I went to the Bird’s Nest for the first time, and it was to see Wang LeeHom 王力宏. For the ones who do not know who he is, Wang LeeHom is a FAMOUS pop singer in Asia. He was actually the first pop artist to sing at the Bird’s Nest, which was designed for use throughout the 2008 Olympics. The National Stadium has a capacity to fit 80,000+ people and it was packed!
This post is not about any place in particular but about my life in China. You would never know what this country is like – even if you read about it, see videos and photos – until you see it live. Previous to my departure I read about China and its culture, watched numerous videos, read blogs, and talked to friends that have lived here before. But it was not until I moved to Beijing that I experience the REAL China. I have yet to experience a real ‘cultural exchange’ living with a host Chinese family. At the moment I stay at the school dorms, but I am really hoping to have this experience once.
It takes time to get used to a new place. This isn’t my first abroad experience but it is definitely the hardest one to adapt to. With only two months and a half of moving to Beijing, I’ve seen a lot that I like and much more that I just can’t do anything about it. It is definitely a whole different world!
Some of the biggest things that I’ve had a hard time to adapt to have been: Continue Reading
Tired of the canteen food on campus we escaped to enjoy Korea BBQ at Huo Lu Huo (火炉火). It was the first time I had Korean BBQ. This was not the usual visit to the restaurant where you order and the food comes right out from the kitchen. Instead, you order different types of meat and grill it yourself.
On the last day of QingMing break we visited Tianjin, which is located by the coast just south of Beijing. Tianjin is one of the five national central cities of the People’s Republic of China and is the 6th largest city in terms of population. Since we were only here for one day we did not get to see much of the city but we visited the most popular sites (including Walmart, ha).
During the Qing Ming break we escaped from the Beijing windy-weather to a much nicer place in southern China. Guilin was our first stop after a 23 hour train ride, which did not seem that long since I slept most of the time. Sleep-eat-sleep-again-read-a-book-eat is the life in a train, but if you’re curious like me exploring around is another option. Guilin is known for its mountainous scenery and its chili sauce. It’s the best one I’ve ever had in China and it is actually considered one of Guilin’s Three Treasures. The other two are Guilin Sanhua Jiu, a liquor distilled from rice (which I did not get to try); and Guilin pickled tofu.
View from the Seven Star Park Continue Reading
Dinner time is a perfect excuse to go out of campus and try new dishes around the area, so we went to eat hot pot. Our local friend, Wang Gang, took us to 北京阳坊大都羊肉 Beijing Yangfang Dadu Yangrou restaurant in Wudaoko. It was the first time I had hot pot and I loved it. This Chinese dish has a history of more than 1,000 years. It was originated in the north of China where people have to fend off the cold weather, and it used to be favored in winter. Now it is eaten throughout all seasons and it is part of the traditional Chinese dishes. The pot is divided in two sides, one is (really) spicy the other one is not.
On a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day we visited Tiāntán, the Temple of Heaven. The temple is a prime example of Chinese religious architecture, this is where Emperors of the Qing and Ming dynasties performed annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. The Construction began in the early 15th century under Yongle, who is known as the “architect of Beijing.” Shaped like a semicircle on the northern rim to represent heaven and square on the south for the earth, the grounds were once believed to be the meeting point of the two. So many Chinese believed for so long that this was the center of the world.