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9 posts from April 2013

04/24/2013

Baozis - a staple in Beijing

IMG_5460

In accordance with the title of our blog, Brianne decided to show what baozis – steamed buns filled with meat and/or vegetables – look like. They are very cheap and great foods to have any time of the day. Usually, Brianne eats them with dou nai (soymilk), which is shown in the bowl in the picture above.

04/22/2013

Qingdao for the weekend!

We went to Qingdao for the weekend since we got Friday off of school. We chose Qingdao because it is relatively close and it only takes a few days to see the whole city. We also loved being beach-side again!

Even though it was a little chilly out, we decided to walk along the beach. We were excited to make it to the other side of the Pacific Ocean!

beach

We then stumbled upon a random pagoda near the beach. We climbed to the top and saw a great view of the city!

pagoda

We went to the aquarium expecting to see different fish than what would be found in the states. To our surprise, the aquarium did not have any live fish, only preserved bodies of various sea life.

aquarium

A taxi driver suggested we visit the TV Tower, which is essentially an observatory. There were four different floors – the highlights were an outdoor viewing deck and a haunted house. The haunted house was not scary but rather funny; Hannah particularly enjoyed a shaking bridge. The view was not as pretty as it could be because it was cloudy and raining that day.

tvtower

On our last day, we walked around the city. We to a Catholic church and the Former German Governor’s office but couldn’t get in, and the Old Observatory. Also, we went to the Zhan Qiao Pier and bought some souvenirs.

pier

04/17/2013

Exploring Beijing!

Hannah visited the Forbidden City, which was the imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. She said it was really interesting but easy to get lost because all the throne rooms looked so similar. The garden was her favorite part!

forbiddencity

Brianne and her language practicum went to a tea house where she tried four different types of tea and learned how to play mahjong. She also enjoyed a nice buffet, and said she would go back to play mahjong again! Watch this video of the mahjong board!

mahjong

We went to the Beijing Zoo, despite being told that it would be underwhelming. But, we actually found it quite enjoyable! As you can see, we saw a great variety of animals. Brianne enjoyed seeing the white Bengal tigers, and Hannah loved the giraffes! Even though we almost got attacked by golden monkeys, we had a lot of fun.

zoo

04/15/2013

This weekend's adventures around Beijing

This Saturday, Hannah went to Nanluguxiang with her language practicum. While there, she tried a couple different foods and bought some small trinkets...Brianne went a few days later and found it equally interesting! She recommends it for buying souvenirs!

nanluguxiang

We went to our first professional soccer game this weekend! It was a match between Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shenxin. Everyone at the stadium was very excited and rooting the entire game for Guoan; we tried picking up a few of the chants. Although the game ended 2-2, it was still very fun!

soccer

Hannah went to Purple Bamboo Park, which is one of the seven largest parks in Beijing. At the park, she saw people fishing, dancing and sleeping. There was also a small amusement park, but unfortunately the rides were only for little kids.

ymypark

Hannah re-visited the Summer Palace. This time, she went to the top of Longevity Hill and saw the Tower of Buddhist Incense, which is the highest building in the palace grounds.

summerpalace1

04/13/2013

The Great Wall - 长城

We went to the Ancient Badaling Great Wall, a section that has not been completely restored. The hike was steeper than expected, causing our legs to shake upon finishing the two-hour trek. The area was really dry and windy, but still beautiful.

greatwall

Jiaozi making!

CIEE hosted an event where we could learn how to make dumplings (jiaozis)! We made quite a lot, and there was a process.

1. Knead the dough.
2. Make it into the shape of a circle, and then roll it out into a long log.
3. Tear off thumb-sized pieces from the log.
4. Roll the ripped pieces into a circle and flatten it out using the palm of your hand.
5. Use a mini rolling pin to stretch out the flattened dough, in preparation for it to be filled.
6. Insert the filling (either veggie, meat or both).
7. Fold the dough in half over the filling, and then press the edges while crimping to make sure the filling does not fall out.
8. Cook! You can steam, boil or fry them!

jiaozi

04/09/2013

Tomb Sweeping Festival Weekend

这个周末好极了。

这个周末我不在北京。我从周四到周天呆在青岛。我,李梅,和 杨晶 一起去了。周四下午一点三刻上车。我们觉得火车一个小时来青岛,但我们五个小时来了。我们很累了。但是我们不知道我们的招待所在哪儿。我们给酒店电话。我们一个小时聊天儿。他们一直问我是否我们得给医院电话。我们挺困惑的。一个小时以后他们告诉我们,他们是派出所。天哪!不好意思!

然后我们在青岛迷路了。我们上了出租车。它把我们送在河北路 。 他告诉我们五十块,太贵了!然后我们还迷路了。我们看一个夜市所以我们去了。我们见两个女大学生。他们也不知道谁哪儿。我们一起找我们的招待所。大家找到了!我们一起都去一个夜市,然后去睡觉了。

星期五早上十一点我们去饭馆吃。我们一起走很多。我们去教堂外边,看一个公园,爬山,看很多商店,和去寺庙。走很多,看很多地方也有很多乐趣。认识他很高兴! 周五晚上他们回家在河南。我们太伤心了。

星期六我们自己探索。 我们去了海边,去了一个岛,以后我们尝试去动物园。但是动物园关门了。所以我们去夜市。

周天,我们去了海边。下午我们去"美国加州牛肉面大王"吃饭。然后去了火车站。我们四月七日晚上十点半来北京了。我觉得青岛非常好!很大和漂亮!我想回来。

 This Weekend was Great!

This Weekend I wasn't at Beijing. From Thursday to Sunday I stayed at QingDao. Mai Lee, Crystal Yang and I went together. We got on the train on Thursday at 1:45pm. We thought we would arrive at QingDao in an hour, but we arrived in 5 hours. We were tired, but we still didn't know where our Hostel was. We gave them a call. We ended up talking to them for an hour (this happened while on the train.) The entire time they kept asking us if we wanted the phone number to the hospital. (we kept telling them, Hostel not Hospital... HOS-TEL... We asked them if they were Wheat Hostel, at Qingdao at Hebei street, and they kept saying OK. So We kept telling them we had an appointment, and we found them online, and booked a room for tonight, but we were going to be several hours late, we gave them our reservation number and told them we would go sleep there tonight...) they kept asking us if we wanted the phone number to the hospital. We were really confused. After an hour, they told us, "We are the Police Station". OMG! HOW EMBARRASSING! (they were probably writing down the address and saying OK iIgot the address down, not yes we are that address.)

Then we were jsut Lost in Qingdao. We just hopped a Taxi (and told them to take us to the address we had). He took us to HeBei street. He told it it was 50 Kuai, Freak'n Expensive. We were still lost. We saw a night market and decided to go (maybe the Hostel was in there somewhere). (We couldn't find it...) We saw 2 chinese college students. They (were also traveling, and )also didn't a place to stay. So all of us when searching for the Hostel. We Found it!! (We checked in, threw our stuff in our room and started enjoying ourselves.) We went to a night markets, Then we went to sleep. (wrong duo, among other errors XD).

Friday, we walked a lot. We went to a Church, a Garden, climbed a Mountain, went into a lot of Stores and  visited a temple. Saw a lot of things and had a lot of fun. Meeting them was Great! Friday night they returned home to Henan and we were sad.

Saturday We had to travel by ourselves. We went to the beach (now I've been on both sides of the Pacific Ocean! whoop whoop.) We Went on an island, and tried going to the Zoo. But the Zoo was closed... (Looked closed closed to me... the parking lot was overgrown, and there wasn't any animals. The only Creature we saw was a bird.) So we decided to go back to the night Market!

Sunday, we returned to the beach. (we built a sandcastle and used "sticky" to held us build ChumBucket. [spongebob] ) We ate at California Beef Noodle King. Then went to the train station and got back to Beijing on 4/7 10:30pm. Qingdao was Awesome! Very big and Pretty! I'll want to go back. 

04/08/2013

CIEE Beijing takes Shanghai and Hangzhou!

This past week, we got off two days of school because of the Qing Ming festival. During this time, Chinese people usually visit the graves of their loved ones and pay respect. We decided to take this opportunity to travel to the cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou. To get there, we took the fast train, which we could easily compare to the quality of any airplane.

gaotie

We were in Shanghai for only one day, but we traveled to different sites. Our first stop was the People’s Square, a beautiful park near the center of the city. We were so happy to see some greenery for once!

peoplessquare

While walking around People’s Square, we stumbled upon an amusement park and decided to try out a few rides.

amusementpark

We went to The Bund, where we could see the famous Shanghai skyline!

bund

We arrived in Hangzhou Thursday morning and spent the entire day exploring the famous West Lake. We took a boat ride around the lake, and hiked in the nearby area.

westlake

We spent the next day exploring the tea fields. We climbed up the hills and saw people picking the tea leaves. Brianne tasted the tea, and said it tasted like edamame. We also played in a small playground, channeling our inner children.

tea

04/01/2013

New flavors in China

For Brianne’s second LP course outing, she and her group traveled to Wangfujing, a famous shopping area in Beijing. The area has great snack foods, where one can find various creepy crawlers to eat. Brianne ate a baby scorpion! The scorpion is served live on a stick, and they fry it in-front of you. She said it tasted like fried chicken skin!

scorpion