Advanced Chinese Patriotism

Nocturnal Fleamarket in Wudaokou

A nightmarket near Tsinghua University in Wudaokou district. Mainly shoes and second hand clothing, badminton rackets, and old electrical gear. Whatever isn’t needed anymore is brought here – who know if someone else has a need for second hand dried blueberries.

A Week in Hong Kong – Part I

Hongkong really surprised us and it wasn’t like Mainland China AT ALL! Admittedly, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I guess I just assumed it would be at least similar to other (Chinese) capital cities I visited or lived in before. Since we chose early March to travel there, the weather situation in Beijing was still fairly bleak: temperatures below freezing point and icy winds had us wrapped up in thick winter coats, hats and gloves. Arriving at HK airport though, with its high humidity, tropical vegetation, and almost 20 degrees C, the winter attire almost immediately became obsolete. To get a feel for the city’s size and its landscape, we climbed (!) to The Peak, or Victoria Peak – with more than 550m the highest mountain on HK island. These pictures were taken from the viewing platform at 379m, overlooking HK and Kowloon.



Hongkong hat uns wirklich überrascht, vor allem weil es so GAR NICHT wie Festland China war. Zugegebenermaßen wussten wir nicht ganz genau, was uns erwarten würde, aber ich ging wahrscheinlich einfach davon aus, dass es zumindest ähnlich wie andere, chinesische Großstädte sein würde. Als wir Anfang März in Peking losreisten war das Wetter hier noch sehr winterlich: Temperaturen unter dem Gefierpunkt, dicke Winterjacken, Mützen & Handschuhe. Bei Ankunft am HK Flughafen konnten wir die warme Kleidung daher dank hoher Luftfeuchtigkeit und knapp 20 Grad C schnell wieder in den Koffern verschwinden lassen. Um uns einen Überblick über die Größe der Stadt und ihre Landschaft zu verschaffen haben wir den Victoria-Gipfel, auch einfach The Peak genannt, zu Fuß erklommen [Die Schlangen für die Tram waren einfach zu lang und das Wetter zu schön]. Mit knapp 550m Höhe ist er (oder sie) der höchste Berg der Insel Hongkong, und die Bilder wurden auf der Aussichtsplattform auf 379m Höhen aufgenommen. Man überblickt Großteile von HK Island und des Landesteils Kowloon.

Tianning Temple Tower

The other day we accidentially discovered a small buddhist temple in Beijing’s Xicheng district. It was a beautiful day, we just came back from the old CCTV Tower and saw the tip of the pagoda while riding past in a bus. Although it was surrounded by the usual overdone new structures that you also find at other more ‘touristy’ sights, the original 13 story builing was an authentic piece of history seldomely seen in Beijing. Some female monks still live and worship in the temple and a couple of women from the sorrounding neighborhood communities volunteer to help maintain the structure. Unfortunately it is located pretty far off any other tourist sights, so it might be hard to convince visitors to go there instead of, say, the Confucius Temple, but if someone is interested in a place that really dates back hundreds of years (and also still looks like it, in great condition), I highly recommend it!