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Useful resources for learning about contemporary China:

 English language Sinica Podcast

James Fallows - not always China-related, but always interesting

What's going on in Beijing:

TimeOut Beijing

The Beijinger

China Daily's Beijing Weekend 

Beijing Weather - Weather Underground

 

Useful language learning tools

Chinesepod podcast - free beginners' podcasts

Popup Chinese podcast - another very good podcast series

Hacking Chinese - interesting ideas on learning Chinese efficiently

Skritter character-learning tool for iPad/iPhone - really fun app

Sinosplice - John Pasden's site on many interesting aspects of China and the Chinese language

 

 

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Thursday
May142015

Temple of Heaven, Houhai, and ACROBATS!

It's been a busy couple of days here in Beijing, with all of us packing up now to head to Xi'an for a long weekend trip!

 

On Tuesday we traveled to the Temple of Heaven, a series of religious buildings created for emperors to pray to Heaven for a good harvest. I am constantly in awe of the detail and beauty of the buildings, and how long they must have taken to build! The Temple of Heaven was constructed from 1406 to 1420, and was built by the same regime that designed the Forbidden City. We walked around for a few hours, bought some souvenirs, and then headed to a late lunch. For the evening, we were on our own, and people went to different restaurants around the campus. It's great to feel so independent and comfortable with the area now!

the temple of heaven!

 

Yesterday, a group of us ventured to Houhai with Kai, which is a park area with shops and restaurants surrounding a series of lakes. It was a beautiful day to walk around and see a bustling area full of different foods and people - Kai even treated us to ice cream!

by the lakes at Houhai!

At night, after a delicious dinner at a restaurant found on China's version of Yelp (thanks Han!) we saw an acrobatics show. All I can say is WOW! There were contortionists, jugglers, and - most impressive to me - men on motorcycles in what can only be described as a giant hamster ball. At one point, eight men drove around inside of the ball, making many of our hearts race!! After the show, some of us went back to Houhai to see what the nightlife was like. 

acrobats!

the daredevils at the acrobat show!

We're off to catch a train, see you in Xi'an!

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