Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beautiful Beijing

Chinese word of the day: 漂亮 piao liang.  Paio liang means beautiful!

When I left Iowa, I thought I was saying goodbye to blue skies and green grass for the next eleven months.  I had heard that Beijing was so smoggy that some people use headlights at midday.  (I believe it.)

However, I have been blessed to discover that there are many beautiful, natural areas around here.  Yesterday was free so we went to Badachu, a park outside Beijing with a small mountain, a chairlift, eight holy Buddhist sites, and, yes, an alpine slide.  Today after class I went with a few friends to a park just three bus stops away.  I didn't realize such a pleasant oasis was less than a mile from the bustle of the neighborhood we're staying in.

The best part was clear blue skies and sunshine for two days in a row.  It wasn't even humid today -- so nice.  The Internet is not letting me post pictures at the moment, so let me give you a picture of the things I saw at the park today:

Weeping willows -- dozens of them!
The skyline reflected in still water.
Families drifting by in paddleboats.
White birds circling from trees across the pond.
-doing tai chi
-peeing (only the under two crowd)
-playing an awesome Asian instrument
-taking pictures
-posing for pictures
-talking on the phone
-playing cards

It was a relaxing couple days and refreshing to my soul.  Aw, Beijing, why you so beautiful?

Update: Pictures!

A few of the girls at Badachu.  Notice that Sara has already adopted the Asian sunbrella.

Chairlift up the hill

Detail of one of the Buddhist shrines

Heading toward a bridge on the alpine slide downhill.  So fun!

Doing some homework at my new-found neighborhood park.  Blue sky and all!

Love the willows at this park.


  1. I may share some of your comments with my class at school if that is ok. It sounds very serene and beautiful in your new home!

  2. Please share away! And yes, there are serene and beautiful places in Beijing, much to my delight. (There are also many crowded and chaotic places, like the public buses or the streets at night. :) )

  3. You slid down a hill - on a slide! That's really fun! And yes - it is very beautiful! I'm glad that you've been able to experience new and different kinds of beauty and that it wasn't all left behind.