Beijing: Visited Summer Palace; not so summer-like, though

Beijing’s Summer Palace was amazing. A must-see if you are in Beijing. We visited the summer palace after attending morning class at Peking University.

Tower at Summer Palace

It’s winter time in Beijing. In other words, it’s freezing!!! The lake at the Summer Palace was frozen solid. Well, it was frozen enough for people (including myself) to venture out on to the lake despite the “thin ice” signs. The ice held up pretty well, though you could see some cracks forming, and at some points along the shore the ice had completely thawed.

Summer Palace as seen from middle of frozen lake

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Shanghai: New Years Celebration

So here we are in China!!! I guess it’s finally beginning to hit me: I’m in China! I am beginning to get over the initial shock: It still seems like NYC Chinatown or Flushing, Queens, to me 😉

On New Years Eve we woke up late, had lunch, and visited the Shanghai Museum. I thought the coin collection was pretty nifty (hey, I am a Finance concentrator after all! 😉 ), the Chinese paintings and calligraphy were beautiful, and the bronze gallery was impressive.

At night we decided to go to the Bund to see the fireworks and went to The Rouge (spelling?), the hottest nightclub in Shanghai to party.

Flaming bars at La Rouge

For 300RMB we rubbed elbows with who-knows-who, (I don’t know Chinese celebrities, but there were some professional photographers taking photos of a particular couple all night long); it was a good time. The view of the river and Shanghai skyline was worth the cover charge and the cool nighttime temperatures.

It was a late night. The next day, before checking out of the hotel, I saw CNN’s coverage of NYC’s Time Square celebration. I felt a bit homesick as I watched the ball drop from 7000 miles away, but I will be back soon enough…