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Out And About With Jasmine

The Hutong is a labyrinth of crumbling old grey alleyways and courtyard homes, some dating back hundreds of years, the majority have been bulldozed in recent years


We are visiting the home of Mrs Jia and her son, she is a retired music teacher, the daughter of a Chinese father and Japanese mother.  In 1949 her mother was deported to Japan as an undesirable alien and never returned


In May 2001 their home will be raised to make way for an overpass

Beijing, a city of wide boulevards and broad cycling lanes.  The traffic takes a little getting used to

Dashalan Street (right) is the only pedestrian street in Beijing's oldest shopping district, contemporary with the Imperial City


Riding the underground dragon

The Bird Market which seemed to sell everything but birds
These  ladies followed us all around China.   Western features apparently considered more attractive than Asian



Propaganda wall.  Urging respect for the elderly and love of the young, along with regulations regarding littering

Young members of an 'English Corner' at the Beijing Youth Palace near Guanyuan.  They come here every Sunday from 2.00pm - 5.00pm to practice their English.  Visitors are most welcome

The Temple Of Heaven
Twice a year at the summer and winter solstice the emperor would climb into his sedan chair.  Accompanied by Sixteen bearers and 1,500 courtiers eunuchs and ministers he made his way through the deserted streets to the Temple of Heaven, to pray for good crops or to give thanks for the harvest

Destroyed by lightning, the hall was Re-built in 1890 using traditional Ming building techniques, the wooden building has no nails or cement used in its construction


Tiantan Park

Beijingers enjoying their early morning exercises.  I love this adult 'playground'.  Most of the contortionists are retired

Many forms of Tai Chi can also be seen here, ladies using fans, staffs and  silk squares go through their daily routines.  The shout and acupressure exercises were new to us

When the weather co-operates Badminton, kite flying  and amateur Beijing Opera may also be seen  

 What a wonderful way to start the working day


Da wan ju Donganmen - Night Food Market




Block after block of food stalls serving all manner of foods.  Jasmine made the selection for us and everything was delicious. 

Watching the food being prepared was almost as enjoyable as eating it.   Even the washing up was done with panache.

Those of us too full to go to dinner took to the streets to dance.

The night time streets are alive with people dancing.   Disco, line, ballroom, the latter in particular very professional, no shuffling around in time to the music here


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