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沈阳 Shenyang in the Snow

Day's Slideshow

Shenyang Imperial Palace

A golden dragon has wrapped itself around this street light.
The western end of 中街路 Zhong Jie Lu (Middle Street Road), a pedestrian road for tourists and street vendors. This early in the morning, though, there weren't too many people.
中街路 Zhong Jie Lu (Middle Street Road) in the subfreezing temperatures of early morning.
Just outside the Shenyang Imperial Palac grounds is this little street with a couple stores for tourists. I stopped in a book store to save my poor, frozen fingers. My new Chinese leather gloves may look nice, but they don't protect from the cold as well as I would have liked. On the up side, there were a few English-esque books for children for me to look through.
One of the two gates over the street that crosses in front of the 沈阳故宫 Shenyang Imperial Palace, also known as the Mukden Palace.
大正 Dazheng Hall, the first structure constructed in the Palace in 1625 by the Qing Dynasty.
The Eastern Line, the oldest part of the palace, consisting of 10 pavilions and the Dazheng Hall to the north (here looking south-ish)
颐和殿 Yihe Hall, constructed 1746-1748, served as where the empress dowager held ceremonies and entertained female family members of princes and officials.
A look inside 颐和殿 Yihe Hall with all its ancient furniture and decorations.
A small garden in Shenyang Palace.
凤凰楼 Fenghuang Tower (Fenghuang means Phoenix)
One of the many halls housing a couple concubines of the Emperor's.
A look inside the bedroom of one of the Emperor's concubines.
The Shenyang Imperial Palace in the snow.

Wandering in the Snow

Old and New looking down this little Chinese street outside the Shenyang Imperial Palace.
A great way to learn about a culture is to eat their food. I'm not very good at eating a variety of foods, but I had to come into Mr. Lee's, a Chinese fast food chain I've seen around Shenyang. I couldn't read the menu, so I just used my Mandarin guide book to request chicken. Soon, I am given this bowl of noodles in water with shredded chicken. It was okay, but I don't care for soups and such...
This lake has frozen over and many families have come out to enjoy some ice skating and sledding.
I had come down to the river hoping to find Shenyang's Temple of Heaven, but I couldn't find it. I did enjoy a nice stroll through the beautiful snowscape.

Chinese Trains

My time in Shenyang has come to an end. All that's left is catching my over-night train to Beijing.
I had bought my train ticket online through an agent. Apparently, the ticketing in China is not fully automated online. So, you have to find someone to go to the station in person to buy the tickets, but only within ten days of your departure.
All the ticket booths were outside the station and there was a long line of people trying to get into the station. Immediately following the doors at the entrance was China's nominal security check, metal detectors and X-ray machines. The guards didn't seem to mind if you set off the metal detectors.
One guard said something to me. I paused trying to figure out what I could've done wrong, but it became clear that he just didn't like that my mask wasn't covering my nose, which had turned quite red. Well, if I did cover my nose, my glasses would fog up and I wouldn't be able to see.
Things within the station were much calmer. There are multiple waiting rooms and you have to go to the one for your train. In the waiting room you will find multiple aisles of chairs, but each aisle is for a different train. So you're sitting only with people who'll be on your train. A few minutes before the departure time, they'll open the doors leading to the platform and everyone will be in a rush to get to the sitting train.
The train was nice. I got a soft sleeper, which is a small bed. The car had several beds, three stacked over each other and a squat toilet at the end of the car. In the aisle there were also fold-down chairs for those unlucky enough to not get a bottom bed with head room. Being only 24, I elected for a middle bed and left the bottom for the older passangers.
My journey from Shenyang to Beijing was about ten hours. In the evening just after departure, a few carts were rolled past that you could stop and buy some junk food or drinks. Everyone was quick to get in bed and sleep.
I, however, got sick on the ride. Come about 4am, I threw up in the squat toilet. That was not fun.
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