Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beijing Day 5: Mu Tian Yu & 789 Art District

ok, there is still day 4 part 2 tat i hvnt blogged abt

but as mentioned in previous post
my camera died cos i forgot to charge e batt

pics of day 4 part 2 are with Gerry dear
so i'll continue with day 5 1st
& will come back to day 4 part 2 when Gerry passes me e pics

day 5,

on e way to e Great Wall of China
aka wan li chang chen

earlier we had already booked a car thru Gerry's fren to get us to e Great Wall
but we never expected to get driven in a limo!!

& we paid e price tat we hv paid if we hv booked a cab!!


arrival at e foot of mu tian yu

e Great Wall is so huge tat its been divided into various sections
so when in beijing, if u hear ba da ling, si ma tai, jing shan ling, mu tian yu, these are jus names of e various sections of e Great Wall

ba da ling is prob e most commercialised among all e various sections
& prob one of e most visited by tour grps
according to Frommer's 2008 guidebook (pg 133),
there's even a KFC & a starbucks!!

well, Gerry & I hv an aversion to great hordes of ppl
& we rather hv a feel of e more au natural version of e Great Wall
if nt for my damn knee we prob mgt hv opted for si ma tai
which according to e guidebooks, is one of e most rugged & unrestored sections

instead we headed for mu tian yu
which is totally breath-taking

from e foot,
we had to take tis cable car up

at 1st we were still tinking tat we wld b climbing up e hill
until we were told by e ticket operator tat it wld more than an hr...

& according to Fodor's 2007 beijing guidebook (pg. 215)
apparently, former US President Bill Clinton ascended tis way as well in his 1998 visit!!

& ahem, to b honest,
i was kinda scared when i took e cable car
it was so open - a bench & a metal rail in front
then i was wearing my tatami
so i was terrified tat they'll drop below & b lost forever in e hill!!

heehee... i took tis shot of my much beloved tatami
jus in case i had to mourn its demise =P

kekeke.... coming down was a lot more fun
we took tis german-built toboggan ride
basically its tis open car thg tat runs along a metal slide
well, e cars dun really allow u to go too fast
*i'm a speed demon*
but it was still fun
unfortunately, there was no way i cld take a pic of e toboggan ride

mu tian yu is absolutely breath-taking
i took tons & tons of photos

well... i'll jus let e photos do e talking here =)

*man... i wld luv to hv such views to wake up to every morning...*

then they had tis salute to Chairman Mao Ze Dong hacked into e peak of one of those hills...

Mu Tian Yu is jus slightly further from beijing as compared to ba da ling,
& much nearer compared to e other sections

Mu Tian Yu was restored in 1986,
& is approx 2250 m long

Fodor's guidebook again (pg 215),
"... e great Wall @ Mu Tian Yu is more spectacular &, despite e occasional annoyances of sovenir stands, significantly less crowded. Tis long section of wall, 1st built during the Northern Qi dynasty (6th century) & restored & rebuilt thru-out history, cn offer a solitary Great Wall experience, with unforgettable views of towers winding across mtns & woodlands. On a clear day, u'll swear u cn see e deserts of Mongolia in e dist."

a word of caution to those eldery, with young children, hv difficulty walking
e stairs along parts of e Great Wall cn b quite crazy

along we way,
we spotted a couple of tourist who bought walking sticks

but seriously, e Great Wall mgt b a test of endurance for some
its a LOT of stairs
& i really mean A LOT

*overheard tis family complaining of jelly legs*

then parts of these stairs are at monster angles

jus chk out my pics
those where u see a sudden drop are actually stairs leading down
i tink some are at crazy angles of 70 degrees!!

in certain sections, its so incredible
i had to hang onto to rails at e sides
since i didnt want to fall another time
& cause greater damage to an already damaged knee

Gerry & i spent abt 3 hrs climbing e Great Wall
& we didnt even manage to get to cover e entire Mu Tian Yu Section!!

Another caution,
u mgt wanna bring tons of sunblock or wear somethg long sleeved & cool
sun cn b incredible here
i got burnt despite putting on sunblock

after Great Wall, we headed off to e 798 Art District

actually we had planned to visit e Ming Tombs
but was warned by Gerry's fren tat actually there isnt anythg much to see over at Ming Tombs

instead she recommended e 798 Art District
on e way there i devoured my entire bag of roasted chestnuts bought e nite b4
incredibly hungry after e Great Wall experience
like how i feel sometimes after my pole workout!!

so 1st thg we did when we arrived there was to find lunch
our driver gave us only a couple of hrs
so we didnt exactly spend too much time over lunch
& besides there was only a few choices

we ordered a pizza to share
pizza was ok, but cld do betta on its sauce

kekeke.... Gerry brought along her play mobil for photo shoot

e orange juice was one of e best tat i ever had

one of e many exhibits over @ 798

couple of interesting stuff there

but tis tree was by far e one tat i liked e most outta everythg else

so pretty!!

chk out tis poster
i was really amused by it =)

but i tink we were both too bothered by e sun tat day to fully appreciate e 789 Art District
we were jus too hot
& pretty tired actually

if u're e kind who doesnt appreciate art exhibitions & stuff like tat
then i suggest u skip tis place

thk god we didnt hv anythg else planned for e day
after 798, we headed straight for our nxt hotel - A. Hotel
*yep! tat's its name!*

quite interesting loh!
its a hotel tat's built right into a stadium!!

n we loved e room decor too!

rested in e hotel for a while
b4 we headed out again for dinner

Da Tong Restaurant

well, we didnt expect e restaurant to b so high-class

there were many who were decked out in proper attire, even business suits
i felt a bit out of sorts wearing only a tee & shorts

amp; Da Tong restaurant also won an award for best dining as well

upon entering, u'll see e many chefs dealing with e huge stoves & roast duck

but e food was really really gd!
& their presentation lovely as well!

worked up an apetite tat day
*even Gerry commented tat i ate a lot tat nite*

boiled cabbage

loved e brinjal!!
Gerry gave up with tis after a while
but i gobbled it all up =P

prawns with preserved vege

prawns were fresh
but i felt tat tis was e least exciting of all our dishes

tis one wins e prize for one of e most artistically presented dishes i've ever seen

it looks like some winter scene

but its actually fish & preserved vege,

wrapped in lotus leaf
& baked in salt!!

kekeke... our fish also got a lot of stares & whispers from other diners who were curious to find out wat it was when e waitress came to unveil it

really yummy fish too!!

then we had another round of peking duck

tis time round we only ordered half a bird

i know its still a lot of food for 2 girls
like i said, we pigged out during tis trip

compared to e earlier Li Qun Roast Duck

both are really gd peking duck
perhaps one of e best i've ever tasted

Da Tong's has a "more expensive" taste
& i tink its cos of e many condiments tat came with it

e garlic sauce kinda enhanced e taste as well

while Li Qun is a more traditional taste
simple but gd

dunno if tis makes sense to u readers
but i hv no idea how else to describe e diff btwn e 2

then we were presented with complimentary fruits

which came along with dry ice!!

i was too stuffed by tat time,
so cld only manage e cherry,
which was a little sour

but Gerry said e other fruits were really sweet,

by e time we ended our huge meal,
was pretty late
of cos, needless to say
we were tired, but happy & full =)


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