Monday, June 15, 2009

Beijing Day 2: Nan Luo Gu Xiang

ok, had some time last nite
& my nails were in a deplorable state
weather in beijing was hot & dry
nails started to peel n chip despite moisturizers
so i had to file them down again

ended up with Essie Greenport on my nails
was quite a fast decision even thou i had like tons of new loots to try out
cos i was already very fascinated with tis colour & hv been waiting eagerly for it
quite like e colour
dun own a turquoise until Greenport so i'm partial to tis
but i tink it wld look much better when i return to being fairer
even ma said tat it looks strange on me now tat i'm all tanned from e beijing sun

application wise, tink i'm too used to OPI's pro-wide brush
so whenever i get a smaller brush,
i find it harder to manage
but it was otherwise ok & i cld get proper coverage in 2 coats
all said, i'm keen to try out my other Essie colours soon
hmmm.... already hv got so many new loots
mayb i shld stop looting for a while until i tried them all??
anyway back to beijing
day 2 itinerary part I: Nan Luo Gu Xiang

more on e Gu Xiang 20 Hotel

DongCheng area
20 Nan Luo Gu Xiang
Tel: 010-6400-5566

from e Frommer's 2008 beijing guidebook:
"jus opened in 2007, this intimate hotel located on a bar lined alley in e hutongs boasts modern rooms decorated with chinese antiques & flat-screen TVs" (pg 121)

*i'll explain wat hutongs are later*

well, as u can see from e no of pics i hv
i really like e decor in e hotel & its really quite cozy

hee... we even got a room upgrade on e 2nd day cos e hotel had scheduled for repairs
e receptionist was quite apologetic & she was one of e most helpful receptionist we encountered in tis trip
e upgraded room was bigger (3 beds & 2 bathrooms!)
but i actually preferred e previous smaller room

only complaint i hv abt tis hotel is e breakfast buffet
its e only hotel tat we booked with breakfast
& i'm really disappointed with the choice n taste
ok, perhaps we came down for breakfast later
but there isnt much choice; in fact e 2nd time we had breakfast, there were no more bacon left!
can u imagine if i said tat e only food items i liked was bread & e cherry tomatoes?!
from Frommer's 2008 guidebook:
"Nan Luo Gu Xiang is a historic hutong, or alley, tat underwent a massive face-lift in August 2006"

so wat's a hutong?
from thomas cook 2006 beijing & northern china guidebook:
"hutong refers to e narrow alleyways of beijing lined with courtyard houses called siheyuan" (pg 24)
these are e areas known to e locals as lao beijing (old beijing)

unfortunately, these hutongs are being rapidly demolished
according to lonely planet 2007 beijing guidebook (pg 26)
before 1949, beijing had 3600 hutongs, but now there are only abt 500 left
so if there is a chance, do go & visit one while its still ard

essentially, Nan Luo Gu Xiang is more commercialised but still worth a visit
atmosphere there is a little like sg's holland village lah
& there's always a couple of quirky sights

1st off, there are ppl selling all sorts of stuff on bikes
tis one is selling cooked pork & all those other cooked pig innards, intestines, blah blah blah
its all dumped into tis basket
then if ppl hail him, he'll stop, get off, chop out what his customers want & then dump them into tis plastic bag...
*even thou i like my kway chap, tis one kinda put me off*
another interesting sight in beijing
cars travel along where e pesdestrains walk too!
half e time, we had to give way to traffic
there was tis ang moh tourist who i tink got so frustrated with tis
she used e poster/scroll (didnt exactly know wat it was lah) n banged it on e hood of a passing car
shouting "NO Cars! NO Cars!"
then there's tis kind of transport which is totally claustrophobic
its basically just a tin can built around scooters
barely enuff space for 1 adult
but i actually saw 2 adults & 1 child squeezed into it!!
then we hv locals who hang their laundry (including underwear!) out to dry on their store fronts
beijing's smallest bar is located here too
well. at least tat's wat tis signboard proclaimed
tis is where we ta-pao our dinner
incredibly long wait
n many customers were also shouting at e waitresses to hurry up with their orders
at least e food we ordered was worth e wait
esp e celery with lily bulbs
& of cos, their english is sometimes.... funny
even thou thry proclaim to speak english...
i totally agree with wat tis one says!!
but i'm not sure if tis shop is taking me for a ride
who wants to go into one
when it already tells u tat u'll prob be conned =P
ok... tat's it for now
tis has been a pretty long post
still hv part 2 of day 2 which i will do in e nxt post


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