Thursday, June 21, 2007

Strange Beijing street sign

Strange Beijing street sign

Street Sign

Most pictorial street signs are predicable and straightforward: no parking, no stopping, lanes merge, dead end, give way, no horns, children crossing, etc.

However, this road sign seen in central Beijing is decidedly more unique, and leaves a little more to the imagination.

'No untuned engines'?, 'Stay calm'?, 'No naked flames'? 'No car bombs'? The last one is probably getting hot (so to speak). It no doubt prohibits the carrying of explosive substances, showing that the concern about terrorism is not just an English-speaking thing.

Significantly, the sixth meeting of Joint Liaison Group between China and the United States on law enforcement cooperation took place just last week.

Just before it opened, FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes said the FBI was working with Chinese security officials to keep "East Turkistan" groups in China's northwest territories under surveillance. These groups engage in sporadic terrorist activities and are suspected of having links with al Qaeda.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Ming City Wall Ruins Park

Ming City Wall Ruins Park

Running along the northern side of Chongwenmen Dongdajie from Chongwen Men to the South East Corner Watch Tower is the reconstructed Ming City Wall Ruins Park (Tel: 10 6527 0574).

Ming City Wall Ruins Park

The 1 km-long wall south of Beijing Railway Station was rebuilt with both original and new stones fitted using a traditional lime-and-plaster cement.

Opened in 2002, the landscaped park is free to enter and a pleasant place to stroll after visiting the Watchtower. The wall is illuminated after dark.

Along with Huangchenggen Relics Park, (Imperial City Wall Relics Park) in downtown Beijing, the Ming City Wall Ruins Park are the only two surviving sections of Beijing's original four Ming Dynasty walls: the Forbidden City wall, the Imperial City wall, the inner city wall and the outer city wall.

Ming City Wall Ruins Park

Access - Getting There

Chongwenmen Subway Station (Circle Line)


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Coffee break

Arts Coffee Haven

Take a coffee break at Arts Coffee Haven down by the Confucian Temple, a few minutes walk from the Lama Temple off the second ring road.

coffee shop
Wang Hai Yan, the owner and artist, established the business some 12 years ago to offer something different to other coffee shops in Beijing. This coffee shop blends coffee and art with its unique d├ęcor. You can sit back and relax in a variety of settings from seats by the window to armchairs at the rear of the shop.

The drinks menu offers a choice of Fair Trade coffee or Illy coffee in a range of styles. Also on the menu is a variety of beer, wine and spirits. Food on offer includes sandwiches and pizza, offering great quality and flavour at reasonable prices. Mini pizzas cost 15 yuan, while sandwiches range from 25 to 35 yuan.

coffee indoors

Set on a beautiful tree lined street, it makes an easy venue to sit back and relax out of the heat of the summer sun as you watch a great variety of passing transportation, ranging from people power to gas or oil powered vehicles.

Access - Getting There

Open 10 am
25 Imperial College Street,
Dongcheng District
Telephone: 6405 2047

Photography by Russell Uebergang


Weddings China Style

Weddings China Style


Celebrating a wedding with the local population is indeed a great honour and something very enjoyable. As guests one is made to feel very welcome.

Leslie wed

There are many variations of the celebrations. Traditionally they start with fire crackers, lots of confetti, noise, dancing and walking to the celebration point. Alternatively, they may start with everyone meeting in a park or a beautiful setting and greeting the bride and groom outside.

Leslie David trad

At this point the bride is often dressed in a white western style gown and the groom dressed in a western style suit.

b&g by flags
After this, if you are not already indoors you will either move indoors or move to a marquee, to enjoy ceremony, speeches, food and drinks.

Leslie uncovered
Depending on the wealth of the families involved you will see the bride and groom in various outfits during the celebrations.

Some weddings involve the happy couple appearing in traditional costumes to exchange greetings and vows according to centuries old traditions; this really is something special to enjoy.

You will usually see rings exchanged, certificates presented and the couple greeting both sets of parents and serving them tea, as part of this happy celebration.

pink bubbles

on stage

The banquets usually contain many delicious dishes with a wide range of meats and vegetables, accompanied by various non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages. All guests are usually given sweets and cigarettes to take away as a ‘thank you’ gesture for helping celebrate the special occasion.

b&g relax
Weddings are a wonderful time to relax and enjoy life with the local population.

wedding streetwedding stage
Photography by Russell Uebergang