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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~ *^_^*
(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.