A Travellerspoint blog

Beijing and a Little Culture

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Before arriving in Mainland China, I thought I might find a sober, grey environment with many Chinese wearing face masks because of the pollution. As you've seen from my other blogs, that's not what I have found so far. While I have only scratched the surface, I do have four favorite cultural experiences listed in no particular order...

Eating Beijing roast duck (remember when it was called Peking duck?). Here's how it looks...
180_D4C514732219AC681742890E54C042C2.jpg. And it tasted even better!!!!!!!

Thanks to Caitlin's and Zoe's recommendations, I visited the 798 Art District. Here is a description lifter from Lonely Planet: "A disused and converted electronics factory built by the East Germans, 798 Art District is Běijīng’s leading concentration of contemporary art galleries. The industrial complex celebrates its proletarian roots in the communist heyday of the 1950s via retouched red Maoist slogans decorating gallery interiors and statues of burly, lantern-jawed workers. The voluminous factory workshops are ideally suited to art galleries that require space for multimedia installations and other ambitious projects. You could easily spend a day visiting the complex and its cafes and restaurants, making 798’s noncentral inaccessibility less of an inconvenience and more of an opportunity for an outing." Some pictures...


The third cultural highlight was attending a classic Beijing Opera, unlike any opera I have seen. It's stylized action with beautiful costumes, singing, dancing, and acrobatic fighting to tell a story. This one had three parts including the White Snake, which I guessed to be a staple, had a women throwing and kicking batons to a number of men that encircled her. The choreography was terrific. No photos to show but an experience not to be missed.

The last was the Capital Museum. It's quite new and in fact, is still a work in process. Several of the exhibitions provided good information on Beijing history and culture. There are 5000 years to cover but I didn't have that much time so I skimmed the displays. I found this interesting for a couple of reasons. 180_D87F38CE2219AC681729320180EEDE1D.jpg. There was a time line with important art, artifacts, and people representing the periods. Like this.....
You see the dancing girl at the top? Damn if I didn't see the original...in Delhi! And here,I have the picture to prove it....
90_D8E516AE2219AC6817F19BEA6C52467F.jpg. There's is better though. The other thing I found interesting about the time line was that people that were represented would have their nationality noted except for some of the Americans. Hmmmmm.
I like this 11th BCE tripod but it wasn't for sale. And for my friends approaching this decade, an early birthday greeting.....

Posted by Dayts 20:03 Archived in China

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