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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Bei Hai Park

CHINA | Monday, 9 June 2008 | Views [878]

One of the last things I still hadn’t done in Beijing but desperately wanted to do was Bei Hai Gong Yuan (North Lake Park). I was waiting for pleasant weather, and accompaniment (it’s hard to get motivated to see touristy things without someone to meet there).

My couch surfer, knowing that I didn't have to work today, said, “Hey is there anything you want to do in the city?”

I rapidly responded with Bei Hai Park. And so we went.

We only had a few hours because he was leaving, so we got on a bus to try to find the way. It turns out – big surprise here, kids – it’s huge. I only really wanted to see one thing, the Nine Dragon Screen. It’s a mosaic of nine dragons that’s meant for protection. It ended up being on the complete opposite side of the park. So we did a whirlwind tour of most of the park before arriving at the Nine Dragon Screen and lingering there for a little while.

It was hot and crowded. But it was definitely worth it. The screen is beautiful. The dragons are coming out of the wall and all painted in bright colors.

I guess, like most things, the most interesting (and frustrating) part was watching all the Chinese people take pictures in front of it. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to seeing many, many people posing with their mouths open and peace signs prominent in front of elderly tourist sites.

Tags: bei hai park

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