Lifestyle · Travel

Travel Beijing Part 1

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Late December,
I took a winter holiday to Beijing & Xi’an
via Malaysia Airlines MH360

Everything was peaceful and quite at the KL International Airport Lounge where I took a couple of hours resting during transit
Yea, this post is 5 months late
nonetheless, I finally found time to share my travel insights!
It’s gonna be a long one, filled with photos!

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This would have been my 4th or 5th trip to Beijing
China has always been a place which I travel very often to
& I’m actually so accustomed to it that the land feels like a second home to me

But NEVER THIS COLD
It’s -6 to -8 degress when I first arrived
31st Dec was toward the end of the trip and the best I got was 6 degrees!

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I bought stacks and stacks of HeatTech inner wears from Uniqlo
& I remember going a lil paranoid when many outlets were sold out for Medium size
The cold is not something I can deal with…

So you can expect loads of food photos here to stuff me up well
hopefully burn more calories under the pile of clothes I’m wrapped under~

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That was the first meal in Beijing
Small restaurant at the basement of “Dong Fang Xin Tian Di” (Oriental Plaza @ Wang fu jing)Nothing special but I settled for less since I was starved for a good 3 hours before I died without food in the cold

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Along the street just outside Oriental Plaza
Oriental Plaza is integrated with The Grand Hyatt Hotel
& it’s one of the most popular spot in Wang Fu Jing
Being Singaporean, it’s rare to see bare trees along the road
I literally went WOW, and stood in the middle of the street admiring the scene — while breathing uber cold air…

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Those Uniqlo HeatTech pants were THE BEST!
Underneath, there’s still 2 more layers of HeatTech leggings
They kept my legs comfortable throughout

I finally understood the point of having that furry hood on a jacket
I’ve always disliked it and now I found the best use for it
My ears went numb in the wind and got slightly painful as it’s just too cold
The furry hood saved my ears!

Haylie… if you’re reading this and wondering if that’s the same knitted scarf we bought from a night market in Hong Kong 9 years ago
Yes it is! Where’s yours?!?!

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After the not-so-satisfying lunch, I took a walk down to Tian an men Square

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just like a tourist…with a Great Wall Tour pamphlet pushed into my hands

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Tourist from other states in China converge here everyday
Over the years, it has been this busy day in day out

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The sun sets by 4.30pm
=(

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National Pride
The daily Flag Lowering Ceremony at about 5pm
Never failed to attract the loads of tourists who waited with their smartphones, tablets and camera
preparing to capture the moment

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Darkness fell really soon
& the streets light up~

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Skyscrappers in the city

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Right across from the CCTV Tower
satellites that look like small white mushrooms in the middle
Heard that there’s an aquarium inside that’s open for the public
but my tired legs couldn’t walk further
besides, I can’t seem to find an end to the fences…

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After giving up on the aquarium,
A SPA was badly needed
Just along GuangHua Road in the Chaoyang district,
I researched for a decent spa to rest in

99 Massage and Spa Centre

 

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Rm 703, E-Tower C12, Guanghua Lu
Chaoyang District
Opens Daily 11am-midnight
Tel: 6501 0799

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An hour’s traditional massage will cost about 198RMB
while I took on the 3 hours PamperMe session for 1298RMB
There’s many scrubs and showers before the actual massage
Given the cold weather,
I dread taking a shower
The room in 99 Massage & Spa Centre was very warm and comfortable

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Right behind the building of the Spa,
is Shangri-La’s China World Hotel
Proceed to the Top level and you dine with the view of the CBD in Beijing

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Oddly enough,
it’s just Day 1
but since hunger was knocking on my doors every couple of hours
I just had to have my Singaporean fix

yes, in Shangri-La

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The Nasi Lemak and Hainanese Chicken RiceIMG_3894

Coupled with a sweet bottle of Red to seal the night

Second Day in Beijing

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It’s Good Hair Day everyday in this weather
Good make up Day as well since the make up never ever melts
eyeliners will never be smudged, hence unnecessary to be redrawn
eyelashes will always stay curled

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The second day brought me to
The Forbidden City

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Of course, a decent meal has got to fill me up first before stepping foot into this beautiful historical and cultural venue

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Another restaurant in the basement of Oriental Plaza
where its buzzed with the Working Lunch Crowd
Reminded me so much of the Si Chuan Dou Hua in UOB Plaza Raffles Place

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Starters: Spicy chicken slices

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These were empty inside
very fluffy!

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Scallops with vermicilli
Too tiny…

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Cod Fish slices with pepper and salt

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Finishing up with Hashima in Papaya!
& then a slow walk to the Forbidden City

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This is the temple where monks were housed
Situated on the right side of the Fobidden Palace
connected with a small back door into the palace grounds

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Here I am
For the 3rd time in my life

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Nothing has changed
Restoration works were still ongoing as usual
perhaps some pathways were fixed

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Carrying heatpacks everywhere I go
I wandered through the mysterious place

I have always had a curious love for the palace history in China
Watched countless of period palace dramas
analysed the civilisations and the line of dynasties
even took on a module in university on the “Politics and Culture among the Palace Women”
– scored a B for the record

My point here is:
For those who have at least watched some palace dramas,
you would keep hearing the actors (as emperors) say they would take a walk in the Imperial Garden
Yu Hua Yuan
Assuming that the garden is supposed to be as grand as the entire grounds of the palace…
I was relatively disappointed…
It was just a pond, some pots of plants and a walking path across

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The quieter left side of the palace

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The Museum and library was still under restoration
Should be done in a year or so

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The Forbidden City is surrounded by a small body of water
& at this time of the year
The lake is FROZEN!

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I was so thrilled
Coz I have never seen a frozen lake before!

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It’s probably just the surface that was icy
A fall into that will likely break it apart..

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It was a real long walk along this
But I totally enjoyed it

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Peking Duck was the scheduled dinner that evening
but I couldn’t resist getting my hands onto this Rainbow cake when I walked past the bakery

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I totally loved how the colours were put together
which also explains why I’m never bored checking out the nail colours in my shop everyday!

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How can you leave Beijing without having the famous Peking Duck??!
Award winnning Da Dong Kao Ya has branches of restaurants all over the city
http://dadongdadong.com/

 

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Displaying all their awards and accolades at the main branch near the rainbow bridge
I was 14th in line when I arrived for dinner without reservations
on a weekday at 6pm

I heard it’s just as packed everyday

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Nope, it’s not what it looks like (a recipe book?)
This is actually the restaurants MENU!
I was too hungry to go through it and so just went for the standard recommended stuff

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Pumpkin Soup to start

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Matching a glass of rose with scallop sashimi and caviar

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The World’s Famous Peking Duck

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Make your own Peking Duck roll

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Sweet & Sour Prawn Balls

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Mushrooms with peas

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Seared Scallops

Given that the ambience and the service level was totally world class
The bill was about 1800RMB
That was still pretty decent..

It was the Last Day of 2013
& the weather was hazy at -1

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Hugging my fulfilling tummy and slugging in the sofa at home
I would have completely dozed off if not for the New Years’ Eve Party~

Travel Beijing Part 2 will be updated soon!
Stay Tuned!

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