Monday, June 15, 2009

Beijing Day 2 continued: Jing Shan Park & Forbidden City

sent my camera in for repair today
its gg to cost me almost $130 for a stupid accident
*sigh... recently, my stupid accidents hv all been super costly*

but well, on e +ve side
according to e customer service personnel,
my camera shld b functioning again by tis weekend =)

all rite then, back to beijing
tis is Day 2 continued

after Nan Luo Gu Xiang, we headed for Jing Shan Gong Yuan (Jing Shan Park)
on e way, we saw tis queue for zha bing (fried bun)
kekeke... typical singaporean lah
see got queue means must b gd rite
so we also queue lor
ended up getting 4 zha bing & 2 other chinese fried pastries tat i forgot wat its called
e zha bing shld b eaten hot, then it taste nicer
but seriously, cld tell tat e oil used has been re-fried many times liao
n 1 zha bing per person is enuff, very easy je-lat
& i didnt like e other 2 tat we got either
but tat mgt also b cos i wasnt feeling very well
so by e time i tried e other 2, my stomach was already sorta churning

Jing Shan Park was formed from e earth tat was excavated for e moat of e Forbidden City
it is directly north of e north gate of e Forbidden City
according to lonely planet 2007 beijing guidebook (pg 91),
tis hill is supposed to protect e imperial palace from evil spirits or dust storms from e north
1 thg i realised while in beijing
ppl in ancient times must b really trim n fit
cos they hv to climb a tremedous no of stairs!!!
& i really marvel at their ability to build so many beautiful structures & buildings
they obviously dun hv e technology tat we hv now
but they can still build amazingly huge stuff on peaks & hills
& after climbing so much stairs in beijing
i betta get really nice toned legs n butt
but seriously, e view at e peak was absolutely worth it
from e peak of Jing Shan Park, one can see e entire Forbidden City spread out in front of u
u can also see e Bei Hai Park from here
Gerry had already warned me tat Forbidden City was huge & its not likely tat we wld b able to finish walking ard in it
but e impact of e vastness of e Forbidden City only really hit me when i saw it from e top of Jing Shan Park
it is really HUGE
i doubt anyone can even finish walking ard in tat place in 2 days
my pic doesnt do it justice
no matter wat angle i try,
i jus cant get e entire view into e camera frame
*tat's how huge it is*
& jus to point out,
we did wonder if e foggy grey overcast sky was e notorious air pollution tat we hv heard abt
but also to give e benefit of doubt
Day 2 was slightly cooler & it rained tat nite
so it cld really hv been e weather
Jing Shan Park is also where e last of e Ming emperors, Chongzhen, hung himself
apparently Chongzhen hung himself from a tree when rebels took over e city
tis is where e emperor Chongzhen hung himself
at 1st, Gerry & i were still speculating if he hung himself from one of those super high beams
*like wat we always see in those period drama shows/movies*
it was only later tat we learnt tat he hung himself from a tree...
it seems tat a lot of e locals enjoy coming to Jing Shan Park
while walking ard, we saw many engaged in all sorts of leisurely activities such as singing, excerising, playing chess, performing cross-talk, etc etc etc
tis one is a pic of a boy practicing his spiel
note e wooden thg e boy is holding in his hand
its some sorta traditional instrument which i never managed to find out wat it is called
but basically, these are used by story-tellers who share their many (often witty) stories to its rhythm
after Jing Shan Park, we headed for Gu Gong aka Zi Jin Cheng
aka Forbidden City as it is more known by Westerners
i confess tat i'm a hong kong TV drama serial fan
so i was really excited to finally come n see with my own eyes wat i hv always seen/heard in those TV shows
those who enjoy period drama shows wld prob hv heard of Shenwu Men, Kun Ning Gong, Jing Ren Gong, Qian Qing Gong, blah blah blah
my only letdown
i felt really sick towards e end of e tour of e place
even threw up
so by e end, i wasnt really in a fantastic position to fully appreciate wat i was seeing
Forbidden City is China's largest & best preserved cluster of ancient buildings
it sheltered 2 dynasties of emperors - e Ming & e Qing emperors
while we were there, certain parts of e Forbidden City was also under restoration & repair
nevertheless, if there is another chance,
i wld really luv to b able to go back again
jus to see those areas which we didnt get to cover tis time round
i particularly like tis pic
can jus imagine eunuchs or those servants hurrying along these alleys to attend to e biddings of e masters they serve
or imagine a clandestine meeting late at night discussing e latest plot against some imperial concubine
tat being said,
e Forbidden City is also a place tat is full of tradegies
quite often, we wld hear of legends of some concubine or some court official being poisoned, put to death, pushed down wells, etc etc etc
tis was another sight tat had us quite amused
its common to see tour guides holding flags to signal to their tour groups
but tis is e 1st time i've seen a flag stuck onto a brolly
totally ingenious, & apparently quite common amongst e tour guides in beijing
but can b quite amusing esp if it was stuck on some cartoon character's face
*trust me, i saw 1 such cartoon character brolly*
when u exit from e Forbidden City
u will b greeted by e Tiananmen Square
do turn ard, & Chairman Mao will be smiling down at u
its where he used to give his speeches
according to 1 taxi-driver
Chairman Mao had wanted to move into e Forbidden City as his residence
but fate & destiny prevented him from doing so
well, i'm not sure how much of tis story is true
but if it is, i wonder if tat's e reason why Mao Zedong had wanted e Forbidden City destroyed
*thk all gods & goddesses & divine interventions tat he didnt manage to do tat*


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