USA – San Francisco Bay Area on a Self bicycle tour (1)

This is one of my personal trips to USA way back in mid 2007. During this trip, I visited a couple of places nearby which was within driving distance or within a day trip except for LasVegas where I stayed for a night. Anyway that’s another posting. 😊

Took a flight via Taipei, Taiwan before reaching SFO. Saw this colourful lantern decorations in the Taoyuan International Airport.

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A long flight; 4 hours flight to Taiwan then a connecting 12 hours flight to San Francisco Airport.

A shot outside my window before the plane landed a SFO.

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For my posting here, I will share my day trip on self bicycle tour around the Bay Area in San Francisco. Arrived at the Bay Area in late morning a day after I landed the day before. I took the Caltrain all the way to the San Francisco station.

First place I passed was the AT&T. It is a ballpark used for Major League Baseball, located in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco. It has served as the home of the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball since 2000.

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Unmanned newpaper stands on the roadside.

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I walked along the pier and managed to rent a bicycle to get around. By foot, I know I would not cover or get far.

Yacht Club at the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Cycled along the cycling path passing under the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge until I reached Pier 39. Lots of shops here and nice to walk around.

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Lots of fridge magnet to choose from…..

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…more selection.

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Cute sign which I saw at Pier 39…..

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More pictures to come. Stay tune…..

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China – Beijing, a walk back in History (8)

My last stopped in Beijing trip was to Tianjin. Tianjin is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is governed as one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the PRC, and is thus under direct administration of the central government.

Its name means ‘the place where the emperor crossed the river’ and it is the fourth largest in China, after Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

After lunch, we stopped at the Tianjin’s Shenyang Road Antique Market. With more than 400 merchants peddling their often fake but handsome wares, Shenyang Dao is the perfect place to pick up tasteful decorative items such as ceramics, furniture, clocks, watches, calligraphy materials, and handicrafts molded out of precious metals. For me, capturing the building and see the people there in action was my main goal.

Colourful old style shops.

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This merchant making decoration out of sweet candy.

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..this one, he was making dragons out from strings.

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Nice old bicycle on the walkway.

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Another shot.

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This shop was selling all the Chinese swords and daggers

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This alley filled with the small time merchants trying to sell their items and antiques.

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A shot of a row of motorbikes.

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My last shot in Tianjin….

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Hope you enjoyed a brief walk back in history of Beijing, China.

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (7) .. and also my 200th Posting in my blog since Nov 2012

The next morning in Chengde, Hebei and on the way back to Beijing. Beautiful view of the bare trees on the side of the road.

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Arriving back in the evening, we passed the modern part of Beijing; high rise offices and buildings.

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We could still see lots of people cycling on the inner roads specially built for the cyclist.

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…and the outer roads.. jam packed with cars and buses.

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Later we headed to Wangfujing, located in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is one of the Chinese capital’s most famous shopping streets. Majority of the main shopping area is pedestrianised and is very popular for shopping for both tourists and residents of the capital.

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Wangfujing Snack Street, located in hutongs just west of the main street, densely packed with restaurants and street food stalls. The food stalls serves a wide variety of common and exotic street food. Dare to try?

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Follow me on my last posting on Beijing and see where the the last place I dropped by before heading back. 😊

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (6)

Heading to Chengde city , Hebei province after coming from Putuo ZongCheng Temple.

Had the chance to walk around the city in the evening to see how the locals there lived and also the buildings and alleys.

Fruits displayed openly on the side walk.

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.. and also food too.

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This was the view of one of the alleys in the evening market where locals doing their marketing.
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Their local food of which I do not even know what they are.
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One of the restaurant along the street in Chengde.

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In 1703, Chengde was chosen by the Kangxi Emperor as the location for his summer residence. The Mountain Resort in Chengde was used by both the Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors. The site is currently an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort is a large complex of imperial palaces and gardens situated in the city. Because of its vast and rich collection of Chinese landscapes and architecture, the Resort is a culmination of all the variety of gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces from various regions of China.

This is the table of the Chinese Emperor in China and their family.

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Beautiful frozen lake with a gondola at the side.

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The big garden but bare during end of winter.

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Want more? If yes, then stay tune for more.

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (5)

On my journey in Beijing continues. Heading to another city outside Beijing which is Chengde in the Hebei province.

Some snap shots to keep you busy before we head to Chengde.

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Cute little sign which I saw.
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First stop was Putuo Zongcheng Temple. The temple is a Qing Dynasty era Buddhist temple complex built between 1767 and 1771, during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735–1796). It is located near the Chengde Mountain Resort, which is south of the Putuo Zongcheng.

View of the Great Red Tower of tje Putuo Zongcheng Temple
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It is one of the Eight Outer Temples of Chengde. The temple was modeled after the Potala Palace of Tibet, the old sanctuary of the Dalai Lama and it represents a fusion of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. The temple complex covers a surface area of some 220,000 square metres, making it one of the largest in China. Many of its halls and pavilions are adorned with copper and gold tiled roofs, adding to the splendor of the site.
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The main hall of the temple, crowned with Chinese pavilions and centered around a hall with a golden rooftop
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Closer view of the Great Red Tower.
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Locals setting up stalls at the base of the temple selling souvenirs.
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Qianlong tablet pavilion which was located behind the front entrance.
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Can anyone guess where does this entrance to leads to?
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Enjoying the journey so far? If you do… dun stop! There are more to come. 😊

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (4)

After visiting the Great Wall, another place that we visited was the Beijing’s Hutong.

What are Hutongs? Actually they are a type of narrow streets or alleys; formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. The best way to get around and to see was on trishaw.

Just look the the row of trishaws waiting for customers or more like tourist like me….

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One of the residence in the Hutong area

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Yup… a row of trishaw bringing tourist around the Hutong area…. going through the small alleys passing along a river .

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What a sight!!

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Mini red fire engine that I saw in the Hutong area.

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More trishaws….

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Moving on… we stopped at southeastern corner tower of the city wall where it was built during the Ming & Qing Dynasty. What’s left was the remnants of the southern section of the Inner City wall near the Southeast Corner.

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Stay tune for more……

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (3)

The next stop in Beijing was the Great Wall of China which is visible from space. Yup that big and long! The Great Wall started way back more than 2,000 years ago, and represents a main part of Chinese history.

Measuring about 8,851.8 km (5,500 miles) long, the Great Wall is no doubt the longest man made project on the earth. Like a giant dragon, the Great Wall meanders over deserts, grasslands, and mountains until finally arriving at its destination – Bohai Gulf. The great wall crosses over ten provinces and cities, including Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, and Liaoning.

In Beijing section alone, there are many section and the famous ones account for 9 of them. The one that I went was the Badaling Great Wall.

This is the beginning of the section in Badaling Great Wall. It was enlisted in the World Cultural Heritage Directory by UNESCO in 1988. It is situated in Yanqing County, over 70 kilometers north of Beijing. It is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty.
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Part of the Great Wall.
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Stall selling souvenir on the Great Wall. Aside from finding foreign tourists, you could also see lots of the local Chinese tourist from other province who visit the Great Wall.
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Look at how steep the steps are!!
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Below are few of the beautiful shots of the Great Wall with a beautiful background. Words are not able to describe the beauty of it.
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Another shot of the section of the entrance to get up onto the Great Wall.
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More stalls selling souvenirs at the bottom of the Great Wall.
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Like what you see? If you want more, then keep following me back into history in China. 😊