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1年以上

Great Wall of China

Getting to the Great Wall of China


Getting to this place was one of my top 悩み nayami concern when planning for this free and easy trip.
People I know who had went to this place before went by tour.
So they had tour buses to get them there.
But now I am on my own, どうやっていくの douyatte iku no how do I get there?

Here is a link where I find it very useful into getting to the Great Wall of China.
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing/greatwall.htm

I took the 877 bus to Badaling wall.
But on your way to the bus stop, you will see lots of people shouting Badaling, and usher you into their buses.
Just walk straight. Until you see the below building.

Hujialou 877 bus stop
The building next to 877 bus station to Badaling Wall
The 877 bus stop is tonari next to it.
You pay when you get onto the bus. CNY12 per person.
Quite a comfortable trip.

badaling bus 877 guide
The kind guide that gave useful information on Bus 877
On the bus, there was a kind guide who is very 親切 shinsetsu kind to provide information about the Great Wall of China and be very willing to 質問に答える shitsumon ni kotaeru answer your questions...in Chinese of course.
Honestly, I never thought there would be a guide to tell us all these information in the first place for a public bus and at this considerably cheap price.

He would tell you the do and don`ts; where to get the best view; the time to come back for the last bus; etc.

It was an unexpected good service.


Arriving at the Badaling Wall


When you arrived, you have 2 選択 sentaku options to the Great Wall.
a) walk (about 10 mins)
b) take the pulley.

badaling great wall ticket counter
The ticketing office at Badaling Wall
I walked up.
Pay CNY45 for the entrance.

badaling great wall north side
North Side is more popular than the South Side
Then there are the
a) South Side
b) North Side

You will see that the South Side is 人気がなさそう ninki ga nasasou not so popular.
It was quite empty.

And the North Side was crowded.
Anyway, the North Side is far more adventurous.


"Climbing" the Great Wall of China


Some of the walkway could be quite 険しい kewashii steep.
And the steps are knee high.
It was quite 大変 taihen tough.
Firstly, I thought of going to the highest point.
Gave up when I reached the 5th station. (9th being the highest).

Nevertheless, despite the hardship of climbing it.
It never stop to 驚く odoroku amaze me when I see 80 year old people with a walking stick
and also....

badaling great wall children
Small kids at the Badaling Wall
8 year old small children with small feet


badaling great wall women
Girls at Badaling Wall in high heels

...and some 18 year old with high heels

Gosh, do you go hiking in high heels?
Here, they do.
Furthermore I saw a few girls were running down the slope in high heels.
すごい sugoi Fascinating!

badaling great wall south side
The South Side of Badaling Wall
After I completed the North Side, I went for the leisure walk to the South Side.
Which was quieter and with less people.
Took my sweet time there for photos and enjoying the view of the North Side.


Food: the Great Wall of China


It must be funny talking about food when we are talking about the Great Wall of China.
The truth is, you will be damn おなかがすいた onaka ga suita hungry after the climb.
china sausage hotdog
Sausages are sold everywhere

After returning from the North Side.
I had some sausages before I went to the South Side.
Sausage is as though it was the staple snack food for the Chinese.
You will see it everywhere.

Tips: Non tourist area sells for like CNY3 per sausage. At tourist spots, it is sold for CNY5. If you are hungry, どうでもいい dou demo ii who cares anymore.

beijing squid skewer

I had some squid skewer on my way back waiting for the bus.
CNY10 for 4. Very nice.

beijing snack jian bing
Jian Bing (Fried Biscuit)
After returning from the Badaling Wall, at the Hujialou bus station,
I had this jian bing (means fried biscuit in Chinese).
I ordered a special jian bing with sausage. (hahaha...sausage again).

See video on how jian bing was made.



CNY4 for the jian bing + CNY3 for the sausage = CNY7.
Very delicious. Wanted to have another one, but おなかがいっぱい onaka ga ippai stomach was full.



Bird`s Nest and Water Cube


olympic stadium bird nest water cube
Bird`s Nest, Water Cube and I
Once you got out of the subway, you will notice these two beautiful buildings, the Bird`s Nest and the Water Cube.

Expect your bag to be scanned before entering the premise.
They do this at every subway entrance too.
The security is good.
I think this is a good practice.
I like it. Though some may feel this is 面倒くさい mendoukusai troublesome.
I was no trouble for me.

olympic stadium beijing kites
Kites for sale at Beijing Olympic Stadium

Once you are inside the premise, you will come upon a lot of vendors trying to sell you something.
Some are selling kites.
Some are selling souvenirs.

Most popular is to sell you photography services. 4 pictures for CNY10.
Almost every 10 steps you walked, someone will 近づいてくる chikazuite kuru come approach you.

Honestly, I had 3 cameras on my hand.
One DLSR, One Point-and-shoot, one handphone camera + gorilla pod.
I really didn`t need their service.
Also, I think I take better quality pictures than them.

I like the 涼しい suzushii cooling wind there.
Sat there until the sky turned dark.
Voila! Lights up!

olympic stadium beijing at night
Bird`s Nest and Water Cube at night
Recommend you be there at night when it was lighted.
It was really きれい kirei beautiful.

1年以上

Getting to Beijing City

 

Sunset from Airasia to Beijing

Booked airasia a year ago. Total for 2, RM1800 (plus taxes & 20kg luggage).
The tabi journey....Gosh, it seemed never ending.
The seats are so 真っ直ぐ立った massugu tatta upright, and small legroom made it almost impossible to sleep.
Had to endure it for 7 long hours.
Also, arriving at funny hours 1am.
Forget about the express train to the city.
Get a taxi. Ignore anyone inside the terminal trying to get you into their "taxi".
Just walk out of the terminal. Look for the TAXI sign and where everyone 並ぶ narabu queues.
If you got a taxi with a plate starting with 京B, then you are in the right taxi.


Staying in Beijing

 

The lady receptionist was polite and made our stay pleasant.

I wanted a 安くて素敵なところ yasukute suteki na tokoro cheap nice place to stay.
Survey up and downs over the web and found this place.
Bestay Express Tiantan Hotel. www.bestay.com.cn
The light blue lobby was brightly greeting us.
The staff speaks a little English. But I told her it is ok to speak to me in Chinese.

The room was neat with a transparent toilet.
Hahaha...good for couple but not for family.
If you are sharing the room with a normal friend, you might feel 恥ずかしい hazukashii shy.
Anyway, the first night was a little uncomfortable with the smoking smell...despite the "no smoking" sign.
And also, you can`t be soft with the electronic door lock. You have to バタンと閉める batan to shimeru slam the door real hard.

All in all, I would say it is a pretty neat place if you are just looking for a place to bath and 寝るneru sleep.
The location is about 15 minutes walk to the nearest Tiantandongmen Station.


Tiananmen & Forbidden City


Raining Outside the Forbidden City

Raining on my first day in Beijing...sigh.
Exited at Tiananmen East Station.
It was ぬれている nureteiru wet, so I didn't bother to go to the Tiananmen Square for photo.
Went into the Forbidden City.
Paid CNY60. But it was really 価値があった kachi ga atta worth it. I spent my whole daytime there.

Tips: There are tonnes of tour guides. Wait patiently for one that speaks your language.
Follow them. They will tell you some interesting tales & facts about the palace.


Interesting Tales & Facts about the Forbidden City



Forbidden City Outer Court with Five Bridges

Outer court is for big 儀式 gishiki ceremonies. Like for you having parties out in your compound.


Forbidden City Inner Court for Ceremonies

Inner court is for home & ceremonies. Like SOHO (Small Office Home Office) except that this is BOHO (Big Office Home Office).


The middle staircase with a dragon chiseled stone used only by the Emperor

The doors, gateway, bridges, staircases, etc all come in odd numbers. It is either 3, 5, 7 or 9.
The 真ん中 mannaka middle one is always the path only taken by the emperor and its highest ranking ministers.

Visiting the Emperor`s bedroom. You thought it is a bench. In fact, it is a bed. The emperor was only 5 feet plus in height.

The large bucket of water for Fengshui
Big bucket of waters are placed beside the large courts. Just in case of big 火事 kaji fire? No! no! If there was really a big fire, the bucket of water is 足りない tarinai not enough to extinguish the fire on such large court. It is believed, water against wood, wood against gold, gold against fire. Fengshui said putting a bucket there, you won‘t get fire.

Also, there was a time when a few palace maid that were ill treated. Withholding grudge, they sneaked up to the emperors bedroom with a rope. Young and naive, they tried 暗殺する ansatsu suru to assassinate the emperor. Being inexperienced young 16 year old palace maid, killing a human, whats more an Emperor. Frightful, they thought of あきらめる akirameru giving up. Right at this moment, the emperor woke up. Saw what the maids were trying to kill him with a rope, he struggled. That made the rope tighter. Whats worse, the maids made a dead knot. To make it even worse, the maids were panicking and pulling the ropes even tighter. The commotion caught the attention of the guards, and had the maids detained. The emperor survived the clumsy assassination. Meanwhile, the empress were very angry and sentence the maids to 4000 sword slashes. Only on the 4000th slash should be the killing strike.

If you follow the guides, they will tell you the stories. Some you cant find it on the web.
信じるか信じないか shinjiru ka shinjina ka Believe it or not, it is up to you.
But it certainly made the place lively with imaginary images of the ancient time.


Jingshan Park


View of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park
After the long walk from the front gate till the back gate, you will see a small hill with a Buddhist temple at the peak.
It is the Jingshan park.
Entrance is only CNY4.
I suggest you to pull yourself up the 階段 kaidan staircases to the top.
The view is breathtaking.
You will oversee the whole forbidden city.


How do I get home from the Forbidden City back gate?


I saw some 看板 kanban signboards that tells you which bus to take that take you back to the front gate or to the nearest subway station.

I suggest you to walk back up to the front gate around its perimeter.
Greyish building besides the Forbidden City River
The water surrounding the forbidden city makes a very nice view with the old 灰色 hai iro grey buildings.

Reflection of the forbidden city borders on the river
The reflection of the trees on the surface of the water makes it a very nice view.

Forbidden City and I
Also, by the time I reach the front gate, the Forbidden City has closed.
It close by 5pm.
No one was there.
I could take as much photo as I like without 邪魔 jama interruption from passing people.

Also, as you continue to walk back, in front of the Forbidden City is the Tiananmen Square.
Flag lowering ceremony at dusk
Around this time, you can stay there for some photos and 目のあたりにする me no atari ni suru witness the flag lowering ceremony.


Wangfujing Street


Wangfujing Street at night
It is the most talked about street in Beijing among foreigners.
Well, I guess that`s why I see a lot of 外国人 gaikokujin foreigners there.

Wangfujing Food Street Entrance
Wangfujing is famous for its food street.
Along this street you will find many stall selling all kinds of food.
Even some 変な hen na weird weird food you don't usually find.

Among the food that I bought includes


Lamb skewer (my top favourite)

Tips: It gets cheaper as you walk deeper into the street.
The stall near the entrance sells 1 skewer for CNY8.
The stall in the middle sells for 5 skewers for CNY10.
計算してみて keisan shite mite You do the maths.

Spring rolls.
CNY8. Expensive for fillings with bean sprouts and carrots. No meat.


Fried cream topped with coarse sugar.
無味 mu aji Tasteless and oily. Not recommended.


Yogurt drink.
Nothing special.


No matter what you go there to eat, don't eat the dandan noodles (dandan mian).
Gosh, I think they were really 強要する kyouyou suru extorting me.
CNY18 for a bowl of noodles with cucumber and carrots, and some salty sauce.
Again not a single piece of meat.
If it tasted good, I'm still ok. But it tasted so ugly and terrible.
I didn't even finished half the bowl.
Yes, it was that bad!!!!

Another bad experience: I was asking about what is the yellow thing.
The seller explained the 材料 zairyou ingredients.
It cost CNY20 for 5.
I told her I would only like to try 1. How much would it cost?
She said: CNY10.
5 for CNY20, 1 for CNY10. That did not make any sense.
So I walked away.
Suddenly, I'm being attacked by all the people from the stall with 下品な言葉 gehin na kotoba vulgar words.


For me I don't like the Wangfujing Food street.


1年以上
There are a few more hours to 2013. Every year at this very moment, a few hours before the countdown begins, I would reminisce about the progress I have made throughout the year before making a new resolution the next year.

For me, my resolution was to make a blog about Japan that can share my experience while earning a little from Adsense. Errmmmm....sharing yes...earning no. But that`s ok. It wasn`t my primary goal anyway.

Well, talking about myself is nothing special. Talking about my view of Japan in 2012 is more interesting.

Economically, I think it is not news that Japan is in recession. Since I work in a Japanese electronic company in Malaysia, I kinda get the feel of the economic situation. Undoubtedly, Japan economy is heading south due to its strong currency. Although it has weakened a little recently, but it is still considered strong. Furthermore, Japanese companies are facing real competition from another growing Korean companies such as Samsung and LG. 

Politically, I think I have lost count how many times they have changed their Prime Ministers. I think the latest one will be Shinzo Abe. Like the rest of the Prime Ministers, Abe will also be tested in his ability to revive the economy. My view, I don`t see a recovery coming up soon as 2013 is even a tougher situation. Europe has survived a few times by bailout, but how many times can they be bailed. America is going through a Fiscal Cliff.

Affecting Japan politically and economically is the worsening Sino-Japanese relationship due to the dispute over the Diaoyu Island. Angry Chinese people, who are also one of the largest market, are banning Japanese products. This hurts exports, and that means it hurts the Japanese economy. China`s military practice near the island also shows a growing tension in this matter.
If they start a war, no one, including you and me, amid weak market, could go out of job. Hmmmm...that scare me! Sometimes I think perhaps I should learn how to make and sell curry mee.

In 2013, we anticipate some change in foreign policies and well as some economic reforms in Japan. If they worked out well, Japan might survive the recession. Lets hope for the best in 2013 for not just the Japanese economy but the world economy. Everyone has a job, everyone is in business, everyone makes money, everyone is happy.

**note: Will update to add some Japanese words later on. Let me know your view if any.

1年以上
Dear Readers,


It has been a long time since I last posted.
Unfortunately, I was not able to finish the Autumn Series. I had them prepared until West Japan but not further down south to Kyushu.
Anyway, I am glad that I was able to covered more than half of Japan.

Recently, work has caught up and occupied most of my time, thus lesser time for blogging.

Anyway, I am so happy that many has gave me encouragement and I am glad that my blog has benefited and entertained many people.

I will try my best to at least publish 1 post per month. Whenever I have more time, I will publish more and I hope you will like it.

By the way, notifications like this will be published in the Facebook Fan Page.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Learn-Japanese-Through-Pictures/313588412049985

I hope you will LIKE my FACEBOOK Fan Page.
I will update all my fans through my fan page from now on.

Before ending this, I wish all my readers a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013.
May you be healthy and happy always!

Regards,
jonway@picturelearning.org
1年以上

 
Source: Japanican.com

 

Takao

Visit the Jingoji Temple in Takao. It greets you with autumn leaves on both sides of the stairs as you walk up to the Jingoji Temple.

Arashiyama

Arashiyama is a rural town at the outskirt that have many calm and tranquil environment.
Take a stroll, or cycle around the town while listening to the crisp leaves your step on. Enjoy its chill air in the autumn and serenity of the ambience.

Koyasan

A temple town where you can also experience the lifestyle of a monk by staying and eating like a monk.

Kiyomizudera Temple

Special illumination during the autumn leaves season in the November.

Osaka Castle Park

It is a castle on the outside and museum on the inside. Reach the top and overlook the park in autumn colors.

Mt Yoshino

The mountain is divided into four areas, with 1000 trees in each area. Named "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" by UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nara Park

Large park with deers roaming around with autumn leaves as background. Interact with the deers. You may feed and touch them. Though they are wild deers, they are pretty tame to visitors.


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Learn Japanese Through Pictures

作者:wayadri

Learn Japanese Through Pictures

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