Ratianda travels the entertainment buzz!

27 June 2010

Beijing - Cheng De, China (Day 5)

Day 5, 12th May 2010, in Beijing - Cheng De, China

Check out of the hotel.. Nothing special so I won't say much about this hotel. First destination in the morning after saying "Goodbye" to "my" so-called "American Breakfast" is to the 1st storey of the Watchtower which is actually now a Museum of Folk Customs of Beijing but the whole building is the Watchtower of Zhengyang Gate. Inside the Museum, we were shown the Beijing map by a female Chinese Professor who is the leader there. She explained in detail to us about the Chinese theory based on Confucianism, Chinese Cosmology & especially Feng Shui, behind the layout & designs of the Imperial Palace along with the whole of Beijing.

This is the place where it is recommended to buy/invite a "Pixiu" home. Reasons are simple, it's real and not fake! It's been prayed for atleast and it's safe and not related to religion. It is not a statue but it is a symbol and well, I think it's real. Given the fact to all of China's historical facts and figures out there, how can you deny "Feng Shui" at the very least?! Of course, you still need to work hard for it, "Feng Shui" is something to push you onwards. (Ps. Money don't grow from tree's, neither do they fall from the sky...lolx)

All of the "Feng Shui" sifu attend to each of us and offer us to ask questions concerning any issues and such. They have been trained well to look at our palms and face to tell us the answers. It's all accurate though. Can you deny a stranger telling you something that even your friend is "blind" to notice but it's the truth that only you know? Anyway, I gotta remove my mole on my face, because each time I give advice to ppl I meant them good but the way I say it is harsh because of my mole.... I wonder.... (We'll see... ehehhe)
Outside we took pictures of the City Gate Tower behind us and it's all a good experience!

My precious "Pixiu"... Means wealth.

Outside the Watchtower, is a town of it's own. There we sat on the tram to the other side of the town to get to our bus...

Next stop, an experience not to forget... We went to Hutong Village to visit one of the oldest neighborhood and also one of the most costly land in Beijing. Over there, we get to see how China used to live in the olden days. Of course, there are slight improvements except for the building structure and TOILET! There is no doors for the public toilet!!!!!!! Suppose to not have any water too but now there is water but still no door!! Hehehehe... Imagine the "aroma" 10 years ago and now!

Lunch Time! Went to the mini mart nearby to buy beer for  ¥2.20 & Lays potato chips for ¥5.40. Took pictures of random eye-catching shots on the way...

Pet dogs walking the streets UNLEASHED! That's what I call UNITY, LOYALTY & RESPECT.
Sex Shop, I think it's something like Malaysia's "I Need House" (I guess... Never bother to go in)
But they're so "open minded"! Direct and straightforward. No cover ups or censorships... Lolx!

Shopping again... Went back to the same place - YaShow Clothing Market... I dislike it there, makes ppl feel "cheap" to bargain with rude ppl that shows no respect for other ppl. Super rude! Can't blame them though, it's the way they've been brought up. Most are uneducated it seems and ALL are teenagers... Trust me! U gotta be much rude and fierce than them. If they were to put price tags, it wouldn't be so bad but sadly I think they don't know what price tags are for! I just went window shopping, couldn't care less to bargain with rude ppl that has no sense of respect and manners. Disregard them for whoever they are... Haha! Haha!
But yes, being "cheap" has it's advantages too. U can manage to get discounts up to 75% if you really bargain hard! Lots of chinese people that drive expensive cars, comes here for shopping... So there is the advantages & disadvantages to everything. Depends on how you see it. In my point of view, it doesn't suit me to shop here. It might be different for you though. No harm visiting here to find out yourself (hehehe... cheerx =P)

Last stop in Beijing for the day is the 798 Art Zone. Attracted by ordered designing, convenient traffic, unique style of Bauhaus architecture,many art organizations and artists came to rent the vacant plants and transformed them, gradually formed a district gathered galleries, art studios, cultural companies, fashion & etc. The best place I've been to, that is, if you know how to enjoy art!

Finally, 4 hours to Cheng De and the road gets bumpy at certain spots. Lots of field along the highway with ample amount of plantation fields and farms all through the journey. Plus the mountain view is breathtaking! Above the mountain you can see the "Great Wall" climbing the mountain top all the way through Beijing - Cheng De. As mentioned, the "Great Wall" is 8000km long and you definitely can see it stretch out of Beijing. The farmer lives along the highway in between Beijing - Cheng De but sadly, the land ain't good enough because it seems that the farmers grow fruits and vegetables only 1 year once. A very slow growth.

In Cheng De, 5pm the shopping malls will close! The population in Cheng De village is approx. 300k. The moment we arrive, we went straight to dinner and then check into the hotel and lights out!

Trip to Zaanse Schans

Trip to Zaanse Schans

It is known that Zaanse Schans is the neighbourhood of Zaandam. It is near Zaandijk in the municipality of Zaanstad in the Netherlands of North Holland. Yes, I know... It's not a common name known to the world but NOW you know... It's one of the popular tourist attraction of the region to visit and experience an environment like never before. For those country lovers, this place has a collection of well-preserved historical windmills and not forgetting, houses. Zaanse Schans is also an Anchor Point of The European Route of Industrial Heritage aka "ERIH". How popular, you ask? Approx. 900k visitors every year!

The windmills were built since 1574 onwards. Of course, if you want to know more, please

This is a must see for foreigners. Here there are typical dutch houses in green & white with canals & windmills used for oil, mustard & wheat. The flowers are awesome and the street for shopping is breathtaking.

Shoes and wood carvings all hand crafted is amazingly astounding to just go window shopping through here! Would recommend this to those who love hand-crafted arts & craft!

Do drop by during the Spring or Summer season. It's best for viewing flowers and enjoy nature the real way!

Brought to you specially from Columnist of Ratianda (The Netherlands).

The Dutch windmills of Zaanse Schans

Ratianda's Dutch columnist and her husband take Malaysian guests for a visit to the famous Zaanse Schans (website: www.zaanseschans.nl) with it's five windmills, museums and much and much more to see and to do.

The Zaanse Schans is a delightful village on the banks of the river Zaan with characteristic green wooden houses, charming stylized gardens, small hump-backed bridges, tradesmen's workshops, historic windmills and engaging little shops.

This enchanting village has been lovingly established by relocating local houses, windmills, storehouses and barns to form a remarkable replica of a typical Zaanse village of the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

Apart from the cluster of windmills, characteristic wooden houses and delightful shops to visit, there are intriguing traditional Dutch crafts such as wooden shoes, pewter and cheese making, several fascinating museums, restaurants and even the possibility of taking a boat trip on the river.

The Zaanse Schans is open daily throughout the year. 

With its traditional green painted houses, warehouses and windmills the Zaanse Schans gives the feeling of having stepped back into the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries. However this is not an open air museum but a colourful living and working neighbourhood. Most of the buildings were re-located from other areas in the Zaanstreek in the 1960’s and 70’s as owing to urban development they were under threat of obliteration.
The Zaanse Schans offers a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape as it was before and after the industrial revolution. This panorama makes the Zaanse Schans a vital link in the 
European Route of Industrial Heritage. A visit to a working industrial windmill is a unique experience. Paint mill De Kat and oil mill De Zoeker are open daily from March to October. From November to February most of the windmills at the Zaanse Schans are only open at the weekends. The Jonge Schaap is open all year. The Zaanse Schans has a number of fascinating museums to tempt the visitor. The Zaans Musuem has a large collection of interesting artefacts and presents a variety of changing exhibitions. The museum combines a complete picture of the history of the area with an impressive view over the local landscape.

The smaller, specialized museums such as the first Albert Heijn Grocery shop, the Bakery Museum 'In de Gecroonde Duyvekater', The Dutch Clock Museum, The Noorderhuis Costume Museum are all situated at the Zaanse Schans in listed buildings bringing the history of this oldest industrial area to life.
There is no entrance fee for visiting the traditional Dutch workshops such as the Wooden Shoe Workshop, the Pewter Foundry and the Cheese Farm at the Zaanse Schans. Opening times may vary, but generally they are open daily throughout the year. The most enjoyable way to see the surrounding area is from the water. From April to October river cruises are available along the river Zaan not only for a splendid view of the Zaanse Schans, but also for a more detailed examination of the traditional and picturesque Dutch houses, windmills and other interesting sights along the way. 
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