Beijing '10 Day 9 - In Time for the Lotus Season, the Festival at YuanMingYuan!

July 13, 2010 (Tuesday)

I was supposed to go originally to JiShuiTan 积水橝 and to Ikea to do some DVD and home shopping but was detoured when I found this 690 bus from ChengFuLuKouXi 成府路口西 in front of the school. This bus had some of the following stops – QianMe 前门, XiDan 西单, JiShuiTan 积水橝, WuDaoKou 五道口, YuanMingYuan 圆明园 and YiHeYuan 颐和园 – which made me not follow the original plan. What a darling little bus, having all the stops I wanted to go to and not that many people at that. Of course, I would still have to verify where the bus stops exactly to see if I would walk very far than to simply take a subway exit. You would have to swipe your card twice, one at the exit, because the fare was up to 2RMB in cash depending on the distance.

Once I had made my decision to go to JiShuiTan 积水橝, I realized that the bus was going in the opposite direction and was quickly approaching the other end. I had two options left – YuanMingYuan 圆明园 and YiHeYuan 颐和园. I chose the first because according to my friend, I was just in time for the Lotus Festival going on from July to August. For 10RMB, I entered the Old Summer Palace’s south gate 圆明园南门, which was directly in front of the bus stop.


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There were green lotus leaves everywhere planted in pots, in shallow ponds and in lakes, not too many flowers though but some of the ones I saw were either just budding or already withering away. I saw so many that I gave up too soon to walk farther to see the ruins. It was enough for now to see the tremendous effort it took for them to showcase the lotuses. I would not, however, choose to enter from the south gate again the next time I come here.

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It was late afternoon already when I hopped on the bus again. I figured that the stores in the other locations might be closed by the time I get there so I just stayed in the WuDaoKou area. I checked out a DVD store across the WuDaoKou Hotel 五道口宾馆. It had good selections although I think it was still pricey. It’s hard to find the 5 to 8RMB DVDs in WuDaoKou nowadays. I had LiangPi 涼皮 for dinner from the eatery in front of the Lotus Center. One order costs 4RMB and it was more worth it than the mushroom dish I had for lunch at 33RMB. 



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On my way home, I bought some YiLi 伊利 milk tablets that I used to love so much until the melamine scare.
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