Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Vacation: Month 1, Part 2

The majority of my time in Beijing was spent with family but I managed to set aside one day to visit one of my favorite places in the city: the Forbidden City.  I'm a dork, I know.  I think I have pictures of me running around the place as a three-year-old but with close to 9000 rooms, I feel like I see and learn something new each time I'm there.  I could write a whole paragraph on each picture but I'll spare you the history lesson and keep the commentary to a minimum :)  Part 2: The Touristy Stuff.

The Forbidden City:

(Like my bag??!  LOL, I bought it for 25rmb (about $3.60).)


(The old opera house - in all my visits to the palace, I had never known this structure even existed.  Kinda cool but also a little creepy...)

(A stray kitty just chillin' in the yard.)

(A forgotten courtyard of some sort...again, a little creepy.)

Qian Men (front gates to the Forbidden City) and remnants of old Beijing:

(This area is where old Beijing used to be.  Some of Beijing's oldest and most famous establishments are still in this area but of course most have been recently renovated.)

(Before China became king in the land of mass production, people came here to buy silk cloths for their clothes.)

(Gou Bu Li Bao Zi - Actually a Tianjin delicacy but anyhoo, this place is famous for their steamed buns and the name which literally translates into "Dogs ignore (Steamed Buns)".  The founder's nickname was Dog (makes more sense in Chinese...) and people used to say when he worked on his steamed buns, he would ignore everything and everyone around him and so yea, a catchy name was born.)

(As much as China has modernized itself in the past 20 years, you still do see areas in need of some major beautification.)

(This lady got pissed when she realized I was taking her picture and asked what I was doing.  I walked away pretending not to hear/understand her.  Whoops.)

(You see that little girl off to the left with the paper bag??!  There was a bunny inside the bag and the girl kept on picking the bunny up by its ears and then dropping the poor thing back into the bag.  Over and over again.  Seriously uncool.) 

Liulichang (area in Beijing dedicated to art galleries and antiques):

($5 to the first person who can tell me what this figurine is depicting.)


Dont go to China if you want to shop for brand name luxury goods.  Go to Europe for that.  Go to China if you want to shop for cute, random, useless trinkets at street vendors.  As a lover of cute, random, useless trinkets, I was in heaven (yes, I will be posting my cute, random, useless loot a bit later in the week).  Heres a tip: always offer the vendor 50% of their asking price.  If they refuse, walk away.  Walking away is your way of telling the vendor youre serious about your offer price.  Most of the time when they see you walk away, they will immediately tell you they accept your offer price.  If they dont stop you, keep walking and just remember, there is no such thing as one of a kind when it comes to shopping at street vendors in China.  You WILL find that same item again, probably just a few vendors down and you WILL be able to buy at your offer price.  And dont worry, these vendors get everything at a wholesale market so at the end of the day, they will still be making profit.  One last thing...if you're buying something with a brand name attached to it from a street vendor, you are not buying the real thing at a incredibly cheap price.  I dont care how real it looks, what the vendor tells you, or if the vendor had to go to the back to get you the "real stuff"...its fake.


MadsaboutU said...

Nice pics, looks like you are having great fun!:)

The bag is cute indeed!

Her said...

would like to ask you a few questions about your CLs over the mail. may i? if so.. how do i go about it? thanks.

Shar said...

The figurine depicts those who were persecuted and publicly humiliated under Mao's Cultural Revolution.

Purse Addict said...

Hi Junee!! We shouldve coordinated our vacations and had a Beijing meet up :D

Her: Hi there :) If you want, you can leave me a comment with your email address and I will respond via email. Since my comments are moderated, you dont have to worry about your email being exposed to the world wide web!

Shar: Good job!! Now, how would you like those $5? LOL...paypal, check, cash, form of a small gift? Lemme know!

Irene said...

i freaking love your china pictures... makes me wanna go even more now!

Purse Addict said...

^^ we should totally go to Korea and China next summer!

Shar said...

Hello, glad I got it right, but its ok about the $5. How about posting a link to my blog instead? =) If you're not comfortable with it, I'm ok too. Am in love with your huge collection of shoes...

Purse Addict said...

Hey Shar! No problemo...I'll add you as soon as I get a minute ;)