I’m a bit late on this one since it’s about our Saturday adventures and now its Thursday but oh well. Better late than never right…? Work with me on this one.
Anyways, Saturday (August 31) we took ourselves on one epic adventure around Hou Hai lake which is about a mile north of the Forbidden City.
We started walking through a bunch of hutongs which are like old alley ways. They’re all very narrow and go in every direction possible. It’s really hard to know which way you’re actually walking.
Just when you think you’ve walked yourself into Rapeville, USA, you pop out onto a street and find the beautiful Protect the Nation Temple or Prince Gong’s abandoned mansion. It’s quite amazing how modern China is just wrapped around different sections of ancient China – every once in a while you’re reminded how old, and rich with history, this city really is.
One of my favourite parts was finding the outdoor “gym”. You think it’s a playground for children but really they’re meant for adult exercise. I definitely had WAY too much fun on these things.
After a very confusing walk, we ended up at the waterfront of Hou Hai. In a city this big, a concrete jungle like none I’ve ever seen before, it was so nice to be near open water. Maybe it’s the pisces in me but boy do I love being near the water; makes me feel at peace inside.
We walked along the water for a while and stumbled upon a tourist area reminiscent of Italy’s Venice – narrow rivers with boats, cafes, and cute restaurants. We managed to find a rooftop patio that overlooked the water and provided excellent people watching. A perfect end to our perfect day.
Saturday night was no less interesting than our day. We again ended up back at Sanlitun (typical us) and walked into a club called Cheers. I will never get used to the hilarity that is Beijing’s dance clubs. The music, the dancing, the crowd – all absolutely hilarious.
We met some locals, who didn’t speak ANY english, but wanted so badly to be our friends. It’s pretty amazing how much you can communicate without understanding a single word the other person is saying. When it doubt, just cheers your drinks and smile.
I also found 500 Yuan on the dance floor which is equivalent to about $80 CAD. EXCELLENT FIND ASHTON! So needless to say, drinks and post-bar McDonald’s (again, typical us) were on me all night. Woop woop!
We’re starting to feel really at home in this city and I can’t believe we only have a few weeks left here. I will definitely miss my home here in Beijing.
Ashton Says: Learn to say “Cheers!” in the local language wherever you are visiting. It is the best solution to any miscommunications on a dance floor.