China: Beijing Day 4

And back to the backlog of China photos! Beijing day 4 was Tiantan or the Temple of Heaven and bananas amounts of shopping.

A shot of the hutong where our hotel was located.

The sculpture right outside the metro stop. ^^;

We took the metro to the Temple of Heaven and decided to stop by a bakery across the street for breakfast. Look at all the cute pastries!

Our breakfast choices were a bit more mundane.

And then it was off to the Temple of Heaven.

It seemed to be a popular hangout spot for the locals. There were all these people hanging out in little groups doing things like knitting, kicking the chinese equivalent of a hackey sack, doing tai-chi…

Lots of chinese chess going on.

There were a LOT of temples in this area. Honestly, I can’t even remember which one was which so I’m sure these photos are a bit jumbled up. ^^;





 All the details were just amazing and the manpower that must have gone into building these places is just mind boggling…

Dragon babies! Ok actually, my aunt explained this to me. The number of little statues and the types of statues on your roof are an indication of your rank. The more you have, the more important your status and obviously, the emperor and his family get the dragons. Cool to know!




The pretty gardens on the grounds.






 We saw a couple doing wedding photos. There doesn’t seem to be many rules or need for permits to take photos in these locations which is awesome. Wouldn’t it be fun to get wedding photos at a place like this?!


 The big temple at Tientan.


 Even the trash cans are pretty.






 Marcus being amused by how many times me, Aimee and Judy took photos of the same exact things.


 So story about the next photo: There’s this disk on the ground that marks the very center of this temple where the emperor would stand to make proclamations. When we got to this location, people were getting up on the disk to take photos and we thought: well we’re here, we should do it too. So we got in what we thought was the line only to realize 10 minutes later, that there was no line. It was kind of a free-for-all. People were just charging up there and posing for photos.

So we politely waited for the 2 people who obviously had gotten there before us to take our turn and just as the three of us got on the disk, this guy (who you can see in the photo below) gets up there too and tries to crowd us off. -_- Me and Aimee were like: DON’T THINK SO BUDDY!! And the two of us kind of… pushed him off… and then told Marcus to take the photo quick! ^^;;;;

As we were walking away, I told Marcus that I hoped he had gotten a photo of the disk too or that whole tussle match would have been for nothing. LOL

(And hey there’s the disk in the photo! Never should have doubted him!)




 On our way out, we saw this totally random sign sticking out of a wall. I told Marcus to go stand under it like a WoW NPC quest-giver. /dork

 Then it was off to lunch. We were craving western food so we found a recommended restaurant in the guidebook that took us forever to find but was very yummy.

Random smoking mushroom on the street…



 Marcus very happy to not have Chinese food for this meal.

 Then we went to the silk market plaza which was full of kitsche little shops where you have to bargain for everything. It’s kind of exhausting but fun. I don’t think the shopkeepers much liked having us around because Marcus is a pretty good haggler and there seems to be some automatic discount if you speak Chinese. LOL

 Exhausted after shopping ’cause wow, we bought a lot of stuff! Among them being a mahjong set for Judy, a jade bracelet for me, and a bunch of masks and statues for Aimee.

Dinner was at a cool ex-pat pub that I forget the name of now. Supposedly the burgers were awesome but I couldn’t tell you since I (obviously) didn’t have one. =D  This photo was taken cause the signboard on the wall is hilarious.

And that was day 4… day 5 was braving The Summer Palace in costume!