Thursday, February 05, 2009

More cool stuff from China

Went to the Beijing Zoo to hang out with the pandas, these guys are great

This one dude was a total ham. They're a lot of fun to watch

I've heard a lot of stories of people jumping into the enclosures, but you could get pretty close regardless

More fun watching the pandas

I've spent a great deal of time walking around the hutongs while I've been here. They're really cool

Unfortunately a lot of the hutongs are disappearing, as Beijing races to fill out its skylline. Hopefully they save a few of these

Shot of one of the many fruit markets along the hutongs

This is the entrance to the Lama temple, which is definitely worth a visit if you're in Beijing

The Lama temple has a cool surrounding, with lots of shops hawking prayer beads and incense

These buildings are laced throughout the city and have an amazing architecture - cool to stop and look at

I also made it out to Simatai, and got to see more of rural China

The Simatai section of the great wall is by far the best that I've seen yet

The wall is so impressive, especially on a clear day, when you really get to see just how far this thing stretches

You can tell the original glue on portions of the wall (certain sections have been restored many times) by the (very) faded white color of the substance

It's also wild to look over the north side of the wall and see former inner Mongolia sitting down below

It's a looooong climb up on this section of the wall

More cool buildings lining other sections of a hutong

There's also Hohai in Beijing, which is a beautiful lake with a number of great bars along the shore

The lake is actually frozen over now, so you can see hundreds of people skating on it during the weekends

Beihai park is another one of my favorite spots in Beijing - a very peaceful place to spend a Sunday afternoon

You can go anywhere in the park and quietly observe amazing scenery like this

Over the past couple of weeks, fireworks have been going off like clockwork for the lunar new year

It's hard to catch how many fireworks go off at once with a single shot, but this lasts all day and night - scaring away the spirits

It's also a little dangerous, especially when the wind starts to pick up

Things have finally started to come down now that the new year celebrations are over

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