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Ming Tomb...I should have paid attention

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Entrance to Ming Tomb in Beijing China

We hired a tour guide to take us to a few places in Beijing. We figured we should let a professional navigate us for a couple of days since it would be more time consuming on our own. Sun wen juan…or "Cindy" became our guide. Chinese people generally pick an american name because most of us (Americans) have trouble pronouncing anything  outside of a chinese menu…and even that is questionable (as I found out while visiting my relatives in Oklahoma).

Ming Tomb in Bejing China

Cindy, was fantastic. She was so bubbly, funny, adorable and very intelligent. She informed us that she spoke "Chinglish" and had been studying the english language for years. I think she was about 26, but no matter how hard Billy and I tried to trip her up with questions about China, China politics, imports, religion, oil prices…or Britney Spears music…she knew the answers. She had a great sense of humor and educated us (Billy) extremely well on the history, artifacts and historical sites that we visited.

Ming Tomb in Beijing China

Here's the embarrassing part…I don't remember a darn thing she said about Ming Tomb or The Temple of Heaven. This is certainly not her fault. China is very overwhelming and I think at this point when I saw Ming Tomb, all my mind could process was "ohhhhh…pretty!!!". Of course Billy clung to every word and date, but…well, I have no excuse for him. Anyway, I think the best that I can do at this point is to ask him some questions and write what he says.

Ming Tomb Dragons in Bejing China

So….Billy says…"(Yawn!)" whatever….forget it…he just started rambling on about history or something, so you're going to have to look it up on Wikipedia. Meanwhile. I have to report that Ming Tomb and the Temple of Heaven were both beautiful sites and wonderful architecture. There is one funny thing though. At the Temple of Heavenpark area, there are numerous Chinese Karaoke machines that are being used every so many feet by local amateurs who have decided that they can sing Chinese Opera. There is a long line of them down this corridor that you have to walk by to get to the exit. We were told that this was an ongoing tradition (which also includes Ballroom dancing out in the open) I have to admit that one or two had good voices, but dot dot dot, most of it was like watching the audition out-takes for American Idol. Not to mention
that the Karaoke machines they had were loud and over amped.
Bless their hearts for putting their all into it, but it was a little louder than I could handle. Please don't let me discourage you from finding out more about these two sites, they were quite amazing, but I'm afraid that I'm just not a good source for this one. By the way, there are some pictures HERE (Ming Tomb) and HERE (Temple).


Cory Lynn said...

Believe it or not there are still rickshaws on Beijing. There are are few areas left in the city that are know as hutong districts where they have rickshaw tours through the narrow streets. I was fortunate to take one of them a few years ago and next time your in Beijing I highly recommend it.

Luther Bailey said...

Hi Cory! Yes, there are some hutong areas left. However, since the olympics, the government has worked hard to hide any sign of them and many have been torn down and the people have been placed in new high rises.

Cory S. Lynn said...

Really sorry to hear this. It was great when I was there in 2004 to take a rickshaw through one of the hutongs & wander around for an hour or so.

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