24 July, 2010

Walking around Beijing 2 / May 2010

Every spring the yellow sand has come from the western desert area on the Chinese continent. Even in Japan we can see it sometimes. Last mid May, I went to Beijing on the business trip and I could observe the “real” yellow sand of China…..I could observe it? No way, actually, I was covered with it. Although the arrival time was the mid noon but the sky was darken and the air was colored, just like the view thorough the yellow filter. “Where has the huge and clear sky which I saw in December gone?” The trip started with the surprise.
Last time I visit there in December, that trip was set suddenly and it was very short, flew to Beijing Thursday evening then got the afternoon fright of Saturday. Fortunately, this trip was relatively long and I was lucky to get a day off in Beijing. Of course I was walking around there.
I visited Xihai/Houhai/Qianhai (西海/后海/前海), Gulou(鼓楼:Drum Tower) and Zhonglou(钟楼:Bell tower). This area is the North side of the Forbidden City. At first, I got off the subway line #2 at Jishuitan(积水潭) station. Then walk to Xihai.

Guo Shoujing 郭守敬 (1231-1316), Chinese astronomer, engineer, mathematician, and he was a leader of water projects in ancient China. He developed ponds and canals, and then the water transportation system in China had been drastically improved. Of course these ponds, Xihai/Houhai/Qianhai were his project.

Houhai. There was a good walking course along with the water side.

It was a very peaceful place. You can find lovers, granny & grampas, kids with parents, fishes, flogs, swimming uncles….

…swimming uncles?!

This is the end of Houhai. Beyond the bridge is Qianhai.

Near the bridge, there is a small good restaurant. Dongxingshun Baidu Zhang 东兴顺爆肚张. I will introduce this restaurant in the next posting.

Gu lou(鼓楼; Drum tower).
This drum tower was built in 1272. This building was rebuilt in 1420. Once, the drums were beaten twice a day, 5 AM and 7 PM as time signals.
Water clock.
The drum show is performed every 30 mins (9:00-11:30, 13:30-17:00).
The view from Gu lou.
From the entrance of Gu lou, you can see another tower, Zhong lou(钟楼: Bell tower).
This tower was built in 1420 originaly. This building was rebuilt in 1747.
Until 1942, this bell had been rung to signify the hours.
Please click the above picture and check the location of Gu lou, Zhong lou, the Forbidden city and Tian An Men Square.
Hutong 胡同; old living area of commoners.
For moving around Beijing, subway system is very convenient and reasonable.

Have you ever read Lao She(老舍)?
I didn't know that Haruki Murakami is so popular in China.


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