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25 January 2008 @ 12:16 am
Two Weeks in China: day 7 {The Summer Palace, Temple of the 5 pagodas, and Beijing Zoo}  
It's about time!! I'm stealing a few minutes out of my night to continue the China posts, finally! ^O^ I hope that just maybe... maybe.. I can finish them up this weekend! (not likely tomorrow, though... >.>;;)

On day 7, I braved a taxi alone for the first time and went to the Summer Palace!! It was a bit difficult to get where I wanted to go across, but I managed it by pointing to a map. :) Quite a few times. :D

The summer palace.. it was probably my favorite place in all of Beijing. So, SO gorgeous. In the winter, even with everything dead around you, it was absolutely breathtaking. I can't even imagine what it would be like in the Spring and Summer. Wooooow... The old empress XiChi was really a lucky lady, that's for sure!!

It was also host to probably one of my favorite moments.. The giant lake in the palace grounds was completely frozen over. I've never been to something like that before! People were even walking it!!! The highlight was when I was walking on the ice, and a guy was going out a little too far-- I could hear the ice cracking under his feet, but he kept on going! Let's just say that he had to crawl back out, soaked and muddy to his knees in the below-freezing weather. XDXD;; Maybe there's something wrong with me, in that I just wanted to laugh. But he wasn't in any danger, so....! ^^;

The only gripe at all I could possibly have with the Summer Palace is that while smoking was banned and there were almost constant reminders of that over the loudspeakers near the lake, I constantly passed smokers. It nearly ruined it for me, but I really tried hard not to forcibly shove them over the sides of the paths and possibly get bunted from the country (of course it would have been worth it, I think!). But this was only the beginning of the problems with China's horrible inhuman smoking population, if only I'd known then what would happen at the end of my trip..

Aaaanyways!! After the summer palace, I wanted to go to the ruins of the old palace, but they were closed for some reason. Oh no!! I was so disappointed! It was one of the places that I wanted to go to the most!! Well, since I had time, I decided to go to the Temple of the 5 pagodas. I was severely cheated by my taxi driver, *grumbles*, but the pagodas were gorgeous! Cold and calm again, I left the temple, searching for a taxi to take home, and... ended up in the Beijing Zoo!! I didn't buy a ticket-- just walked in what I thought was the back entrance of a park! Only.. it was the zoo. O.o;; It was only when I walked next to a display of Rhinocerous that I realized that I wasn't in a place that was free!! O.o;;;;; LOLOL Oh Beijing, your security. Actually, I hadn't planned to go to the zoo because I'd heard how inhumane it is, and... well, the reports were right. I was appalled at the way that the animals were treated. Dirty, tiny cages, often completely cement, terrible smell, and just overall stark unnatural housing. I felt like I was going to cry..

When I made it home, it was just in time to pack for the overnight train ride to Xi'an! *coughs* I'll leave that for the next post, though! That night and the next day turned out to be.. quite the experience! O.o;;

Welcome to the Summer Palace! One of the most beautiful places in Beijing! Only marred by the rude visitors. :D

I found it really interesting-- the guardians were not lions this time, but a phoenix and dragon! <3

These were the palace gardens. <3<3<3

And then on to the palace itself....

A small panorama (click on it. ^^)

I can't explain how gorgeous the lake was... omg.. (and I could WALK on it! WTF that is so so SO COOL!! Almost like an alien land :D)

Ooops, found the lions! XD

And then on to the Temple of 5 pagodas.. The carvings on the walls of the pagodas were AMAZING. There were also a lot of the markers, to the point where it looked a little bit eerie sometimes.

HEADLESS!! What did they do? o.o;;

Beijing ZOO = VERYVERY BAD PLACE. I hope they shape up or get shut down soon, and the animals are given to places that will actually put some care into taking care of them.

Obviously I like taking pictures of fish, though.. I think that I'm going to send this one to National Geographic..

POOR PANDA! I wanted to shoot someone at this point, so it's a good thing that it was closing and I was being forced to leave.. .x.x

Uhh... So Japan and China do have something in common after all...... (besides, you know, a lot of other things!)

Du-duh du-duh du-duh!! I SO wanted a picture of me being eaten by the shark, but there was nobody to take it!! ;o;

Possibly one of the only non-cruel things in the park: Lion&Tiger Hill's giant panther statue. And I mean... GIANT! It was at least 3 stories high!

Poor coyote....  ToT

Sorry there's not too many comments on the pictures this time. I don't really have the time, and the memories are really detailed so it's hard to get it all down in such a limited time frame. ^^;; But I hope that you enjoyed them!! <3<3 Which ones did you like the best?

Next: Crazy adventures in Xi'an~ *^_^*
Francesca {フランチェスカ}fantasy2004 on January 24th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
OMG you got amazing pictures. thanks for sharing your pictures of your trip. You can make a lot of beautful icon from your pictures.
Francesca {フランチェスカ}fantasy2004 on January 24th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
it's funny how I got first post on your journal YAY
(no subject) - hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fantasy2004 on January 29th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sana-chan: Husky licking my face lolsana_chan on January 24th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
My goodness those palace photos are beautiful!! I wish here in California we had really pretty places like that lol.

Poor animals though T___T
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Actually, I think there are a lot of places in CA like that.. not the same architecture as in China obviously, but there are so many victorian-stlye houses, and old ghost towns... I love ghost towns so much!! You're so lucky to be nearby them~ ^-^ One day I'm going to have a house in sunny Southern CA so that I don't ever have to wear a jacket!
☆ミルキウェイ☆: oh really?milkyway85 on January 24th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
The photo of the fish is great! It seems as if the fish in the background are forming a ring...
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I never noticed that before XD
The Lonely Princesspalesister on January 24th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
The pictures of the palace are gorgeous. I'd love to see these places for myself someday!

And wow, does that zoo ever sound awful! That's so sad. ;;
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you ^^

Yeah, I'd heard a lot about the zoo beforehand, so I didn't plan to go. It was so weird to suddenly find myself inside without going through a gate or paying! O.o;;
Panda Warrior Versus The Worldwarrior_panda on January 24th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Amazing! like most people here, i would love to visit all those you took pictures of. ah, the history of it all. made me wanna sleep looking at these/ :-)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
LOL It makes you want to sleep?
Kira_Shadowkira_shadow on January 24th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
have I ever told you that you take he most amazing photographs?

Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you ^______^ I'm not at the pro level yet, but I'd really like to be!
(no subject) - kira_shadow on January 28th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
~*split personality*~anomay on January 24th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
I heard a lot of good things about the Summer Palace, so I really like those pictures (especially the one that you were standing in the middle of a hole).

Poor panda! x_X
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
LOL thank you ^____^ That was so hard to take considering that I was alone and I didn't have a tripod!

I know... o.o;;
ex_release201 on January 24th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
You are such an amazing photographer! The fishies are my favorite.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ^__^
百加☆nitaspitas on January 24th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
I was wondering where you'd got to~ hope you're doing well, your trip sounds like it was amazing ^^
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Awww thank you ^__^ Yeah, I haven't had the time to post in my journal a lot lately. It sure is taking a long time to finish up my China posts, and I'm only halfway done! ^^;;
Lin: 3 Free Sexy Lady ~ ;3starrbeam on January 25th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
Wicked pictures :D
Can't wait to explore there too ^_^
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
I bet that you'll really enjoy it!! I really want to go during the summer, though I'm afraid that it will be too crowded and no fun.
☆チャーリーちゃん☆: FB-FUGNUGGETS!?charlie_chan on January 25th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
oh wow! stunning photos as usual! i love the ones of the different angles and close ups of the architectures and the fishies~ looove em ;D
btw what kind of camera do you use to take such clear and pretty pictures if you don't mind me askin??
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Ooooh thank you! ^__^

This time, I was using a camera that's owned by my friend. I'll ask him what kind of camera it is and let you know. ^^
(Anonymous) on January 25th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
I like all the pictures! Especially the ones of you!! Thank you for sharing them all!:) I'm an animal lover! I wish I knew how to get some animal protective organizations to check/monitor the welfare of the zoo animals. I hope the animals are healthy physically. Our zoo conditions in the United States look so much different than China. Here, the animals at least have some native habitat in their cages. Love you!! Mom
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wish that I knew too!! I'm sure that some of the zoos in America are like that, but hopefully they get caught and foced to shut down! There's definitely no high-profile zoos that would ever treat animals like that! It's sickening!
Chiakichiaki777 on January 27th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
It was fun looking through all of them. It really is a pretty place isn't it. ^^
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 28th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Isn't it gorgeous? ^__^ It would have been a really pleasant experience if it wasn't for all the smokers. They kind of ruined it.. -_-;;
(Anonymous) on January 27th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
Ironic though that the idea of caging up animals for human viewing pleasures in vast numbers was started by the West, as was the sudden interest in pandas causing their near-extinct numbers today. Thousands of years of the animals living in the mountains of China with no mention of them being endangered or overly hunted, until the West stuck a price-tag on the poor animal. The only time in Chinese history I've heard of anything remotely related to a zoo was the occasional emperor keeping a few deers in the royal gardens
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 27th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)
Of course, the point is not where some idea was invented, but rather that at this particular zoo the animals are being treated inhumanely. This kind of zoo is terrible and should be shut down in any part of the world.