Beijing, travel

Selected African Sculptures at The National Museum of China, Beijing


I visited The National Museum of China in Beijing in last September. This museum to me is the brand statement about China’s history from its government perspective. Huge building, but not charming ! However, with your passports or Chinese ID cards, you can enter to this museum free of charge. You shall pass through strict procedure as if you were boarding to somewhere by airplane. Hilarious, but feel safe.

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Free admission to the National Museum of China is somehow about the attitude. If you would like to introduce something to the complete strangers, then giving to others first would enhance the further opportunities. Believe me, you shall end up buying souvenirs at its tempting museum shop any way. Or you will sit at the tea room having traditional tea or a cup of green tea ice cream after a long exploring day.

Today, I would like to share with you the selected African Sculptures instead of starting with Chinese things as you might expect. Why? At present moment, I find African sculptures more lively and more friendly for my mood. Each face shows a bit of emotions and characters. It was nice to spend some peaceful moments looking at African sculptures and wondered what artists had in their mind when they did all this !

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The best points of this exhibition are the mutual cooperation and the free admission. I find this as the super awesome approach for introducing what you’d like to share to the world. Connecting a dot with the completely new strangers for free !

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Inside the museum, there are some other exhibitions which may require you to pay to enter. You can choose what you feel right !

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Getting there
Address: East side of Tian’anmen Square,16 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100006, P. R. China.

By Subway:

Nearest subway stations
Line1 Tian’an Men East
Line2 Qian Men

Opening Hours
Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00 – 17:00
Closed on Mondays
Tickets issued until 15:30
Last admission at 16:00

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Myanmar, travel, Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda


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I am sorry for the long absence of blogging. I am now back in a mood for sharing my first time in loving moment in Yangon, Myanmar. The photos interpret my 1st peaceful moment at Shwedagon Pagoda at night time. I went there alone in October. At Shwedagon Pagoda, I decided to hire a local tourist guide at 10 US dollar for about 1 hour.

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I took my shoes off and paid for entrance fee and of course I used the elevator service instead of stairs. Shwedagon has an impressive history. My thought was to pray there so that I would have a chance to return to Myanmar for business and more. Like many people who love to ask for good luck, I went 1 step further by having a local guide to suggest where I should ask exactly.

P.S. If we can get everything that easily by asking, we should not need to ask again and again. But to be on the safe side, I came to pay homage here and asked for a chance to return anyway. Funny, but yes I did. Apart from good actions, somehow magical moments may come from spiritual energy around us. It is a balance from within.

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If you would like to feel a peaceful moment, Shwedagon pagoda is a place to be.

Shewedagon Pagoda
Opening hour : 04.00am-10.00pm

Check its website for more details

http://www.shwedagonpagoda.com

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Beijing, Eat & Drink, travel

(Water) boiled jiao zi 水饺 dumplings’ dream in Beijing


When walking through Baochao Hutong, you cannot miss this petite size restaurant, called as Mr. Shi’s Dumplings. This place offers also vegetarian dumplings so it is a tempting choice for a chubby vegetarian like me. My first vegetarian meal in Beijing was truly delightful as I always love dumplings and lots of fillings here are just interesting. I can remember only I ordered vegetarian dumplings with cheese inside too.
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Rule #1 If you are alone in the universe and you don’t speak Mandarin, it is very crucial to research some useful Chinese words for your own sake.

You can enjoy their English menus for ordering food, but you may expect a surcharge for tourists since you do not have any clue of Mandarin and you can only point your own choice from the English menus. That depicts so much of survival and real life !

All in all, I enjoyed the new tastes of steamed dumplings, but I did not imagine myself having 15 steamed dumplings in one go. So, I asked the waitress to pack for take-away after eating 5 delicious dumplings. I was trying hard to explain the meaning of “take-away”, but they don’t understand. Finally, somehow they managed to put 10 steamed dumplings for my survival ‘s night mode. I was charged of this take-away option with hilariously price tag and felt a bit irritated to be fooled.

However, it was my own mistake of having no preparation to speak Mandarin for some useful key words.

Rule #2 do not give up easily. Have a faith in something.
I will certainly go there again to improve my communication skills.

Next time I shall order the beautiful fried dumplings with my fluent Mandarin and it will be take-away option. I will eat them all at rooftop ( elsewhere ) with mulled wine or beer – whatever comes first :-)

Mr. Shi’s Dumplings
74 Baochao Hutong,Gulou Dong Dajie 鼓楼东大街宝钞胡同74号

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Beijing

Hutong love @ Courtyard 7, Beijing


Hutong is one of the charming places I would love to embrace closely when going to Beijing for the 1st time. You need to have your first fondest memory with something you adore. I believe you shall appreciate Courtyard 7 as a true oasis in the bustling Beijing. Its charming traditional design courtyard style is so enchanting and irresistible. The best fact I found is its well kept historical charms, with truly peaceful setting. Besides, with an easy access to almost every places you dream of in Beijing, you will be happy to live here , even for a short period of time. Hutong’s staff offered me very good advice about my market hopping fix. What else do you need in this world? For me, in Hutong I trust.

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My first rationale of choosing where to stay when traveling is location and location. On the same par with the good location would be the lovely breakfast and its architecture. Eating well as an early bird by default and indulging in Chinese culture with arty feels would make my day. It is a real treat from heaven. The best part of staying at Courtyard 7 is the charming feels within the real old Beijing if you ever wonder what it was like 800 years ago.

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Courtyard 7 had already been renovated to offer cultural feels with the sufficient comforts, if you ask me. My second mission is somewhat about checking out sustainability. Somehow, I searched from Courtyard 7’s website and found that Courtyard 7 invested environmentally to use Geo thermal pump and solar energy to provide 24-hour hot water, heat and air condition. You would need to come here in winter time to try heated floor.

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My third mission is funny as I’d like to talk with Hutong’s dog and finally I met one ( Siberian Husky) and chatted with him ( not sure if it was him or her actually ) for a while. He barked politely only once when I insisted too much to include him in my selfie mode. You can see what friendly Hutong’s dog left me under the chair. What a nice treat to  a chubby stranger!

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All in all, I love staying at the beautiful Courtyard 7, even my room has no window. Instead, I had a nice size breakfast to compensate. I do miss flaky croissant though, as I did not find a good one here or anywhere for a long time. Regarding of the room, it is maybe the smallest size out of all 19 rooms. However, it was comfortable and a truly amazing experience of staying in historical Hutong in old Beijing ! It was like I was living and sleeping in a Chinese series!  Breathing Hutong. I am craving for flaky, puffy and buttery croissant !

Courtyard 7
no. 7 Qiangulouyuan lane, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China

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Beijing, Market

Market love near DONGSI station, exit E (Beijing)


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Last Sunday was my last day in sunny Beijing and it was set by my default as my (special) happy Sunday. Apart from caffeine fix, strolling @ the local market in early morning serves the real purpose of my life well. As you know, I love going to the local markets just everywhere to visually and spiritually embrace the local produces and the local people. It is very fun to see different things in this world. Here in Beijing, I found gigantic  lovely.

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My ultimate love of all for this local market hopping is the Chinese delicacy as shown above. I was already in heaven with this divine taste. You see one photo indicating as “Find them”. There is nothing complicated about this. Just find this couple and you shall have a real happy Sunday in Beijing. They are not the shouting types, but the smiling ones. I adore their food and love their genuinely polite version that creates more peaceful morning fix in Beijing !

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The local market is the only place on earth where you can see the characters, the moods and the feels. You rarely see any fake actions around here, I assume. Life might be a bit tough here in Beijing as they don’t smile easily. You can experience a sense of survivals in different ways here, either shouting or smiling. Everybody has his own mission in the market and I really love the fighting spirits and different ways of presenting their moods.

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I left my cutest Hutong at 6am and took a bus to indulge in the charm of small fresh market near DONGSI subway station. Lovely staff at my hotel recommended this place when I asked for the nearby fresh market where I could see the real actions. The fresh market adventure in Beijing began nicely as DONGSI subway station is not far from my lovely Hutong @ Nanluoguxiang.

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P.S. It is super nice to find the charming bit in a hectic Beijing unexpectedly.

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Beijing, Eat & Drink

Coffee Love @ Peking Cafe in Beijing


imageLast Sunday was my official coffee love day in Beijing. Before checking out from my cultural-love Hutong, what else do I need from this world ? Yes, for me I am craving for rocking caffeine intake to re-boost my engine.

imageI would like to share with you a stellar & cutest cafe (on my earth), situated on the main alley of Nan Luo Gu Xiang. You cannot miss this place. When you see a lot of people taking photos of cutest flowers in front of the cafe, meaning you are actually there.image

This cafe is full of charming flowers , lovely leafy plants, dried flowers hanging from ceiling and even big + small fish in glass tank as the crystal clear room partition. You shall feel so much refreshing amidst the charm of man-made heaven. The cafe is really made by so thoughtful, artistic and wise approach. They know what they are doing. The decoration and its ambience is so comfy and unpretentious.

imageEvery time, when I am in a cafe which is built passionately from love, I will feel indie and happy. As you know, no cookie cutter for the moods and the feels.  Capabilities to create the new experiences needed !

Peking Cafe is really the place where you can unwind, and have your great coffee from China barista championship (2013) and maybe lovely brunch when walking through Nan Luo Gu Xiang.

My verdict :
Lovely place, lovely people and of course lovely coffee
This is a real beauty of life !
# Caffe Latte 38 RMB

remark : I have to tell you that I also went to explore lively fresh market in Beijing leaving my Hutong at 6 am on my lovely Sunday in Beijing. You will see it in different post soon.  It was my amazing day !

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Chiangmai, Eat & Drink

Be sustainable as pun pun, charming vegetarian fare in Chiangmai


How often you can find a simply healthy vegetarian restaurant, and you fall in love with the open air vibe and delicious vegetarian food having sustainable approach right away ? Surprisingly , this pun pun restaurant is located within the vicinity of MCU, Buddhist university Chiangmai campus. You may need to find a local temple, called Wat Suan Dok in Chiangmai first as the starting point. How sustainable you are and how sustainable they are? Only you have to check it out!

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Pun pun is always on my top list of my meat-free meal search to explore before the end of the year 2013. Chiangmai has really various places for vegetarian fare. I love Chiangmai as the soulful destination and definitely a vegetarian-friendly city. On December 26th, 2013, I finally went to pun pun for my vegetarian lunch with my aunt as planned.

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This was my second visit to Wat Suan Dok. My first time was a mismatched date in heaven. The restaurant was closed for its renovation. As I read too many reviews of like-minded people having delicious vegetarian foods offered by pun pun, I went to Pun pun again to enjoy and to support its communities. The joyful adventure created a sense of personal accomplishment. Success in my sense is about having good food, good life, good companions and perhaps giving back to society where possible. This trip really fulfilled my meat-free and delicious dreams.

This is for real and I felt relaxed with all the lovely surrounding and felt excited with the tasteful adventure. My aunt ordered Khao soi, Chiangmai ‘s most favorite delicacy which she said to me that it was yummy with mushroom instead of chicken.

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My choice was { salad samunprai } mixed vegetable and Thai herbal salads with pumpkin dressing ( 55 THB). I highly recommended this menu when coming to Thailand as it was light and very refreshing. I felt happy easily this way. Ginger drink was ordered as my healthy intake to balance my body and soul. With this combination, I only can say ” oh my god ” for this mind blowing state. It looks like nothing special – just a simple local Thai herbal, but do not under-estimate the beauty of Thai herbal tastes. It is maybe too refreshing, but it is really healthy and definitely a wake up call to stay alert and energetic for the rest of the day.

Another dish I tried was spicy larb or spicy minced tofu and mushroom with onion, mint, and kafir lime leave. After lunch, we went for a nap under the trees nearby. Then, we flied back to Bangkok on that evening with fulfilling delicious dreams came true.

Website : http://www.punpunthailand.org
Pun pun vegetarian restaurant
Open every day, except Wednesday
8.00 am – 5.00 pm
MB : + 66 84 365 6581

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