Cold day in Beijing
Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
137Trip End Mar 16, 2012
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Another early morning, and cold day, although I have enjoyed all that Beijing has to offer, I am okay with leaving this cold weather behind tomorrow.
We started our day at the Lama Temple built in 1694, most Lama Followers are from Mongolia and Tibet it is a yellow sect. The Dali Lama and Lamaism were introduced here to try and promote harmony between Mongolia, Tibet and China. The temple is beautiful, all of these temples are made up of multiple buildings, the first temple we went through housed a large laughing Buddha (the is the Buddha with the huge stomach), the second temple had 3 large Buddha’s sitting in the typical what I call yoga pose, representing the past, present in the center, and future to the right. The next temple also housed three Buddha’s, the medicine Buddha, the longevity Buddha in the center, and to the right Wisdom. In the last temple we visited, there was an absolutely incredible Buddha, carved in 1694 from a 600 year old solid piece of sandalwood; it was 26 meters high and 7 meters wide, with a copper plated finish
We then made our way to the Beijing Zoo, were we visited the Panda house. A trip to China just would not be complete without the adorable Panda’s. We saw two four year old Panda’s they are the Olympic Panda’s born at the time of the 2008 Olympics, and a 20 year old Panda. They are so cute, and playful, and apparently very lazy.
Our next stop was a tea house, where we got to sample 4 different types of teas; the really fun part was sitting around watching them prepare the tea. The first tea we tried was Jasmine Tea, they use Jasmine Flowers and green tea mixed together, this tea is full of vitamin A & E and is really good for your liver and eyes. We then tried Oolong Tea, which is good for your blood circulation, anaemia and so on. Tea number three was Puer Tea; this tea is special it can be kept forever, the older it gets the better it is and also the more money it is worth. The Puer Tea we tried today was 18 years old, it is good for lowering your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, and on top of all that it is caffeine free. The fourth Tea, Mikkel’s favourite fruit tea, is good for digestion. I really enjoyed the Tea House and in fact, I am coming home with some Traditional Chinese Teas to share with all of you!
We then stopped for lunch, today we had the opportunity to have lunch at the home of Mrs. Wu, this was an awesome experience, we were her guests, and were served a traditional Chinese lunch cooked by Mrs. Wu herself. The home belongs to Mrs. Wu’s mother, who is 93 years old; Mrs. Wu has 5 brothers and sisters who all have a share in the family home, currently only her family, one of her sisters and her elderly mother live in the home. Of course Mrs. Wu only has one son, because in China the law says you are only allowed one child, if you have more, you are subject to large fines imposed by the government. The Hulong Area where Mrs. Wu’s house is located is now under historical protection, so you need special permission to do any renovations or changes to the buildings, even if you have owned the property for hundreds of years. Mrs. Wu’s family has owned the house for 100 years, 4 generations have lived here, and Mrs
We than took a ride by rickshaw (bike that pulls a carriage) around the Hulong area, this was a really nice touch, but man was it cold. This is a nice area that is unspoiled by large buildings and skyscrapers, there is a large building built in 1272, this is before the Ming Dynasty, it is the Bell & Drum tower. The drum sounds in the morning when the sun is horizontal with the tower, this is the indication that all the city gates will be opened, and in the evening the bell rings, and all the city gates close.
From there we made our way back to our hotel, where I soaked by body in a very hot bath, to defrost my toes. We spent the evening relaxing, watching some TV and reminding Alan that he is now a year older!
Tomorrow evening, we are off to India, we will not arrive until 1:35 am, so tomorrow may be the first day since the start of our journey that I do not blog, we will see!