April-May 2013, Beijing – On the Clock to Tiananmen

For lack of a better title…

…and did you realize it? I’m back. šŸ˜€ I swear this love-hate phase of blogging I’m in now is not showing signs of slowing, but for now I’ll be good blogger and finish up Beijing. Because for goodness’s sake, it’s JULY. šŸ˜® And oh, you’ll never guess who helped push me back to blogging.

My mom: “eh? You haven’t been updating your blog? But you have lots of things to post!”

See how God works? :p Anyway, yes. Off to clock museums.

BeijingIf you’ve been playing tourist for quite some time, the risk is that you just go through the motions of going in and out of places, seeing what the tour guide thinks you would be interested to see. That is exactly what I fell through in about our third day in Beijing, but luckily, while entering this unassuming clock museum inside the Forbidden City, I happened to look up:

BeijingBeijingBeijingBeautiful, right? Not only was the house itself beautiful, the clocks from all over China that it housed were staggeringly beautiful. Dazzling clocks of all shapes and sizes looked more amazing once we read the descriptions and realized that these were made by the ancient people in China, when clocks had just been invented. Again, with the lack of technology and technical know-how then, they seemed to know even more than we do now!

BeijingBeijingBeijingBeijingEVERY SHAPE AND SIZE, fromĀ allĀ over China. Aren’t they amazing?! I, not being a big clock fan, was awestruck – what more a true-blue clock aficionado? S/he would be freaking out here!

BeijingBeijingBeijingBeijingThe place is HUGE, and admittedly after looking at so much of gilded clocks, they almost start looking the same to you if you happen to not pay attention. Luckily we were taken to another museum inside the City right after!

Forbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CitySo after walking another stretch (you should believe me by now when I tell you the Forbidden City isĀ huge) and a wall of dragons, we finally got to a museum called the Treasure Gallery where they keep actual costumes, ornaments and trinkets of the emperor and his family.

Forbidden CityBeijingBeijingSee what I mean? They are literally knick-knacks, looking pretty but actually hundreds of years old.

BeijingBeijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryOn to another portion of these treasures…

Beijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryIf you do stop by these kinds of lions guarding the gates, do try to listen to your tour guides and their stories about it. The stories and the rationale behind these lions are not only fascinating, but also very cultural. Culture down to the teeny tiny details, people.

Beijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryFrom afar, this is one of those “oh look, another piece of ancient jade” things, but look closely and you’ll be amazed at the work and detail put into it. Without lasers or those whatnot we have right now, of course.

Beijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryI mean, I must have used “amazing” at least 10 times by now, right? AMAAAAAZING.

BeijingBeijing Treasure GalleryBeijing Treasure GalleryOut this door, off to trek to Tiananmen Square!

Beijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenUs teachers were all giggling and telling funny stories throughout the walk, so I can’t give an exact estimate – maybe around 15-20 minutes? But from where we got out of the Forbidden City, we were soon walking along someĀ cleanĀ streets, seeing some important-looking buildings, and somehow knew we were near the famous Tiananmen Square.

Beijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenThe aforementioned important-looking buildings… which, of course they are. It just happened: we were standingĀ onĀ Tiananmen!!

Beijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenRight in front of that famous flag + Mao Zedong portrait we all associate Tiananmen with was this giant LED screen showing the beauty of China and its various places, with matching heroic/touching music playing at an appropriately loud volume. I have never felt so… touched and proud to be Chinese as I was at that time. LOL but seriously, it had that effect on me!

Beijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenWe kept marvelling on how one person chugging on an electric motorbike-like thing kept the whole plaza clean. If only the Philippines followed suit for all their famous places and monuments!

Beijing TiananmenBeijing TiananmenLeaving you with a shot of the massive National Museum of China, where we went next – for ze next blog entry, of course! šŸ˜‰

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