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Friday, April 13, 2007

Beijing 7

DAY 9 and 10
13 - 14 Apr 07


Our flight to KL was on the 13th of April and we reached KLIA on the next day, 14 Apr 07.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beijing 6

DAY 8, 12 Apr 07

The same van took us back to Beijing and this time the hotel was in the center of Beijing. The hotel was much better than our first hotel in Beijing and there were many shopping complexes within walking distance.

The agenda was SHOPPING from morning till night!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Chengde

DAY 7, 11 Apr 07

We had breakfast at the hotel and it was a cold morning. Somewhat like Cameron Highlands in Malaysia.









THE IMPERIAL SUMMER PALACE OF THE MOUNTAIN RESORT 

Before we entered the Imperial Summer Palace, our Chengde local guide explained about the Palace.






This is China's largest imperial garden which used to be a summer resort and hunting ground for emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is surrounded by lakes, forest and mountains. The emperors used to come here when it was getting warmer in Beijing.



Touch the claws for Prosperity :)



The wood that Tosh touched here has turned into a fossil over many years. It was as hard as a stone

















This deer park used to be a hunting ground for the emperors.










































There's a temple / rock on the mountain, which looks like a thumb.
























The picture above are the Mongolian tents.

During winter, the pond below is the only one that is not frozen. It is the source of the hot spring.











Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beijing - Chengde

DAY 6, 10 Apr 07

It was shopping time! Tawaf wanted to buy a white high-cut boots and our local tour guide agreed to help us bargain for it. After going through lots of shops, we found one shop that Tawaf liked. Tawaf wanted to try the boots, but there wasn't any chairs to sit on and it's hard to wear those high-cut boots while standing. So Tosh squat down and helped Tawaf to put on a few types of boots. The China local guide was surprised and said, China guys here don't do that for the girls.

Tawaf bought the white high-cut boots, leather jacket and a few other clothes and Tosh bought a leather jacket too with a few other shirts. We had a great time bargaining and selecting gifts to bring home. We also bought thumb drives of 20G, but later found out that the thumb drives didn't work well. We managed to find an official Olympic shop and bought an Olympic shirt for Tawaf's father and Tosh bought a unique Olympic cap. After shopping, we bought coffees for the 2 guides for helping us to bargain for the boots :)


BEIJING OLYMPIC STADIUM 


The stadium was still under construction for the up-coming Olympic








We had our lunch at a restaurant in-front of the stadium. Both of us wore our new leather jackets :). While eating lunch, there was a performance by the traditional dancers.












After lunch, the group split into two. We were going to Chengde with another couple, while the rest headed back to Malaysia. There were only 6 of us going to Chengde, including our Malaysian guide and the driver. This was also where we bid farewell to our Beijing local guide.

On the previous day, our Malaysian guide asked if the 4 of us would like to change the Chengde trip into a Beijing shopping trip and upgrade our hotel rooms. After considering it, we decided to proceed with Chengde. We were so grateful that we chose that, since Chengde was totally a different experience!


CHENGDE

Chengde is approximately 143 miles from Beijing. In addition to being one of the first ancient cities to be recorded by the government, it is also one of the ten esteemed national-class scenic spots.

It was a long 3 and a half hours to Chengde. On the way to Chengde, we stopped a few times to have a drink and to buy gifts. The journey was scary! The road was narrow and the driver kept going into the opposite car lane to overtake the car or lorry in front. Even when the upcoming cars were very close to us, he still continued to drive in their lane.



Alhamdulillah, we arrived in Chengde safely. We had our dinner here, which was really good and later picked-up our local Chengde tour guide.

Chengde, originally called Rehe was once the summer resort capital of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).













Monday, April 9, 2007

Tianjin

DAY 5, 9 Apr 07

A big van took us to Tianjin.









Tianjin was hot and dusty, look at how the local people wrapped their face.











CULTURE STREET

There were a few temples near to this Culture Street and there was a lot of unique stuff being sold at this street but we didn't buy any.









































There was also a shopping mall here, which sold all sorts of nuts. Yummy hazelnut!





FOOT MASSAGE

After walking and standing for a long time, it was time to have a foot massage back in Beijing.





We went upstairs to a big room and there were bowls of warm water. While waiting for the masseuses and masseurs to come up, we soaked our feet in the warm water. It was so relaxing!

The masseuses and masseurs were all young. Tawaf wanted a masseuse but instead a masseur came to her. He spoke Chinese to Tawaf. Tawaf told him that she wants a lady to do the massage but he didn't understand and insisted to do the massage. Then their team leader who was a lady, maybe in her mid-twenties came and replaced him. She could speak English well. The masseur then went to Tosh who sat just beside. The massage started as the team leader gave commands to the rest.

While massaging, the masseur kept looking at Tawaf and asked questions through the team leader. They were shocked to know Tawaf's age, cause they thought that Tawaf was much younger. They were even more shocked when Tawaf told them that she's married and the husband was just beside her. All this while, the masseur didn't interact with Tosh at all while massaging him. Thank God Tosh's a cool guy. After the massage, Tosh just laughed about it.

This was after the massage, in front of the building. And below was the van that took us to Tianjin, from Beijing.













DINNER

We had dinner at a different restaurant in Beijing. We were getting used to drinking tea without sugar :)




Tosh with our van driver.









Chicken and .... squid?