Friday, February 17, 2012

China - part 3 (Daqin Pagoda, Peking Duck, Forbidden City)

Since I am currently desk-warming, I am going to try to finish up our China vacation.  Check out part 1 and 2 if you missed it.

Sunday 01/29/2012 - Nestorian Pagoda Day!
For today, I am just going to copy straight from my journal: So far in Xi'an, we have not seen blue sky.  Everyday seems hazy or foggy - the pollution makes my eyes burn and throat hurt.  My amazing husband said, "it is like living in a chimney" - I agree.

We may have done some slipping and sliding on our walk up to (and down from) the Pagoda
Today we drove a little over an hour out of the city.  We saw the Daqin Pagoda.  It was a really steep, muddy, and snowy hike up to the pagoda.  Buddhist monks live there now.  You would miss the pagoda if you did not know what you are looking for.  [End of journal entry for the day.]

I wish we could have gone in the Pagoda, but alas, it was not an option.
When we were exploring the pagoda, there was a Bible verse hanging in the back of mind, but I could not quite recall it.  Romans 1:19 & 20, "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made...".

It was so ironic to me.  We were looking at a building made by Christians for Christians and there were Buddhist people sitting all around me.  Yet I knew that the Spirit of God was there with us.  He indwells within Ian and me.  The same Spirit that indwelt with believers 1,370 years when this pagoda was built.

After we got back to Xi'an, we found a Peking duck restaurant and dined on some delicious duck.  We, of course, finished the meal off with some American ice cream (got to get it while I can!).  If you go to China, eat the duck.  It far exceeds Korean duck.  In China, we were served some sauce to dip the duck in (you can dunk your duck - hahaha).  To me, it tasted like barbecue sauce.  To Ian, it tasted like the sauce that baked beans are served in.  Whatever the sauce is, Koreans need to find it and start serving it with their duck.  Sunday night, we packed our bags and went to bed relatively early.

Notice the sauce.  Photo from

Monday 01/30/2012 - 
We woke up early, found the first airport shuttle, and headed to the airport.  I don't remember too much about going to the airport, I think we had a pretty speedy check-in, security etc.  What I do remember is that I was looking forward to breakfast on the airplane.  It was a weird refried bean (or something like that).  I ended up trying one bite and drinking some coffee to suppress my apatite.

We got to Beijing, checked in to our hostel, and found some lunch.  Then we ventured out to do some sight-seeing. {Insert: the high for the day was 25 degrees and it was windy.  Don't go to Beijing in January.}

In front of the Forbidden City
We saw the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square.  The Forbidden City is where the emperor lived back in the day.  It really is like a small city - it goes on, and on, and on, and it just keeps going.  I think you could spend most of a day here exploring rooms and halls.  There is a lot of "harmony" going on in the Forbidden City.  There is the Gate of Harmony, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony, and the Hall of Preserving get the idea.  If you do end up going to the Forbidden City in January - do not fear.  There is a Tous Les Jours inside the Forbidden City.  They have cheap and delicious hot chocolate.  It does wonders for you after your toes and fingers are almost numb.

We ended the day at our hostel, reading, snacking, and drinking warm beverages.  I read Unbroken on vacation and Ian read On the Incarnation.  Then when we finished, we switched books.  I am so glad I am married to a reader!  {And to someone who encourages me to read books from 4th Century Christians}.

I had originally planned to put Tuesday in this post as well, but I am going to save that for another day.  So I guess this is the end of part 3.  Hopefully Part 4 will be done shortly!

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