My Summer in Beijing (On My Own)

(Text & Photos by Aidan Diaz) https://flic.kr/p/KehDLq Last Summer, I went to Beijing for a month and saw many beautiful places and ate delicious food. I did further Chinese studies in Beijing on my own in the company of schoolmates. Here’s the story of my summer in Beijing … April 1 Arrival in Beijing https://flic.kr/p/27nb3yF We landed from a roughly 4-hour and 35-minute flight from Manila to Beijing via Philippines Airlines. It was a big airport and it took us about 10-20 minutes to get to our gate. After that, we rode the bus to get to the dorms where we will stay in for almost a month. https://flic.kr/p/KegXYQ At first glance, the Beijing Language and Culture University looked deserted but if you looked carefully, there were hundreds of people there. It took us about 3 days (I think) to get settled, and know where everything was, what the rules were and where our rooms were.   April 4 Summer Palace https://flic.kr/p/KeeZWG We had our first field trip or outing at the Summer Palace or Yiheyuan and The Temple of Heaven or Tiantan. https://flic.kr/p/27nbjU6 In the Summer Palace, there is a lake, a hill, a palace, temples, houses, boats, bridges and towers. https://flic.kr/p/KeffEj This is Lake Kunming. https://flic.kr/p/HH76GT This is the Summer Palace. https://flic.kr/p/HH79VX This is a gateway. https://flic.kr/p/25Zx3dc This is the Seventeen-Arch Bridge going to Nanhu Island. https://flic.kr/p/27i4b51 This is a boat that you can ride across the lake. https://flic.kr/p/25Zxnu8 After that, we had lunch then went to the Temple of Heaven. There you can’t see as much as in the Summer Palace but there are still places to look at. https://flic.kr/p/27i4oub This is some temple or room near the Temple of Heaven. https://flic.kr/p/24BthSA This is the Temple of Heaven. It is a beautiful tower-like temple. https://flic.kr/p/Keg7os After that, it started to snow. Most of us were excited because it was a first time experience. For some, simply because it was snowing. Then we went back to the dorms. Before sleeping, we checked out how cold it was and how much it snowed.   April 5 https://flic.kr/p/Keg93u When I woke up, I also checked out the morning’s snow situation. Afterward, I changed, ate breakfast, rode the bus and went to the Forbidden City or Gugong Bowuyuan. Forbidden City https://flic.kr/p/27ncBpP When we arrived, we saw this big palace-like structure and I thought it was the Forbidden City already but it was just the entrance. We saw many palace-like structures, walls and the Emperor’s bedroom. https://flic.kr/p/26gqdLo That is the Meridian Gate. https://flic.kr/p/27i4ENJ That is the Gate of Supreme Harmony. https://flic.kr/p/25ZxVEk That is the Dragon Throne located at the Hall of Supreme Harmony. https://flic.kr/p/HH8gmF These are the Hall of Middle Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony.   Olympic Park https://flic.kr/p/KegAQ7 It was very cold in the Forbidden City and we wanted to leave as soon as possible. So we left to get lunch then went to the Olympic Park afterward. https://flic.kr/p/HH8x3a We saw many buildings like the Beijing National Stadium or Bird’s Nest. https://flic.kr/p/26gqAMN That is the Olympic Tower. https://flic.kr/p/KegEAU That is the National Indoor Stadium. https://flic.kr/p/27ndiJB That is the Water Cube. https://flic.kr/p/25ZyDYD This is an elongated park with structures, shops, and benches. https://flic.kr/p/27i5BHU After that, we went back to school where our dorms were. https://flic.kr/p/26gr3ZC We also had relaxation days in school.   April 9 After our time in school, we went to The Great Wall. The Great Wall https://flic.kr/p/HH8X1a This is the Great Wall. It looks tiring at first glance. https://flic.kr/p/25Zz3d8 This is a part of the Great Wall from bottom to top. https://flic.kr/p/26grhMh This is the other side of the Great Wall. https://flic.kr/p/HH9yvt This is one of the fortresses. https://flic.kr/p/HH9jjn It was very tiring to walk the Great Wall because it was very high up. https://flic.kr/p/KeixRC Some steps need more effort than the other steps because not all of them are equal in height. https://flic.kr/p/HH9Ygz You can buy a medal souvenir but I recommend that you get it only after finishing the hike. https://flic.kr/p/24Bw17f After that, it was again studying time in class.   April 11 On the next free time, we went to the Matteo Ricci shrine in Zhalan Cemetery, where he was buried together with other Italians and Europeans. Matteo Ricci Shrine https://flic.kr/p/HHaFuB This is the pathway to Matteo Ricci’s Tombstone. Matteo Ricci was a  Catholic Missionary to China. https://flic.kr/p/HHb2xc This is the Entrance to the Tomb. https://flic.kr/p/26gth6d This is another tombstone beside Matteo Ricci’s   Aeon Mall https://flic.kr/p/27nfZX8 After that, we went to this nearby mall (Aeon Mall) for our first shopping day. When we arrived, me and some of my friends ate at Yoshinoya. We didn’t do a lot of shopping but pretty much rested most of the time. https://flic.kr/p/27i8fcS All I got was a charger form Xiaomi and a jacket from UNIQLO. That was all I bought because it was a small mall.   April 14 Joy City Mall  https://flic.kr/p/24BxmJ5 A few days after, we went to an even bigger shopping mall. There were a total of 12 floors, all with plenty of shops. https://flic.kr/p/25ZBiGR There is also a long elevator going from, if I remember correctly, from 1st to 8th floor. https://flic.kr/p/HHbvCk This is a top view. https://flic.kr/p/27i8pFm These are the stores found in the mall. https://flic.kr/p/24BxjqC We spent most of our day in the mall so we also had to eat lunch there. We ate in this small Japanese restaurant Ebisu. Our next outing was somewhere most of us wanted to go, the Beijing Zoo.   April 15 Beijing Zoo https://flic.kr/p/27ngrWn There weren’t many animals. There were no lions in the lion area which was sad. https://flic.kr/p/27ngqjV But still, there were different animals I haven’t seen in person. https://flic.kr/p/KejL8E We saw pandas. They were nice but they bored me out. https://flic.kr/p/HHbU2t This is a panda eating bamboo. https://flic.kr/p/27ngJLz There were bears too. https://flic.kr/p/25ZC5x2 There were even llamas.   April 22 https://flic.kr/p/25ZCefT After that, we stayed home for 7 days then went to Tiananmen Square which was a square near another entrance of the Forbidden City. https://flic.kr/p/HHcsyH This is the Monument to the People’s Heroes. https://flic.kr/p/Kekcmq After that, we went to the National Museum of China. https://flic.kr/p/25ZCm6M There we saw many artifacts, paintings, and gifts from other countries. https://flic.kr/p/26gvnyd This is a Steel Sabre from the Ming Dynasty. https://flic.kr/p/24Byt85 The museum is very big. It has 5 floors above ground and 2 floors below. https://flic.kr/p/27iaRyj This is a porcelain sculpture of a leopard. https://flic.kr/p/KemjnC This is a wood-carved hand-shaped chair presented to Comrade Deng Xiaoping by Imelda Marcos. https://flic.kr/p/27ibGHm This is a painting that shows different famous personalities. Can you spot Einstein? https://flic.kr/p/KemJ3y This is the Mao Zedong art exhibit. https://flic.kr/p/HHdZxK For more info go to http://en.chnmuseum.cn. https://flic.kr/p/27niZFa After that, we went to the Science and Technology Museum. https://flic.kr/p/HHeuFK This is a MRI machine found at the science museum.   April 23 Chengde https://flic.kr/p/25ZEaE2 The next day we went to Chengde. It was far but there were temples and other beautiful places to see. https://flic.kr/p/25ZES12 When we arrived, we went to the Mountain Resort, a World Heritage site. https://flic.kr/p/26gx3nd This is the signage explaining about the Mountain Resort. Check this https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/703 for more information. https://flic.kr/p/HHeGJx This is a drawing of the Mountain Resort. https://flic.kr/p/HHePLZ This is a chair found in the Mountain Resort. https://flic.kr/p/27ictzA This is like the throne room of the Emperor https://flic.kr/p/27icQou This is the best place to take a photo according to our tour guide. https://flic.kr/p/26gyeo9 After that, we checked in at the Fumanjia Hotel. https://flic.kr/p/27id9G3 This was my room. It was nice.   April 24 Temple of Potalaka https://flic.kr/p/25ZFhgM The next day, we went to the Temple of Potalaka. https://flic.kr/p/KeoEHJ This explains about the Temple of Potalaka. https://flic.kr/p/26gyRd5 This is the main temple. https://flic.kr/p/24BCcim This is the gate. When you enter one of the gates, you get a fortune. https://flic.kr/p/25ZFTux This is the view from the top of the temple. https://flic.kr/p/27nmcKX This is the Sledgehammer Peak.   Big Buddha After that, we went to the Big Buddha Temple. https://flic.kr/p/27nncTF This the temple where the Big Buddha Statue is located. https://flic.kr/p/27ifEr9 Its roof is very colorful. https://flic.kr/p/HHiFEa This is the Big Buddha Statue. https://flic.kr/p/HHj3y4 After that, we went back to school to study for our final exams.   April 28 Wangfujing https://flic.kr/p/25ZHXZR But before the finals, we had our last shopping day. It was in this big shopping street called Wangfujing. There were edible scorpions and delicious tea. https://flic.kr/p/26gB6Zq This is a good milk tea there from Wuyutai. https://flic.kr/p/HHjdP4 These are the scorpions at Wangfujing. https://flic.kr/p/HHaif6 After that we had our finals. I passed! The next day we went back home to the Philippines. It was a fun experience.   Life is a game,   AIDAN P.S. This was my pasalubong to my family. https://flic.kr/p/Lg1LiL        

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