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.

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