On Sunday afternoon I visited Jingshan Park. Jingshan park is located just north of the Forbidden City. The park contains a large hill that was formed from the dirt dug out to make the moat around the Forbidden City.
As in several of the parks in Beijing, you will find people singing, dancing, enjoying life.
This guy and the lady above are part of a larger group dancing in the park for their own enjoyment and to entertain passers-by. Judging by the costumes it is sort of performance art.
I imagine the costumes have some significance but I have no clue about them.
This lady was also part of the group with the 2 above.
They seem to enjoy having their picture taken. Not surprising, why else would you dress up and go to a huge public park to dance?
Here is another group nearby.
Wikipedia Entry for Jingshan Park
Click any picture for a larger version.
This was a group of singers singing what sounded sort of like patriotic songs. They definitely weren't love
songs or lullabies. Tensions with Japan are running high in China right now so I imagine they were singing especially loud. You could hear them and another group all over the park. There might have been some inter-group competition, also.
At the top of the hill there is a pavilion with a Buddha figure inside. Most of the people were there to enjoy the view but a few were there to offer prayers and burn incense. Actually, you can't burn the incense here because of the risk of fires. Too many trees and other vegetation around. So they offer the incense and place it in the holder un-burned.
Here is a shot of the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring at the top of the hill.
There are several other smaller pavilions on small hills nearby.
This the White Dagoba in Beihai park nearby.
This is a shot looking north. In the center of the picture on the horizon you can see a tower in the Olympic area on the north side of town.
The Drum and Bell towers are visible in this shot, also.
Directly to the south of Jingshan is the Forbidden City. You really get a nice view from the top of the hill. You can also get a sense of the scale of the Forbidden City.
Here is a close-up shot. The area near this gate was the residential area for the emperor, his wives and concubines and 1000s of eunuchs. The area to the south as more for ceremonies and functions.
This shot is looking to the southeast. Our apartment is in the complex on the horizon in the center of the picture. I think it took me about 45 minutes to walk back from the park at a leisurely pace.
I included this shot looking east south-east to show you where the SABIC office is. We are on the 36th floor of the closest of the set of 3 with a similar design in the center of the picture on the horizon.
This picture is from the side of the hill and gives a better perspective of the main halls that are arranged on the center axis of the Forbidden City.
Here is a close up of one of the buildings or gates under going restoration. They painted and spruced up all the main buildings before the Olympics in 2008. It still looks pretty good.
Some of you may remember Margot commenting that women with blond hair
I agree as I get fewer curious stares than before, too - at least in Beijing. In the small town of Dagang the school kids still look at me with a bit of wonder, though.
But I've got to tell you - this young women was getting a lot of furtive glances by my observation and I wasn't the only one. My Chinese isn't good enough to tell but from the body language I'm pretty sure I heard more than one Chinese woman say the Chinese equivalent of "Were you just ... Noooo, of course not." Maybe just as well Margot stayed home for this sightseeing excursion.
Be sure to visit Margot's blog I took the one less traveled