Tuesday, December 31, 2013

China Trip - Day 9 Home Sweet Home

The morning started with an excitement, we weren't sure whether a driver will turn up to pick us at the hotel at 6a.m as scheduled. There was no call or message from anyone the night before. Thank goodness he did turn up & in time. That was surely a great relief. We just cannot afford to miss the flight back.
After obtaining our boarding passes we went hunting for food and found this China fast food chain called "Kung Fu" with a Bruce Lee label.  We had porridge, mee hun soup, glutinous rice and a steamed egg with minced meat. The food was reasonably good.
Yes, it is back to Kuala Lumpur to face reality and a 5 and the half hours flight journey .....so sit back & relax......
The result of exposing to cold weather, my skin got dried, cracked & bled. Well it's healing now.
The custom officer at KLIA trusted my words and he let me through without opening the box. Of course it was true that an used folding bicycle was in the the box with some dirty laundry. 
Cycling in Beijing was a good experience for me, the pollution from the traffic is not as bad as in Kuala Lumpur. I did not see any black smoke coming out from any buses and half of them are electric operated. 
The availability of bicycle lanes is extensive in Beijing and KL needs to learn leh...
 I would love to cycle in Beijing again but not during any cold season. 
The places I visited using my bicycle as shown in red.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

China Trip Day 8 - 2nd Day of Cycling Exploration in Beijing City

As I was cycling out off Wangfujing Street this man asked me "how much is Jifo" I replied in broken Mandarin and I guessed you understood me.  
I have planned my ride into 2 stages. Stage 1 - go to the Drum Tower  and Stage 2 find my way to Xing Fu Street where I bought my folding bike for packing.
The weather was excellent except the cold temperature and it was a Sunday. I guess this place must be filled with people for a Sunday service.
Covering oneself with thick clothing was necessary. I had a problem using my camera, the camera was too cold to handle without the glove and it was a hassle of putting it back ... it was certainly freaking cold ..... thank goodness we don't have such issue back home.
The many versions of bicycles seen at the streets of Beijing.
I wanted to check this place out for directions but it's not opened ... maybe it was still too early.
I was depending on this map and some notes that I have taken prior to the ride.
Bicycle lane with cars parking on it .... maybe it was a Sunday ... I don't really know.
All gone except the front wheel ....
This is Shichahai 什刹海 located north west of the Forbidden City and north west of Beihai Lake and consisting of 3 lakes.
This beautiful place is so big and if you want to see most of the places by walking I think it's quite strenuous. 
It seems there are more dogs than cats as pets in Beijing.
Houhai Bar Street is famous for the many bar outlets and is one of the most bustling places in Beijing. I did not smell any beer when I was here......next time I will come in the evening.
The frozen lake edge.
Interesting net game using feathered "ball", something like sepak takraw 
Wild duck wharf - they are not scare of cold.
A brief on Yangfang Hutong which is the address of Shichahai in the district of Xicheng, Beijing.
The directional sign found at Shichahai.
Xicheng is the district.
Fishing during winter at Shichahai ... I was wondering what was this group of Chinese doing at the edge of the lake and stopped by and have a look.
Catching fishes with a long pole one end with a net and the other end a sharp point to break the ice surface.
This is another Hutong @ Yandai Xiejie used to sell long tobacco smoking pipes in the olden time.
A plague on Yandai Hutong.
Finishing off the ride at Yandai Alley.
The ancient Drum Tower a landmark known by many.
This is a typical Police Station just in case of emergency you might want to know how it looks like.
It was already late in the morning and time to have a meal, I had a similar breakfast of steamed mini dumplings. It was not an issue bringing my folded bicycle into the shop. Again an US$1 breakfast which was filling and satisfying. 
The shop was preparing to close and I was lucky to have some food to eat.
So it about time to leave this beautiful place and headed back to the hotel for my Stage 2.
I saw this rider with a Dahon Dove similar like my Jifo but of different folding mechanism.
After a good rest at the hotel I resumed for Stage 2. This stage was a longer route going towards the suburb of Beijing. Xing Fu Street was where I wanted to go. The traffic was heavier and challenging at the 2nd ring road with lots of cars.
I was lost a couple of time, my orientation went kaput and had to readjust my position by finding pertinent landmarks.
I managed to find Beijing Railway Station which I know Xing Fu Street is somewhere near it. But due to the massive traffic system getting to the destination was rather difficult.
At time I had to carry my bicycle across pedestrian crossing.
Beijing Railway Station
Even though I found the Railway Station but I wasn't sure of which direction to go and had to seek help again from the Tourism Board office. A man gave a simplified direction which sound so easy to get to the place which was actually not.
The man did mention about the Great City Wall and this is next to Marriott Hotel of Beijing and next to the second ring road.
The ancient Tower at Southeast corner of the outer wall where ,Ming City Wall Relics Park is found.
After several attempts in the second ring road I found road sign indicating Xing Fu Street and at that moment I was exhilarated and regained my confidence to get there. Minutes later I could see the building.
Yes that was the shop I wanted to go.
After finding Dahon Store I proceeded for a lunch hunt and roaming around the surrounding for a place to eat. And I had this for RM13.00 lunch.
A cold dish of my choice of ingredients. Something I had never eaten before and it was delicious.
A plate of plain rice topped with fried egg with shredded bitter gourd. I enjoyed this lovely food with a bottle of local beer.
The shop that I patronised.
Now it was time for the purpose of this ride, Master Chow was around to help me and I brought some accessories from him.
Jifo being packed and to be flown to Kuala Lumpur for good. I then took a taxi back to the hotel.