which was far more than could reasonably be stomached. Aside from that the food was prettty decent, if not spectacular.

    And that was the day. Nothing too exciting, nothing too boring.
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  • Day41

    Nǐ hǎo Beijing

    May 11, 2018 in China ⋅

    Train to Beijing

    The train from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing was the same train as the one from Ulan-Ude. The only difference was this time I shared my cabin with three other travellers, a german couple and a Singaporean girl, all around my age. It was nice to be able to share thr journey with them and exchange travel stories, especially during the five hour stop at the border (yes i said five hours!). The border crossing takes this long as the train guages in Russia and Mongolia are actually smaller than normal so thsi means that in order for the train to continue the route to china each individual carriage has to be taken into a warehouse, lifted up and had its wheels changed, and with a 16 carriage train this process takes a long time! All passangers have to exit the train and go through customs (which was very straightforward) and then wait in an airport-style lounge for he remaining four hours. This wait was especially annoying as it was between 9pm and 2am. When we finally got back on thr train we all went straight to sleep, waking up just before we reached Beijing. We then parted ways to find our individual hostels. I arrived at my hostel around 5pm so just had a shower and found somewhere to have dinner and called it a night.

    Day 1

    My first stop in Beijing was the Summer Palace Gardens in the outskirts of the city. This is where the Chinese royal family would spend their summers during the Qing Dynasty. As it was quite far away from the city centre I decided to take the metro. This is by far the best way to travel around Beijing, and thanks to the 2008 Olympics it is probably one of the easiest Metro systems i have ever used. I arrived at the Summer Palace at around 10am and spent the next three hours walking around the giant man made lake in the centre of the park. The side nearest the main entrance was packed with tourists (mostly Chinese), all taking pictures near the lake. As you walk further away from the entrance the crowds thin and the rest of the area is really peaceful. The walk on the far side of the lake was especially nice as it involved crossing seven bridges, some stone and some with small pavillion-type buildings on them. After crossing the bridges I walked through the "long corridor" which is a 728m long covered walkway. This was probably my favourite part of the park as each beam in the roof was painted with scenes depicting local legends, landscapes, buildings and animals. After the Summer Palace I headed to the south of the city to the Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex of Taoist religious buildings surrounded by a large park. The temple buildings were very impressive as the two main ones were circular, a contrast to the temples I have seen up to now. As with the Summer palace the main areas of interest were crowded with people, so I didn't spend too long around the temples themselves. Walking in the surrounding park was actually a much more memorable and peaceful experience as there were very few people around, and the ones I did see where doing tai chi or meditation. After the walking around the park for a few hours I headed back to the hostel for a much needed rest (30,000 steps people!).

    Day 2

    Last night I got into contact with a girl I had met on the train to Ulaanbaatar (Kate from Greece) who I knew was in Beijing at the same time. We decided to meet at the metro station in Tainanmen square and spend the day together. Due to there being four exits at the metro station we almost didn't find each other, but luckily I have eagle eyes and spotted her from a distance and flagged her down. Safely together we braved the crowds of the square. The square is the main tourist hub of the city as it includes the Mao Mausoleum and The Forbidden City, and so you have to go through passport checks before you can even entre the square. We decided to join the giant queue for the Mao mausoleum to see China's counterpart to Russia's Lenin (yes another embalmbed world leader). This was a very different experience to seeing Lenin as the queue was enormous! It went very quickly though as your are herded like sheep and only have a few minutes inside. An interesting experience to say the least. After the mausoleum we both decided we'd had enough of the crowds in the square and decided to escape to the north of the city to visit the 798 Art District (or what I call Beijing Hipster District). This area is full of art galleries, murals, sculptures, artisan gift shops, and numerous coffee shops (naturally). This area quickly became my favourite (probably of the trip so far) as it had a really cool atmosphere and just getting lost down all the side streets was great. We even found a vegan restaurant (if not in hipster central then where??) and i introduced my non vegan companion to mock meats (they taste the same guys!). After we ate we decided to call it a day as Kate had to work (online english tutor) and we were both pretty tired. We decided to meet again tomorrow night to explore some more.

    Day 3

    Today was the day I had been waiting for - visiting the Great Wall! I decided to avoid the tour offered by the hostel and make the journey myself so I could enjoy the wall at my own pace. The journey was very straightforward, a short metro journey to the bust station and then a local bus (where i was definitely the only foreigner) directly to the Badaling section of the wall. I left the hostel pretty early, around 6am an got to the wall at 8. The bus drops you near the ticket office and then its a case of following the signs for "Climbing the Wall". There is a cable car which can take you to Tower 8, the highest point on this section of the wall. Most people either get the cable car up or down, but I decided to walk the whole way. When you get on the wall you can either walk north or south. North is the most touristy and is where the cable cars go, and south is slightly quieter but you have to walk back along the wall to get down. I decided to go with the masses and head north. And boy were there masses. As the Badaling section is the most easily acessible from Beijing it is also the most popular to visit. I had read though that once you pass the eighth tower the crowds thin substantially. It took me about 40 minutes to hike to Tower 8, and during that hike (which is pretty damn hard, lots of stairs, and blazing sun) I was the only foreigner among a see of Chinese tourists. There must have been over a thousand people there (at least) and i was definitley a bit of a tourist attraction for them as well as the wall, with a few locals asking for a picture (it got annoying very quickly as i was pretty much drenched in sweat). I just kept thinking to myself "get to the eighth tower!". And as I had read the crowds all but dissapeared after tower 8, as the vast majority decide to take the cable car back down. I spent the next two hours hiking to tower 12. This section was so much more enjoyable as there were only a handful of people, and I was even able to get a picture with just myslef on the wall! I have to say though that it was much easier hiking up the wall than coming down as its pretty steep and the stones have been walked on so much they are pretty slipepry (thankfully this section had handrails - historic of course). Tower 12 was almost next to the car park, so after taking a last few pictures of the nearly empty wall, I headed down to catch the bus back to the city. Although I picked the busiest section of the wall I am actually glad that I got to experience both sides, the mass crowds, and the peacufulness. Not many westerners opt for this (i saw five other non-chinese tourists in the whole three hours).
    After the wall i headed back to the city and got back around 1pm. As it was still pretty early i decided to visit the Forbidden City. This is the former imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasty (from 1420 to 1912) and is now home to the Palace Museum. Maybe it was because I had spent the morning on the Great Wall, but i found the museum to be slightly underwhelming. It is a huge complex of over 900 buildings, but after you have seen the first few they all start to merge into one as they are all built in the same style. It is definitely the most visited tourist site in Beijing itself, but I felt like its one of those places that you have to see because its the main tourust attraction, but wouldn't necessarily rush back to. Also it is absolutely packed with tourists! (definitely a recurring theme in China). After walking round the complex for a couple of hours i headed back to my hostel for a quick power nap before heading out again to meet Kate. We decided to visit the Olympic village that night as all the buildings are lit up and it is supposed to be a nice area to walk around. We met at the metro station (making sure to state which exit this time) and spent the hour or so walking up and down the promenade between the "Birds Nest Stadium" and the Olympic tower. The buildings themsellves were definitely impressive, illuminated in different colours, but the best sight was seeing all the different impromtu dance classes lining the promenade. It seems to be that if you can find an empty space in China you can organise your own dance class. This is mainly older ladies doing what I imagine to be a Chinese version of Zumba. However we did pass one very small group dancing to Blue's "One Love", talk about a blast from the past! After taking in all that the promenade had to offer we headed back to the metro and said our goodbyes as we had seperate plans for our last day in the city, though im sure we woudl run into each other again.

    Day 4

    I began my last day in the city by heading to the Yonghe Temple, also known as the Lama Temple. Each visitor is given a bunch of incense sticks and are encouraged to light them in the designated pits as an offering. I walked around the temple for about an hour, burning my incense and taking in the surroundings. The temple itself was very pretty, but possibly because of the crowds and the fact that i have now seen numerous Bhuddist temples i am afraid to say they are starting to lose their initial appeal. After the temple I walked around the neighbouring Hutongs (narrow streets), stopping at a canal to have lunch and watch a local woman practice balroom dancing (i think the Strictly professionals jobs are safe). I then headed to Behai park, another imperial park in the centre of the city. This one was much smaller than the Summer Palace so i only spent an hour walking around the lake. By this point I was pretty tired so headed back to the hostel for a shower and rest. I saw that they were having a dumplin making class that evening, so after i showered i headed down and got involved. Only a handful of guests turned up so we ended up making more dumplings than we could eat, but had fun doing it (i was definitely the best :P). After we had the dumplings (not bad if i do say so myself) the bar staff put on the karaoke machine and more guests turned up. Cue some very drunk American guys butchering The Beatles and Oasis to name a few. I did a rendition of Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" with the help of one drunk American as my backing singer. It was definitely a fun way to end my stay in Beijing.

    So there you have my first stop in China. Next stop Qufu for the oldest Confucius Temple in the world.

    Zài jiàn!
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  • Day2

    Peking

    December 2, 2018 in China ⋅ 🌫 4 °C

    Endlich in Peking. Wir sind mit Air China geflogen. Diese Airline hat keinen guten Ruf. Die im Netz zu findenden schlechten Bewertungen können wir allerdings nicht bestätigen. Unsere Plätze waren sauber und das Unterhaltungsprogramm abwechslungsreich. Auch der Service war sehr in Ordnung. Sehr nettes, höfliches und aufmerksames Personal. Das Bordessen besser als gedacht. Der Flug ruhig und pünktlich.
    Auch am Flughafen in Peking wurden wir sehr freundlich und zügig abgefertigt. Unser 144-Stunden-Visa bekamen wir ohne Schwierigkeiten.
    Also, alles Negative in den Reiseforen haben wir nicht erlebt.

    „Gehst du zur Tür hinaus, frag nach dem Weg; kommst du in ein Dorf, frage nach den Sitten!”

    Nach diesem Sprichwort beobachten wir die Pekinger.
    Chinesen sind ein ulkiges Volk. Hier haben Bürgersteige hüfthohe Geländer, damit die Chinesen nicht überall über die Straße laufen. Denn sie halten sich nicht an Regeln. An Kreuzungen gibt es zwar Zebrastreifen und Ampeln. Diese werden aber offensichtlich nur als Dekor wahrgenommen. Chinesen laufen grundsätzlich bei jeder Farbe über die Kreuzung. Rot und Grün sind nämlich beides Glücksfarben. Überall postierte Ordnungshüter versuchen vergeblich, die Einheimischen von dieser Unsitte abzubringen. Unterstützend laufen hierzu in Parkanlagen und öffentlichen Plätzen auf großen Leinwänden Filme über richtiges Verhalten im Straßenverkehr. In kurzen Spots wird u.a. Sinn und Zweck von Ampelanlagen erläutert. Dies erinnert sehr stark an die Verkehrserziehung in unseren Kindergärten. Es gibt noch andere lustige Eigenarten der Chinesen, aber dazu etwas später.

    Man braucht in Peking kein inszeniertes Unterhaltungsprogramm. Es reicht völlig aus, durch die Straßen zu gehen und die Augen aufzuhalten. Irgendetwas Lustiges passiert fast immer. Umgekehrt wurden wir von den Chinesen genau beobachtet. Diese hatten in einzelnen Situationen ebenfalls Grund zum Lachen. Stichwort: Essen mit Stäbchen.

    Chinas wachsende internationale Macht sollte mit wachsendem gegenseitigen Verständnis einhergehen, damit man sich weiterhin friedlich begegnen kann. Zwar wird das Interesse an China größer, aber dennoch herrschen Vorurteile und Unsicherheiten. Ich rate, diese vor Ort auf ihren Wahrheitsgehalt zu überprüfen.

    Als Ausländer ist es relativ einfach, Chinesen kennen zu lernen. Auf unserem Spaziergang durch einen Park kam beispielsweise eine Frau auf uns zu und lud uns ein, Indiaka mit ihr und ihren Freunden zu spielen. Viele kleinere Gruppen hatten sich in dem Park zu einem Spiel mit diesem kleinen Flugball verabredet. Es war eine Freude, dabei zuzusehen. Aber wir wollten nicht unser Gesicht verlieren und lehnten dankend ab. Von anderen wurden wir im Park animiert, mit Ihnen zu tanzen. Getanzt wurde Tango, Twist, Quick Step, erstaunlicherweise immer zur gleichen, etwas seltsamen chinesischen Musik.

    Natürlich haben wir uns auch schon etwas angeschaut. So zum Beispiel den Himmelstempel und den Platz des himmlischen Friedens. Die Sehenswürdigkeiten lagen leider alle unter einer Dunstglocke. Durch den Smog kamen die farbenfrohen Gestaltungen der Gebäude nicht zur Geltung; es wirkte alles grau in grau. Schade! Meine Begeisterung hielt sich deshalb am ersten Tag in Grenzen. Aber vielleicht lag dies auch an meiner Müdigkeit. Wir waren schließlich zu dieser Zeit bereits mehr als 24 Stunden auf den Beinen.

    Ungeachtet dessen stand unser erstes Abendessen in Peking noch auf dem Programm. Eigentlich haben wir dabei alles richtig gemacht. Wir haben zunächst beobachtet, wo die Chinesen zum Essen gehen. Unser Ziel war nämlich, die echte chinesische Küche auszuprobieren. Die auf Touristen spezialisierte Lokale wollten wir bewusst meiden. 🙈 Also wählten wir ein von Chinesen gut besuchtes Restaurant aus. Wir nahmen in Kauf, dass es dort sehr laut war. Leider konnten wir nur erahnen, was nach der Speisekarte angeboten wurde 🈵🈹🉐. Wir wählten ein Gericht, das unter der englischen Überschrift „Duck“ aufgeführt war. Wir dachten, mit Ente können wir nichts falsch machen. 😂 Sie brachten uns dann eine riesige Pfanne mit sehr, sehr vielen Chillischoten. Und mit jeder Menge gespaltenen Entenköpfen. Also haben wir halbierte Entenköpfe gegessen, so richtig mit Schnäbeln, Augen und Hirn. Danach ging es uns erst einmal nicht so gut. Besonders bei den Augen musste ich würgen. Aber das Hirn ist auch nicht mein Fall. Letztlich sind wir an diesem Abend hungrig ins Bett gegangen. 🙄
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  • Day8

    Himmelstempel

    October 23, 2016 in China ⋅

    Der Himmelstempel war für mich ein richtiges Highlight. Eine wunderbare Gartenanlage. Das Wetter war traumhaft, deshalb waren viele Menschen im Park. Trotzdem gab es viele Plätze um einfach zu sitzen und entspannen. Danach gings zum Frauentempel (Fake Market). War weniger entspannend...

You might also know this place by the following names:

Longtan, 崇文区

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