Sunday, 24 June 2007

Beijing Day 5 - 19th June

Beijing Underground can click the above sites for more information, meanwhile, I'll be only telling you a short version (because I can't understand Putonghua properly told by Xiao Li...hehehehe). Be prepared that the entrance to this underground city is not grand and welcoming at all. What I mean is, out of the normal vege selling and old village area, you would not suspect anything that is of national security information there. Which lies the hidden entrance to the underground city. This tunnel was built some 20 years ago, a brainchild of Mao Zedong (to protect the Chinese citizens)? This magnificent tunnel is even longer than the existing Great Wall of China, connecting Beijing with Shanghai and a lot more cities in China ( can you imagine walking to Shanghai??!!). Xiao Li joked that we becareful of walking back to Sabah.

We were brought in by an army clothing personnel. She was superb in guiding since the tunnel passage is not totally flat for walking (due to pipe leakage and uneven red carpets). I thought I would regret for wearing a new sandal instead of my sneakers but erm, luckily I still managed to weed through the tunnel.

1st, it's scary because anything might collapse any minute - it's underground anyway, there's no guarantee everything will be 100% safe despite being a tourist attraction
2nd, the temperature is as cold as the Ming Tombs. Reason: they stole the concept from the tombs
3rd, it's cool because even in hiding, you'll still be able to go out to cinema and watch some shows (there are route connecting to the cinema, hospital, govt offices etc etc).
4th, you really have to follow the army clothed personnel closely else you'll be lost!
5th, some routes are sealed. Then obviously the one that we visited is for tourist and curious people. After all, it's still of national security concern.

No pictures allowed, so if you wan to see how it looks like, you'll have to visit the site above. Otherwise, we were told that they'll be closing it for visiting next year. While that, there was a silk factory we visited underground.


Which tells you more about the gate, however inside it is nothing more than a tourist attraction building because non of the 'furnitures' looked like ancient. Of course there'll be a feng shui expert greeting you in the entrance explaining why the Forbidden City is built in such a way and why Emperors chose Beijing as the capital city.

This relates how the Emperor kept his throne etc etc, relating to the Son of Heaven or something which concerns the dragon (once again, I only can listen vaguely to the Putonghua).

Besides that, there should be nothing interesting unless you would want to buy some fengshui ornaments such as pi-xiu but since I wore a cross pendant, it's understood that I should not be pressured to purchase any of those (unlike when you visit Jade, pearl, crystal and silk factory), phew~~~
To Chengde
Yes, finally going out from Beijing.....Chengde. I must tell you that the journey took at least 4 hours and it was turbullent. Not because of bad roads etc, but because our drive overtook too many times and i almost threw up. Plus when he overtook, the opposite land had cars (or lorries) coming! So, one of our group members consistently 'brake' on her seat. Others chose to nap so as not to scare themselves. As for me, I looked out on my window and snap some nice pictures of the farm houses. The villagers there really look 'kampungan' (but not our malaysian type-they have a certain feature which shows that they have been working hard their whole lives). Yes the car overtaking, it's scary because as China drives on their left, so we right hand drivers always thought that those cars are going to bang into each other soon. So when a lorry swerve too close, I would always prepare to shift.

In Malaysia when you honk the car in front (without good reasons), you risked being beaten up, enduring road bully or middle finger(without good reasons means mere impatience on the road) . But in Beijing, particularly our bus driver, I've lost count the number of times he had to honk the car, bicyle, lorry, buses and pedestrian in front and at the sides just because he thinks he need to drive fast. By the way, we called him 'Sifu' because however superb is ur dad, brother, uncle, cousin or friend's driving, you can never beat this sifu. He controlled the streering and gear like a daytona machine or PS2 and the windscreen to him is a tv screen.

some nice scenery on the way
On arrival to Chengde, after dinner we checked in to hotel and retire for the night. In Chengde, a different tourist guide would bring us (Chengde local).

0 Yawns:


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