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.
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.
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.
Read more about Beijing:
Beijing '10 Day 4 - At The Golden Tripod & Lama Temple, Time Stops, Things Change and the World Goes On
Beijing '10 Day 14 - Saying Goodbye With the Best Hutong Experience, SheShaHai, 100-Year Old Lamb Restaurant & NanLouGuXiang