Yesterday I promised to post some pictures, so here they are!
This set is of Yonghe temple (also known as the Llama temple), one of the most famous sites in Beijing. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the insides of the buildings, but I took plenty of the outside.
Inside Wanfuge Pavilion, there is a large, golden Buddha with holding what appears to be a tree in one hand. It is an extremely tall and imposing statue (it’s too bad you aren’t allowed to take pictures of it, it really was quite impressive).
That same day I went to Houhai with my roommate Bam and one of her friends. Houhai has a lake, where you can rent paddle boats (which we both thought were overpriced), and has lots of shops and restaurants. It's a very beautiful area, with lots of trees and in part of the lake there were lots of lotus flowers.
That's me (kitty shirt) with my roommate Bam (Stanford shirt)
This is Bam with one of her friends who joined us.
All around the area, people were eating HUGE amounts of cotton candy. I seriously doubt I could eat that much.
There were quite a few strange things in this area, both in shops and outside of restaurants. I’ll just let you look at these three pictures to get a general idea (I saw some other things which were far more bizarre, but I think it would be in bad taste to post them).
I finally got around to taking pictures of PKU’s campus, which is really quite nice once you know where you are/need to go. There’s a lake on campus called Weiming Lake, which you can walk around or sit and relax while reading a book or doing homework. There are also a few pavilions around the lake, which have wonderful architectural details (I could spend hours taking picture of every single detailed painting on a single building). This area is very peaceful compared to the rest of campus, which is constantly buzzing with people, bikes, motorcycles, and cars nearly hitting pedestrians. It’s very loud too (whenever I return to my dorm I’m still surprised at how quiet it is compared to outside). I’ve been to very noisy place, like New York City and Athens, but Beijing is definitely noisier, and more crowded.
A few noteworthy buildings are the library (which, like almost every other college library I have been to, looks impressive from the outside), the multimedia center (where concerts and the like take place), Shao Yuan (which is where some international students live, and where international offices are), and Zhongguanyuan Global Village, where I live with other international students.
one of many cafeterias on campus (with two floors!)
Where I live (seen from the campus)
One thing I noticed in particular while running around campus taking pictures was that there are really big spiders here. I have no idea what specific species they are, but they are quite large, and spin HUGE webs (I saw one extend from the top of a lamp post about 2 ft. away to a bush on a diagonal, but I couldn’t get a clear picture to show you all).
I begin classes on Monday, and in about a week I get to choose my elective classes. My compulsory classes are speaking and writing Chinese, and I’m not sure what class I should choose as my elective (I’ve heard that some of the options are history classes, culture classes, etc.).
Well, that’s all for the moment, so I’ll probably update you all next week about what’s happening here!