Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Great Call Of China

Our calling came two years ago. Visuals of a snaking wall on a mountain, a "bird's nest" made of steel, a humongous portrait of a man seemingly watching over a city square, and snow - lots of snow, floated in our dreamy heads.

We took heed. Even if we're total Cheimaphobics. We arrived as honeymooners during winter, determined to conquer the cold. And then some. And we left with more than enough vivid, fond memories that could beckon us again someday. Memories that shall last a lifetime (Unbeknownst to us then, we also left with a microscopic souvenir. Like, the embryo kind.).

The itinerary I vaguely planned for our China holidays that took us from Hong Kong to Beijing to Xian and to Guangzhou in a span of eight days, was without a doubt crammed. Especially we had to travel more or less twenty hours from one city to the next via sleeper trains. If for some reason you're coincidentally doing the same insane route (I highly recommend you don't, unless you got more time in your hands.), here are some sites you could also ambitiously squeeze in such time frame - narrowed down to eight cause it's a err, lucky Chinese number.

1. The Great Wall in Badaling (Yanqing County, Beijing). The most visited of all walls, hence, the most crowded. The easiest to get to though if you're not in a tour group.

2. Tiananmen Square, Beijing. On this photo, is the iconic Tiananmen Gate which separates the square and the Forbidden City. It is the third largest city square in the world.

3. Beijing National Stadium, popularly known as the "Bird's Nest" (Olympic Green, Beijing). Can be reached via MTR. There's an admission fee to get in, but taking snapshots from outside is definitely free.

4. Visit the Beijing National Aquatics Center or the "Water Cube" while you're in the Olympic Green and do the mandatory jump shot. Okay, the mandatory part is fiction.

5. Forbidden City, Beijing. Not really a city, but a royal complex. The largest one in the world. Named so because commoners were forbidden to enter its premises during the time when emperors used the complex as their abode.

6. Great Mosque, Xian. Xian is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. Hence the evident Islam influence in the region. This mosque was built using Chinese architectural style instead of Middle Eastern. An interesting mix of different cultures.

7. Terracotta Army, Xian. Mesmerizing funerary art. Thousands of terracotta warriors and horses eerily stand guard. An archaeological site I dreamed of visiting since I saw it featured in uhm, National Geographic.

8. Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Guangzhou. The silk and jade burial suit of King Zhao Mo (the owner of the tomb) is one of the museum's highlights, along with the actual tomb's chambers where visitors can walk through.

Has the great call of China reached you too?


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Clint said...
January 16, 2012 at 2:43 AM

I envy you! I wish I could visit China soon.

Kate said...
January 16, 2012 at 2:47 AM

We've just been to Shanghai. We were there for 6 days, just exploring city leisurely. We were also there to visit the World Expo. Next time I hope we can take the sleeper trains and see the Wall and the terracotta soldiers :)

Anonymous said...
January 16, 2012 at 3:07 AM

Interesting title. China is calling me now. I've been a fan of this country, except of its products, if you know what I mean.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 3:19 AM

Kate, we bought tickets to Shanghai before but canceled the trip coz something came up. Sayang. The World Expo must have been fun!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Nickie, haha! They actually make good products. There are just lots of sub-standard ones produced so other people could afford it :) At least, that's what I reckon.

Sining Factory said...
January 16, 2012 at 4:33 AM

I love the color of the place. Red and gold always remind me of China. I wanna see the Terracotta Army and the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King.

Amor Envina said...
January 16, 2012 at 7:16 AM

nice place... i always see this in chinese movies..

Bien Nonoy said...
January 16, 2012 at 7:20 AM

I love the shot of the Terracotta Army. That is amazing. Reminded me of the movie:The Mummy. :-)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Oh yeah... The last installment of The Mummy, right?

blissfulguro said...
January 16, 2012 at 7:34 AM

i agree with brien. i love the terracotta army stuff. did it felt creepy inside? nah... just kiddin. :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Haha! It was actually, a bit creepy.

Tin | The Average Jane said...
January 16, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Oooo! China's on our itinerary, hopefully soon. Hehehe! =)

Journeys and Travels said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Gaye, I was in Beijing too and been to the Great Wall pero dun lang kasi kami dinala sa Badaling section na part where soooo many tourists converge, kakainis kasi i cant take a photo ng lonesome great wall.

I love this post and one that will reawaken my China jaunt.

Sionee said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

I love all of your pictures! I want to see the cube maybe during night time. perfect scene! lol

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Doc Wends, of all the walls, yun kasi easiest to access. Di bale, balik na lang ulit doc. We will definitely revisit. China's so ginormous and had tons to offer! A lot are underrated.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Sionee, yeah! I can imagine how more beautiful it is at night. It glows with different colors!

carlo said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM

faye and i were there last year. it was spring. maybe not the best time. daming tourists! next time babalik kami ng winter.

wala kaming magandang picture ng wall :( puro tao ang background! next time sa mutianyu section naman kami!

nakakatakam ang great wall photo mo! :))

Cha said...
January 16, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I love Beijing! I can imagine how cold it was when you went during the winter months. I would love to come back and explore the Terracotta Army next time around. Thanks for sharing this idol!

Nancy said...
January 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I simply don't have the urge traveling to places where language spoken is something I don't understand. ENGLISH Please!! Hahahah...

But who knows? And who would refuse to experience one of the seven wonders of the world, after all?

Sumi Go said...
January 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Love the photos! I haven't been to China yet even in I'm half Chinese.. :)) Hope to visit the country soon though :)

tatess said...
January 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM

i think China is one of the most visited place among tourist .i like the silk nad jade burial suite, very colorful especially at night

Traveling Morion said...
January 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM

These are the places i want to visit dis yer ta lagi pa seat sale s mga desti n to;) prob q lng ms gay time s pagprocess visa, madali lng b? Ty

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Carlo, yeah that's peak season! Winter's less crowded, but I almost cried sa sobrang lamig sa Great Wall. Couldn't feel my legs! Haha.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Jeffrey, I got a guide on how to apply for a Chinese visa. It's here somewhere. LOL.

michi said...
January 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM

one of my dream destination. sana matupad.

Hazel said...
January 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM

So that part in Badaling. I'll remember that.

Simurgh said...
January 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I hear the call of China!!! Ingit much ako! hahaha!

You've seen the Terracotta Warriors???
Wow! It's the authentic terracotta warriors of the first emperor of China! Said to be his army in the afterlife! :)

carlo said...
January 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

that's why i hate winter! i'll take note of that! haha! para ready ako sa lamig :D thanks gaye!

juanderfulpinoy said...
January 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I think your photo number 8 was featured in the movie the mummy. I am not positive though, Grabe spectacular talga ang mga places sa china. Makapunta nga dito next weekend hahaha

Diane Rosapapan said...
January 16, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Will definitely add these places in my itinerary when I visit China. Thanks! :)

Elal Jane L. Lasola said...
January 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Wala akong ibang masabi kundi ang ganda lang ng great wall at nakakaamaze talaga yung funerary art!

myrnz said...
January 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

wow! great call of China ! this is my first time to see the Museum of Mausoleum ! thanks for sharing !

violy vallester said...
January 16, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Awwww this is one place I've been wanting to see!! Hopefully soon... My 2 brothers are both in Beijing but never had the time yet to visit.. ;-( I should soon but not during the winter coz I can't stand the cold! ;-))

Paul Xymon Garcia said...
January 16, 2012 at 8:00 PM

nice. are you guys back in asia? china is amazing. it has called me so many times. i've heeded once. heeding it again. :)

Gil Camporazo said...
January 16, 2012 at 8:28 PM

You dare to heed the great call of China when in fact you're afraid for the cold or to frosted for that time is a winter season. You're curiosity has compelled you to go with your hubby due to a honeymoon.

You're so fortunate that you've gone there. You've visited the Great Wall in Badaling, Tiananmen Square, Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics, Forbidden complex, Great Mosque, Funerary art of Terracotta Army, Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, Guanzhou. What a wholesome travel experience you've had.

Great call of China hasn't reached me yet. But I already visited the great "mall" of China in our place to shop for Chinese products... Hehehe! I'm just kidding!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Paul, we're not back yet. Gonna take a while pa before we do.

Edmar Gu-Quibb said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:03 PM

China nevr stops to amaze me... One look at the photo and you know it's China. Her influence s very extensive and her identity is very popular.

Oh China please call me now (sponsored trip please! Hahaha) :-00

Julie. -- said...
January 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

THose Terracotta Army are made of clay? I'd love to visit the place too. Definitely the call of China reached me.

Aleah | said...
January 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Waah! Your post reminds me of my backlog! It's almost a year since I've been to Beijing. I really must write them now. tsk tsk. I also went to Badaling, and that was a weekend so super dami ng tao! Grabe!

Blair Villanueva said...
January 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM

this is very helping to us, thanks for sharing... now I'm aiming to visit China too

kay said...
January 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Not yet. I'm still waiting for the call. Sana soon. Esp since I am Chinese.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Aleah... You reminded me of my Europe backlog! LOL.

stacy said...
January 17, 2012 at 12:08 AM

I had the calling but I have no funds

yols @ soloviaje said...
January 17, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Ooo I wanna see those terracotta soldiers and yes, national geographic is partly to blame for why I want to visit certain places, china included.

Travellers Confessions said...
January 17, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Those photos are absolutely stunning. Makapunta nga diyan. Hopefully we can manage to stay at least 2 nights before flying in the Philippines this year.

Mitch said...
January 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Honeymooners in winter? :) wink!
Well, that has been jampacked sa dami ng tao sa China. The Terracotta army seems creepy though. Is the great wall maintained its structure? or does it look like reconstructed already? What a call!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 18, 2012 at 7:05 AM

It does look well maintained! Eye sore nga lang yung hand rails. Nilagyan nila kasi steep ang stairs. Parang panget pero... nagamit ko. Hahaha!

Ian | Going Places said...
January 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

China is calling me since last year pa... I hope to get a visa by the end of February... If things goes as planned, Beijing will be the center of 2012 year of travel... 'Loved this places you shared.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 5:01 AM

YEY! Good for you, Ian. Will wait for your photos.

Dazl said...
January 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Two words: LOVE and ENVY. I'm bookmarking this, hoping na mapunta rin ako dito within the year ;)

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