Sorry for the hiatus I hope y’all have missed me because I miss Singapore a lot. Especially with the Trump-Kim summit and McGriddles happening in Singapore I really want to go back. But ok China isn’t all that bad to be honest I just get quite sick of niuroumian and mala (yes ok I have only ate it once but mala really isn’t my thing).
So my theme for this ALP is on big screens and Data visualization and we’re working with the Bank of Beijing so we got this amazing chance to drop by Beijing (did I mention it was free?!) to visit the Bank of Beijing. The trip started with us taking the high speed rail and yes it was amazing but I basically slept through all of it because I was lazy and in my defense also very comfortable. We zoomed across China and reached Beijing in 5 hours (amazing 4.5 hour nap). The first stop was the Bank of Beijing where we sat in this meeting room and let the nice lady explain to us what our main task was (which surprise surprise is to visualize data on an interactive screen). And after that we went back to our (also free and posh) hotel to rest where I conveniently fell asleep (I think you can see a recurring theme here) and there went our first day. BUT the second day made the trip a lot more worth it (I mean it was already paid for? but still thank you ZJU). We visited Tiananmen Square which was pretty grand and all but still filled with tourists.
We walked in and conveniently walked past 故宫博物馆 because we needed to pay money (remember free trip!!!) and it wasn’t really worth it to squeeze even more than usual. After walking around it the sweltering weather we went to eat lunch (yay!) at Quanjude (double yay!!) for some Beijing roast duck (triple yay!!!) and yes it was lovely. The skin was crispy and melts in your mouth and the duck was (ok a bit bland which) pretty nice too.
After lunch, the next stop was the Temple of Heaven which was where the Ming and Qing Dynasty Emperors would pray yearly for good harvest and what not. Temples have always intrigued me (which is why I love Japan) and this temple was really nice too. Being effectively bilingual (thanks RV) I managed to camouflage myself (thanks army) with the troves of Chinese tourists and let the tour guides explain what goes on in the temple when the Emperor comes. Long story short, the Emperor goes there, pray at 祈年殿 (nice temple), abstain from meat for a while, walk to some mound and sacrifice some animals and make a speech for the heavens to bless them with bountiful harvest – pretty neat. After this we explored the rest of the park and that was pretty much it. Really thankful for the chance to visit Beijing even though it was a really short trip.
edit: some parts are on another blog post here, do take a look!