Friday, July 31, 2009

恭王府 Mansion of Prince Gong

After Forbidden City 紫禁城, Great Wall 长城, Summer Palace 颐和园, Temple of Heaven 天坛, the priority list will go to Lama Temple雍和宫, Mansion of Prince Gong 恭王府, Hu Tong 胡同, Qian Men前门,后海 and etc.

Entrance fee to this mansion cost RMB 40, which is the same with MuTianYu Great Wall. If you are interested to read some historical story, here is the best place :D

This mansion can be divided into two parts in general. Buildings and room in front, garden and some bedroom at the back.

Of course it is not as large as Forbidden City, but I do agree that this is a well preserved mansion. Similar to Forbidden City, most of the building are locked. Some of the building is used for exhibition, and no photo allowed. So I am not able to share them, most probably I myself will forgot about those after a certain number of years too :p but I think the exhibition hall is more exciting than that in Forbidden City, like below. More decoration and well preserve ceiling and furniture inside the hall.

This seems to be a very popular spot for local tour. 10 minutes after I enter the mansion, I seldom had chance to enjoy the calm and quiet environment. I have pictures as proof, before and after:

After this tour group left, another will come within few minutes :)

Another uniqueness is on the building window. Like picture below, there are around 44 windows like that on top left of the building, and only few of them are duplicated designs/shapes. If you ever have chance to come here, remember to look up at the window of the long building in front of the garden entrance :) I took all of the window picture, only half way through my neck started to get tired :p

The garden is green and nicely design, with pond, small pavilion, stone and even a mini Great Wall :D

Overhearing some local tour agent explanation, in feng shui, rock and water represent power and wealth. In ancient rich man or royal residence, these can be seen everywhere. The mansion owner tend to believe bat bring good luck to him, as a lot of the things are named with bat, and even some design are origin from bat. Another is the corridor and door. All doors/corridors are narrow and long, to bring good meaning in chinese 长寿. Well, I looks thin but not too' long' is 长瘦, could I be long life also? :p 此长瘦非彼长寿,哈哈

As for food, there are stalls selling snack, water and instant noodle only. Luckily there is still a SiChuan restaurant which is accessible from inside/outside of the mansion for my lunch.

I finish all foods above by myself, I need energy to continue walking :D A waitress asked if I dine there very frequently. I told her this is my first time and asked why she has that query. She explained there was a time a female undergraduate always dine there alone, and she thought I am the one. Well probably there are some stories about that lady so she is curious to know. Anyway, I can still 'tipu makan' by telling people I am still in university :p *chuckle*

One improvement of culture I see from this trip is, they are more polite in taking picture, give way and block people view less. Fast learner eh.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Turkish food

In a raining like cats and dogs evening, we went to Turkish Mum for dinner. This is the only Turkey restaurant in Beijing, as advertised. We met the chef, she probably is a Turkish. After we finished our dinner, a lady looks like restaurant or owner came to our table with the chef, asked if we like the food. They talked to us in English as the waitress know we are from Malaysia. We all gave the same reply that we loved the food, it was really great.

After long talking, here is the food. All description from top left corner, clockwise:

1. Turkey bread with lentil soup. The lentil soup taste is similar to dalcha we used to eat with roti canai except additional fragrant taste, not really sure what taste it that though.
2. Lemon lime mint juice, kind of nice, surprisingly taste similar to Penang 'ketla sumboi' :p
3. Sultan Delights - Very tender mutton with mashed potato. I wish I can find similar mutton in Malaysia :D The best dish of the day.
4. Some appetizer: Minced parsley + onion + don't-know-what-rice, mashed chickpea (if not mistaken), cucumber + cauliflower pickle, salsa-like tomato + onion.

1. Turkish dumpling with yogurt. The dumpling is very small, there are 2 in the spoon, with 1 opened.
2. Beef curry + fragrant rice. The taste it is good. SH said similar dish can be found at Penang padang famous kambing soup.

1. Rice puree with milk. Smooth and nice.
2. Puff, we think this is normal, maybe puff is not so common in Beijing.
3. Turkey red tea, normal red tea.
4. Turkish coffee. Wow, the taste is special, a little bit sour and a little bit of herb taste, best fit for black coffee lover like me. When drink it, have to drink slowly and carefully, to avoid the coffee powder which usually sink at the bottom, more story about this later.
5. Pumpkin pie, can taste it has less flour/cream and more pumpkin natural taste :)

There is some believe about Turkish coffee fortune teller. After finish the coffee, capsize the coffee cup, after a while, your fortune can be read from the coffee powder stick on the coffee cup. Well, we just do it according to the menu instruction. The chef was surprised when she saw this and she thought we know how to tell the fortune. We told her we just follow the instruction and the chef said we were doing it wrongly :p Anyway, just for fun :)

By the way, our stomach is full so we did not order kebab. By the way, the waiter still think we did not order enough and keep asking if we need more. This situation happened at almost all other restaurant where the waiter will said the food we order is very less. Haha, now you can imagine a Beijinger's appetite :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

McDull 麦兜

McDull new movie is on show in Beijing cinema, but I won't watch because it is in mandarin. If it is in cantonese I probably will :D

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jul 22 Solar eclipse

Before we start, let's take a look a real sunny day view from my office :D

Nice sky eh :D
Well, this is how it looks like on Jul 22 ;)

So this is the only eclipse I manage to see, it appears less than 1 minutes :) Other than that, greyish and hazy sky.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The olive italian food

Guess what is that? It is a bottle for olive oil and vinegar. This is my first time seeing this 2-in-1 liquid bottle :)

One thing I would missed about Beijing is the food. There are just so many restaurant around, with more variety of foods, eastern, western, european, italian, french, russian, japanese, belgian, deutch, korean, thai, singaporean, indonesian, (of course we seldom eat thai/msian/singapore/indonesean food here :D ), vietnamese, turkish and etc.

There is a restaurant called 'the olive'. It is quite nice decorated. The picture on the wall are specials made up a relaxing dining environment.

Here we go for food :D

For soup, we have the mushroom soup and pumpkin soup. The pumpkin soup taste is very good, natural pumpking sweetness, no added cream and thick. The mushroom soup is a bit localized we think.

I always like to try risotto, and the pumpkin risotto is just unique and enlighten my taste bud. Different from the normal seafood/mushroom risotto always appears on the menu. The pesto pasta taste good as well. The chicken sandwich is okay, fresh and not disappointing.

The New Orlean cheese cake at the left is the best among the three. The tiramisu cheese cake taste like normal cheese + chocolate layer cake, and it doesn't has any alcohol taste at all. The blueberry cheese cake at the bottom is not in our favor that night :)

After dinner, the rain stop, which make some trees body looks even darker and nice looking scenery.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Time flies

I read from somewhere, life is like a roll of toilet paper, the older you are, the faster it rolls.

Well, 2.5 months in Beijing will be a memorable one. Next week this time I should be resting in my room at Penang :)

See you soon friend!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

From 65th floor of Beijing

If you been to Komtar Tower Palace restaurant before, this is no surprise for you, except the view are different. Here in Beijing at 65th floor altitude, more matches box can be seen compared to that in Penang :)

I learnt a trick, when going to such high class places, speaking English is probably better as I am in casual jeans wear. Unfortunately it was hazy, although from ground we saw the sky was clear, but when we are at top, it was hazy at the ground.

The bird claw building from top (in the center of the picture).

The food:

Unique bread taste with the sauce. The blue cheese crab is famous and it taste special.

The main course are BBQ beef rib and chicken breast. Both taste good and tender texture. Surprisingly the portion is huge too.

Forgot to mention, a 700ml of Voss brand still water from Norway cost RMB 90 :D

Friday, July 24, 2009

国家大剧院之旅 A tour to National Center for the Performing Arts

I am a lazy person, sometimes :p so I will just use 'national theater' to represent National Center for the Performing Arts.

It is just next to Tian An Men West. I saw this egg when I was at Jing Shan park also. It can be easily reach by MRT, and buses. Very convenient public transport system here, especially if compared to that of my motherland :)

If you ever heard people said it is very pack inside MRT, let me give you a chance to see it.

I was one of the 'sardin' inside the coach :D

This is the entrance to the theatre.

To go in, we need to walk pass a 'underwater path way'. Look at picture below, will you guess it looks a bit like swimming pool? This theater is surrounded by water. The swimming lane like area is some glass to let some sunlight to go into the walkway. We need to walk pass this underwater walk way to get into the building.

This is the walk way inside the building.

Unfortunately I do not have much chance to take picture. This building is in oval shape, with one big hall in the middle, then another two halls at each end. The left is the center hall we watched Red Cliff :) There were some exhibition about the theatre, with the theatre proposal model, history and arts behind. I learnt from there the ceiling are constructed by high quality brazilian wood, looks unique eh.

Another uniqueness is the floor/wall tiles. There are few different kind of marble being used. I forgot those name :p There are three types of marble in picture below, 2 on the floor and one for the wall. There are few more which I just didn't have chance to take a shot :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


It was raining heavily yesterday and today, both started at 5pm.

This is the first time I experienced hail. We was in the taxi, and suddenly heard a lot of sounds things hit the taxi from front and top. I was puzzled why are there so many 'big sand/stone' on the taxi and why it comes from top on the highway. After IV explained only we realized it is hail. I didn't really see the hail as it was raining heavily, but I will remember this experience. Cool isn't it, as long as no injury and not harmful to the car at that time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

北京京剧 - 赤壁 Peking Opera - Red Cliff

Some said if you ever have a chance to visit Beijing, try to watch one or two Peking Opera. Well I almost forgot about this. Luckily SH bought this show ticket, and then I just follow :D We bought two tickets online, RMB 200 each, discounted to RMB 150 each.

We reached National Center of Performing Arts around 6pm, although the show starts on 7.30pm. There were some exhibition inside which we would like to go through.

At the building entrance, there were security guards using bar code scanner to scan ticket. Then we had to put our camera/food/drinks at the locker service counter. After that, we need to go through the scanning, like in airport. The security checking is really tight.

There were two exhibition at that time. Click on respective language title for URL.
1) 《光色音韵——袁运甫20世纪60—70年代的绘画艺术》 20th Century Modern Painting Exhibition focusing on Yuan,YuanFu.
I do not really understand paintings, but in my opinion, his painting is unique in such a way that the color he used is so light, but yet it is still so clear after almost half century. He can draw a lot of things, portrait, industrial scenery, scenic view, and a lot more. Some paintings are available from the mandarin URL.

2) “今夜无人入睡”—国家大剧院歌剧节主题艺术展 NESSUN DORMA ---- Opera Art Exhibition
A very good exhibition for opera lovers :) Well, I am not familiar with it but nice to see some old poster/sketch/costume on opera e.g. Turandot and Traviata.

To fill up the stomach quickly, we went for sandwiches for dinner. As expected, not cheap but luckily it is fresh :)

Around 10 minutes before the show start, there were bell sound to remind audience. This is a 3 floor opera hall. The hall is design well that although we are at 3rd floor but every row here can see the stage and also the orchestra in front of the stage. There were a mix of young and old audience. The aunty sit next to me sometimes sing very softly with the opera actor. It started on time, this is another thumb up for the system here, always on time :)

If you do not mandarin opera, don't worry, both English and Mandarin subtitles were provided! There were quite a few westerner audience, and I am sure they can enjoy the performance as well :) Of course there are advantages if you can read Mandarin. The subtitle not only display the actual sentence, but also describe the singing type 唱板, for example 慢板,散板,二黄散板,四黄散板。

If you watched the movie Red Cliff 1 and Red Cliff 2 before, it will be even easier for you to understand the story :) The details is a little bit different but the outline is almost the same. In brief, here are the stories:

Act 1铜雀兴兵 Fire the war

Cao cao forced the Emperor to fire the war. Cao cao is not in the picture. The backdrop looks exactly the same, will the emperor on second floor, doors and 2 big pillar.

Act 2 舌战群儒 Sun Quan's government debating on war

Liu Bei visited Sun Quan to propose for union. The governors debating if to war or white flag. Some scene is funny and will make you laugh :D

Act 3 结盟定计 Deciding to war and planning

Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao in the scene. After Sun Quan decided for war, Liu Bei and Zhou Yu both has the same idea to use fire in war.

Act 4 泛舟借箭 Borrow arrows

Liu Bei use some trick to get a lot of arrows from Cao Cao's troop. The boat is amazing isn't it. In fact, the stage is designed in such a way that there are 6 horizontal 'belts' on it, so in the show, the boat sailed in from left to right or right to left. That's not it, the belt also can go up and down, which can lift up things or sink it. This is a modernize opera show with latest technology. I like it :D

Before the arrow scene, I tried to imagine how are they going to show Cao Cao's troop archered the arrow to Liu Bei's boat. Look at picture below, those arrow are static and the slow it down from the ceiling, with the arrow as backdrop, the scene is really amazing and artistic, a portion of it is shown at the picture but you may imagine they 'hang' the arrow accross the whole stage in arch shape.

Act 5 备战借风 Borrow east wind

Pic above show the troop is practicing for the war. Then Liu Bei borrow the wind for fire war.

Act 6 火烧赤壁 The war

The war. In this act, more traditional opera action were perform e.g. tumbling/handspring, opera typical spear rotation. It is a mix of tradition art movement with modern technology scene setup to make the performance interesting. At the end of the show, some parts of the ship above will 'break' a little bit to show it is burnt and broken (Like that of Universal Studio's Underwater live performance's ship).

In between the act, they took very short time to setup the backdrop.

After the show ended, we quickly go to locker to get back our camera and take some shot. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take a lot of shots, as the security guard is really tight that they politely and systematically chase visitor out. I will share those picture in another blog post. This post is long enough to read :D

Some information can be found from

Well, I was wondering if Malaysia performing center at KLCC is able to handle similar show. Anyway, if there will be chance to visit the KLCC symphonic hall once in the future :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

KFC in Beijing

Before get started, please be reminded that fast food is probably not healthy, take it as luxury in occasion :)

One thing special about Beijing KFC is egg tart appears in the menu, original (RMB 5) or blueberry (RMB 5.50) :D

I like their egg tart better than chicken meat. The chicken meat taste is localized which for me is too salty. The corn tasted so so, not really fresh. The other is fish seaweed roll.

I have not tasted all KFC in the world, but I would missed Malaysia KFC's chicken especially hot and spicy flavour!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Perished heart

The translated version of previous story blog post.


Last year, a friend of mine committed to suicide. He is a young Phd holder, employed by a very good company. His wife is a Phd holder in Psychology. I cannot understand the reason he put a full stop to his life. His medical records revealed his serious depression problem. A normal human like me and others, live every day; but there were people who holds to their strong believes and dreams, either continue to chase it, or suicide.

Frequently, there were friends advices to hold a Balanced Life, between life and career.

If you work for 14 hours, seldom talk to your family after that, do you think that is a balanced life? Luckily I don’t. I always feel a walk with family, watch TV together, cook for them and etc are the most precious and enjoyable moment.

Yesterday, a friend forwarded me story. In a temple, a senior monk always offers food to a dog named “Let go” every 6pm. When the sun is almost set, he will always call Let Go and offers the food. The junior monk was puzzled about the dog’s name. They approach the senior and tried to get the answer. The senior just smile and want the junior to find out the answer by himself. After few days, the junior found out after senior offers the food, he will do some Tai Chi Quan exercise; take some walk, instead of keep reading chants. The senior is glad about the findings and explained, “I am so glad you realize it. Whenever I call Let Go, I am also asking myself to let go, let go of some works. A human cannot finish everything in a day, but we should have completed the most important thing in that day itself, and that is good enough.”

Human is getting to more competitive life, which on the other hand shows the importance of Let Go. Whenever you face a problem, just put your hand back, the sky won’t fall, the earth keep spinning and life goes on. This is not lazy, but people who know how to Let Go at right timing and appropriate situation, will be the life winner. In contrast, a man who busy for whole day, usually brings only tiring and worries with him along.

This reminded me on another stories about African.

A western research team went to Africa and hires few locals to be local guide. They need to rush for the journey. Fortunately the locals are fit to walk fast while carrying heavy luggage. The progress went well for the first three days and everyone are happy. On the fourth day morning, the locals refused to continue the journey, no matter how the research team requested. The research team wondered if they offense the locals, or they want a raise in the fee? The locals explained, according to their tradition, if one rushed for journey for three days, he must stop on the fourth day, to let the soul to catch up with the steps.

In this modern world, this seems to be a superstition thought. But I was touched deep in my heart. We are all busy with life. Works and pressures chase us to rush for our journey, caused us seldom stop and leave our soul far behind.

Without our soul, we are just controlled by the outside world, where goes our inner world?

Weekend is coming soon, shall we give ourselves a break, wait for our soul to catch up with us?

In Chinese writing, busy 忙 consist of two parts: 心(heart) and 亡(perish).
A ‘perished heart’, is equal to a human without a soul.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


A meaningful story from forwarded e-mail. Translation version will be uploaded soon :D


其實,不時地有朋友發信過來,叫我注意,生活與事業的平衡,也就是Balanced Life。


















Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Food is back

It has been a while for food :D I will slowly upload those :)

One of the nice Japanese food we had is at Matsuko.

Let's do some light reading today, from left -> right, top -> bottom.

1) Egg roll - The roll melted in your mouth :) Not really sure what is the filling but it is soft and taste good, except the fish roe is a bit salty (well, most of the fish roe we had here is salty, regardless the size)
2) Cold appetizer - I did not tried anyone of those, the dinner mate said the tofu is good.
3) Tepanyaki beef - Taste okay, although it is a bit well cooked but we wish it to be medium well. (Here they use number to represent cook level, 1 to 10 with 10 is well done.)
4) Ramen - The soup base is nice and not salty.

1) Stuffed shitake mushroom with chicken - A bit different from Yong Tao Fu, this is more Japanese style grilled, not fried.
2) Pumpkin ball with almond - Very nice with sour plum sauce :)
3) Tiramisu cake - I grade this as good here in Beijing thus far, with some alcohoc taste at the bottom :D, better than a French restaurant we took at SanLiTun
4) Apple cheese cake - Not much apple.

On our way back, we saw the lady appeal for money again. She looks young and always hiding her face. The first time we saw here was at the pedestrian flyover, about 1 month ago. Apparently I would categorized this as fraud case now as she is still here after few weeks.

Anyway, I wish not to disclose her information by highlighting herself in a black box.

Can you see the white color words in front of her? In short it means: "I am in trouble, hope to get your RMB 8 donation, so that I can eat and go back to my hometown" Those are the same words we first saw her at the flyover, except this time it specify RMB 8.

Will you donate? ;)

Beijing air

I am sure most of you know Nike Air. But today we are looking at Beijing Air, not Nike Air :p

I heard few places at Malaysia rain for the past few days too. It is similar here in Beijing, hazy with some rain sometimes. An hourly update of Beijing air quality can be found at . Although that doesn't represent all area in Beijing, but look at pics below:

Second picture reminded me of Rohnert Park's winter foggy scenery. Of course I prefer latter one with fresh air :D

Any external human-wear-able air filter for sale? ;)