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Thursday, July 28, 2011

N. China - Day 11, Part 3 - Beijing: Old Summer Palace

"'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln (attributed)

***

N. China
Day 11 - 9th November - Beijing: Old Summer Palace
(Part 3)

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"1900
26th year of Guangxu's reign
Since England, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, America, Italy and Austria-Hungary's joint Eight Nation Alliance's troops washed Beijing in blood, they washed [away?] Yuanmingyuan"

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"Please Accept Security Check"
Can I refuse?

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I like the "No Begging" sign

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"Unfortunately, this famous garden was burnt to the ground in October 1860 by the Anglo-French allied forces, leaving a heartbreaking chapter in the history of China"
Old Summer Palace information panel
I was surprised at how neutral the description was, as it was atypically un-Chinese. Even the Mandarin version reads similarly.

Unfortunately we arrived 45 minutes too late - they'd stopped selling through tickets (as with the Summer Palace, entrance to the best parts was not included in the main ticket - as a way to further extract money from visitors) at 3:30.

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Jianbiting's Lake


Jianbiting's Lake
The piped music that you can hear in the background was very annoying. Especially when the singing started.

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Canqiao (Ruined Bridge)

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Same lake

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Lake near the tree peony area

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Hanjingtang (Hanjing Hall)

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They make a distinction between Chinese food and Fast food.

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Weird path

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Beiyoudongtian

It'd long since gotten too dark to do any meaningful sightseeing, so we tried to extract ourselves from the park, which wasn't that easy.

I was then brought to have a look at Beida (Peking University). Apparently all the artefacts from the Old Summer Palace were there (around the lake) and Tsinghua anyway, but it was too late to view them.

There was a vendor selling some steamed cake outside Beida.

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Raisin cake
I was told that this was one of the better Chinese cakes, but it wasn't nice. And the guy conned me (what do you expect, this was China). I asked for a little and he cut me a huge 20¥ slice. I should've cut my own portion.

The Subway at Beida was a few yuan cheaper than at Mutianyu (the Great Wall), but this was the school price. So actually there'd be no markup there.

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Shen1 Jian1 Bao (my IME gives me "神剑包" or "Divine Sword Bun", which is definitely wrong), 2 custard and 1 vegetable bao
Also, 豆奶 (soya milk), which was blended with what was probably almond (there was an off-almond flavour and some other stuff). This was the nicest soya milk product I'd had in China.

The siumai here was only 0.40¥ - but this was because inside was rice, not meat. Grr.

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小龙汤包
Like xiaolongbao except the meat is seasoned

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The illustrated menu looks really appetising, but there's a disclaimer in Mandarin: "Pictures are for reference. The real food is the actual thing to look at"

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Pork meat 回香 dumplings, bamboo shoots, corn soup (totally tasteless)
The dumpling was all chives. It was alright, but Cantonese dumplings were still better

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漫漫求学路 温馨饺子屋
饺子是吉祥的美食
中国人过大年要吃饺子
("The long road of learning; warm dumpling house
Dumplings are a lucky beautiful food
Chinese people must eat dumplings during Chinese New Year")
They also won some award

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I was surprised to see such a shop on campus

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"Feed in raw material for free" (it should read "additional ingredients are free")

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麻辣烫
This is like Malaysian Lok Lok except everything is already in the water

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Armed Forces recruitment ad

The local students need to go to a room outside of their hostels to get drinking (i.e. boiling) water:

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We then went to Orange Julius. A 16 oz cup cost 30¥, and I think the smoothie was more expensive than Singapore, but it was good having something authentically good (rather than a Chinese-tasting knockoff)

The counter girl could understand our English but talked to us in Mandarin.

I learned a new term: "暴菊"

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"Police: There is no toilet outside"

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This is why everyone bought subway tickets at the counter though there were so many machinese - they either rejected notes or were otherwise out of service

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I was amused by these escalator signs

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"Dishes with Chinese characteristics"
I blame Deng Xiaoping


There should be a large market in China for teaching women how to pee standing up. There's a business opportunity here!
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