Archives For Sights

Red Dinosaurs in Cages

john  —  February 20, 2015
At first glance I knew it wasn’t just any old sculp­ture. Sal­vador Dali’s Ele­fante Cosmico.

At first glance I knew it wasn’t just any old sculp­ture. Sal­vador Dali’s Ele­fante Cosmico.

It’s been a while since we went to the 798 Art Dis­trict in Bei­jing. It’s one of my favourite places to walk around in sum­mer, but wasn’t so good today with tem­per­a­ture around freez­ing. We decided not to stay too long, but a must see for Tanya is always the red dinosaurs in cages. Many of the gal­leries were chang­ing exhi­bi­tions so there wasn’t too much inter­est­ing to see. But I did dis­cover a 1974 sculp­ture by Sal­vador Dali, called Ele­fante Cos­mico, which I had never seen before.

(Blog posted by Ray on January 17, 2015. You can see the original article by following this link to

The first sign reads ‘Long live the People’s Repub­lic of China’ and the sec­ond reads ‘Long live the great unity of the peo­ples of the world’.

The first sign reads ‘Long live the People’s Repub­lic of China’ and the sec­ond reads ‘Long live the great unity of the peo­ples of the world’.

Flags on top of gov­ern­ment build­ings on Chang An Street

Flags on top of gov­ern­ment build­ings on Chang An Street

It’s been over a year since I have dri­ven past the For­bid­den City at Tianan­men Square. One thing I noticed was that all the gov­ern­ment build­ings along Chang An Street were fly­ing the Chi­nese flags from their rooftops. This was to coin­cide with the National People’s Con­gress meet­ing that has been held in the city since last week. The meet­ing is the most impor­tant for the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment as almost 3,000 del­e­gate from across China come to vote on dis­cuss and vote on poli­cies for the com­ing year. On the main gate of the For­bid­den City are two sets of Chi­nese char­ac­ters, which I felt pleased I could just aboit read. The first one 中华人民共和国万岁 (Zhōnghuá rén­mín gònghéguó wàn­suì) trans­lates into “Long live the People’s Repub­lic of China”. And the sec­ond 世界人民大团结万岁 (Shìjiè rén­mín dà tuán­jié wàn­suì) trans­lates into “Long live the great unity of the peo­ples of the world”.

(Blog posted by Ray on March 13, 2014. You can see the original article by following this link to

Phoenix TV Media Centre

john  —  April 27, 2014


Can­thy moved into her new office at Phoenix TV’s new inter­na­tional media cen­tre in Bei­jing at the end of last year. The office looks cool from the out­side and appar­ently part of the build­ing is open to the pub­lic. It located near Chaoyang Park, which is quiet res­i­den­tial area, so it doesn’t have much going on around it. Pre­vi­ously Can­thy worked near Wang­fu­jing, a shop­ping and eat­ing mecca, so there was always some­thing to do at mid­day. She now spends most lunchtimes in the office, but at least its closer to home so she can get home early to play with the kids.

(Blog posted by Ray on April 2, 2014. You can see the original article by following this link to


My Man­darin school is very close to Wang­fu­jing Street, the most famous shop­ping street in China. Most lunchtimes I will go there to have lunch and prac­tice my Man­darin in the shops. The street has the biggest Apple store in Asia, a huge three-story glass and steel cathe­dral of cool. Recently there have been many rumours about the new iPhone 6, so I went in to ask the Apple staff about it. Obvi­ously they couldn’t tell me any­thing and I didn’t expect them to. I just wanted to prac­tice my Chi­nese and see how long I could keep the con­ver­sa­tion going. I asked ques­tions like; when it would come out?, how big was the screen?, what was the price?, etc, etc. I did pretty well but I need to improve my tech­nol­ogy vocab­u­lary, as some of the terms were hard for me to under­stand in Chi­nese. I plan to go back again in a few weeks and prac­tice again with the staff, as I can’t wait for the new iPhone 6 to come out.

(Blog posted by Ray on April 2, 2014. You can see the original article by following this link to

gugong-1The Forbidden City in Beijing is going to turn into a sea of people during the upcoming national holiday from October 1-7. But if you absolutely must visit it at the same time as an estimated 182,000 others and want to avoid being disappointed at the ticket office, do the wise thing and buy your ticket online in advance. To do so, go to, a website specifically set up to handle the upcoming surge in tourists.

What’s more, refunds are available if you call the following hotline before 18:00 if you decide to change your mind: 4006 228 228.

Where: 4 Jingshan Qianjie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8500 7421
How much: 60 RMB/person
Opening hours: 8:30-17:00
Getting there: take subway line 1 to Tiananmen East station

Source: eChinacities.comSep 27, 2013.

You could be forgiven for thinking that due to Beijing’s lack of rivers, boating options would be few and far between. However Beijing does in fact surprisingly come up trumps with its various ancient parks and intricate canals. Whether you fancy a trip down one of Beijing’s weaving canals that takes you on a tour of the city’s various historic spots, or are just in need of a relaxing drift away from it all out in a lake, there are ample opportunities to enjoy boating in Beijing.

Changhe(长河)is a canal that was used by China’s emperors, and dates back over 700 years. Empress Dowager Cixi used to ride this river from the Forbidden City to the Summer Palace to relax during the summer. Changhe Hangdao runs from the Zoo to the Summer Palace, stretching 9 miles in length, and passes by Baishiqiao, the National Library, the Purple Bamboo Forest, Wanshou Temple and Changhewan before arriving at the resort. Also, the Changhe Hangdao ride is a great deal – the ticket includes the price of the zoo’s entrance fee!

Add: Beijing Zoo, 137 Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
Boat opening hours: the first boat departs at 9:00 with boats leaving every 30 mins thereafter. If you want to see the performances at Haiyangguan, you can leave at one or two in the afternoon before their 15:00 performance begins. It takes 50 mins to get to the Summer Palace
Price: 40RMB (one-way), 70 RMB (round-trip) (including the price of the Summer Palace and the Zoo). If you don’t want to go to the Summer Palace you can be dropped off right outside.
Tel: 010 6836 1713

The Tank Museum

john  —  April 13, 2013

The sole Tank Museum in Asia is situated between the beautiful Summer Palace and Badaling Section of the Great Wall. In front of the museum, there is a tank with Chinese characters bayi (August 1, the foundation date of the PLA), which makes the tank look majestic. Entering the spacious and bright exhibition rooms, you will find nearly 1,400 materials, photos, pictures which tell you the development of China’s armor cause and the efforts world military powers have made to build strong tank forts. 11 exhibitions rooms inside the museum respectively display the development history of China’s armors, tank armored cars, tank training simulators, and weapon imitated models.

From the first tank named little vagabond used by England in 1916 during the first world war to the brand-new battle tanks nowadays, from 59-style mid-sized tank to Japanese 90-style tank, the most costly tank in the current world, and from the Soviet T34 tank which has the longest service in the army to the tank captured by the PLA from the Kuomingtang army in the liberation war, all kinds of tank will tell you the story of human’s creation and employment of tanks.

tank-museum-5 tank-museum-4 tank-museum-3 tank-museum-2 tank-museum-1 tank-museum-6

the Big Egg

john  —  April 13, 2013

National centre for the performaing arts (the Big Egg)


Panjiayuan Antiques Market

john  —  April 7, 2013
The endless sprawl of stalls and shops at Beijing's Panjiayuan Market

The endless sprawl of stalls and shops at Beijing’s Panjiayuan Market

The Panjiayuan (潘家园) Market is a super shopping market for all Chinese arts and crafts. It is made up of over three thousand individual stalls covering 48,500 square metres. There really is something for everyone here. Even Hillary Clinton has shopped at Panjiayuan.

There is a little overlap between stalls so you can compare and bargain but the range of goods is excellent. Stall owners come from twenty-four provinces around China to sell their wares.

Panjiayuan Market is at its best on weekends. The Antique Zone is open every day and the Arts and Crafts Warehouse Zone is open on Saturday and Sunday only.


8:30 – 18:30 from Monday to Friday
4:30 – 18:30 Saturday and Sunday

Fragrant Hills is a special park on the outskirts of the city that offers lush open spaces.

Located at the foot of the Western Mountains in the northwestern part of the city, the 825-year-old leafy park is filled with traditional architecture and cultural relics.

Fragrant Hills Park covers 1.6 km² (395 acres), with a natural pine-cypress forest, hills with maple tree, and persimmon trees, as well as landscaped areas with traditional architecture and cultural relics.

The name is derived from Chinese Incense Burner the park’s highest peak, Xianglu Feng, (1,827 ft) is a hill with two large stones resembling incense burners at the top. Xianshan Park represents a fantastic getaway, offering an historic point of view as the home of leisure for past emperors and even Chairman Mao. Xiang Shan is commonly known for its vivid reds of deciduous trees in the autumn.

Continue Reading…

The Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City, is located in the heart of Beijing. It has served as the residence to 24 emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties between 1368 A.D. and 1911 A.D. but is now used as the Palace Museum.

The Forbidden City has been the center of the highest authority for more than 500 years in China. With garden landscapes and an enormous architectural complex consisting of 9,000 chambers and halls containing furniture and works of art, it has become the historical landmark witnessing invaluable Chinese civilization during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The Forbidden City Part 1: Initiation of the Forbidden City:

Part 2: The pinnacle of the flourishing age

Part 3: Governing the country by rites

Part 4: Administration of state affairs

Part 5: Between the state and family

Part 6: Porcelains in the Forbidden City

Part 7: Paintings an calligraphic works in the Forbidden City

Part 8: Jade objects in the Forbidden City

Part 9: Western Fever in the Forbidden City

Part 10: From palace to museum

Part 11: The shifting and loss of national treasures

Part 12: The everlasting Forbidden City

The summer Palace is produced with the help of the most advanced high-end digital technology. The crew produced a series of landscape shots during different seasons, with their footprints reaching to every corner of the garden. The documentary faithfully and completely pictured the changes of views and lighting effectss during the four seasons. Vivid details brings highly visual shock to the audience.

The Summer Palace Part 1- The garden of clear rippies:

Part 2- Heaven and earth by Kunming Lake

Part 3- Unique architecture skills

Part 4- Tempest paradise

Part 5- Diplomacy in the imperial garden

Part 6- The survival and renewal