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China: Long Journey II - Icy Summer Palace

Published: 16.3.2013
If we set off to China it is almost imposible to miss out its capital - Beijing. Beijing is full of traces of history but Beijing also lives in the present and future in every of its wide avenues and narrow streets. Beijing is full of fabulous food, noisy traffic... And so on and on. Where would you look for peaceful moments in busy metropolis?

Not even families of emperors didn’t spend every day of the year in Beijing, when day longed for a rest during hot summer days they usually moved to the Summer Palace (颐和园I-che-jüan in Chinese, it could be translated as the „Garden of cultivated harmony “). First forms of this classical park were created in the 12th century and until present it has remained the largest park in Beijing. In the time when we decided to visit it, Spring Holidays were just under way and minus 20 degrees Celsius outside were giving a message that summer is still very far.

Letni palac

As people traveled to their home towns and villages to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their families, there were gradually less and less people in the city. Winter brought people to their heated homes but still the Summer Palace, about 15 kilometers from Beijing’s center, wasn’t left empty. Perhaps a clear blue sky, perhaps interesting atmosphere of upcoming holidays were reasons what brought people of Beijing to visit the palace. The whole complex covers the area of 290 ha however, majority of visitor were focused around one place - Kchun-ming Lake. A glimpse at Chinese, showing off their figure skating mastery on artificially enlarged lake was definitely worth of it. It didn’t matter there was a sign board with “entrance on the lake is forbidden”.

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The Summer Palace calmly watched all of this hustle from Long-life Mountain. After all, it watches the mankind few hundred years as well as the Marble Boat construction of which ordered Empress Cch'-si instead of construction of actual Chinese fleet. She used money devoted for building of Chinese navy to renovate the whole palace complex in 1888. Later she enjoyed to drink there tea with ladies of her court and watched sun set behind the hills and on the surface of the lake.

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Since the rule of the controversial Empress many things changed there. Today tea isn’t served on the boat, entrance there is even forbidden. Since 1924, general public can visit the Summer Palace and it was added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1998. Perhaps the best view over the complex is from the Temple of Buddhist Virtue 41 meters high. No matter if you observe the Summer Palace gardens from above, from a boardwalk along Kchun-ming Lake or you dare to step on a frozen surface of the lake in winter, you will experience inexperienced. There is quiet and peace everywhere only sometimes you hear children whoops while ice-skating. The sun is about to go sleep, it enlightens the whole lake and one wonders if sunsets Cch’-si used to see then were as enchanting as they are today.

Letni palac 

Text/photo: Hana Bašová



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We both knew Chengdu quite well, so after a thorough sleep we went to a bamboo park at the university where I studied. Refreshed by a sweet watermelon we set ourselves another goal: the mosque to the west of Tiananmen Square.

China: Chongqing, "Batman City without Batman"
Published: 9.11.2013
K625 train from Chengdu to Chongqing was relatively ... interesting means of transport. But since it was turned on only every other light, and because we were tired to death, we just passed the seat (unusually empty, endured a few most determined). Nerozhlíželi we left nor right, because ignorance is sometimes the key to success, and we slept fitfully.

China: Chongqing: Departure from Hell
Published: 16.11.2013
We just reinforced our opinion that it is difficult to find how you can get where you need to go. The IN thing right now is the mien-c' face concept. We have something similar in the Czech Republic as well. Long story short – you don’t want to loose your face in front of others.

China: Guiyang: “We Won’t Accommodate Foreigners Here!”
Published: 23.11.2013
After a nine hour train ride we got to the station in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province. What was our surprise when we tried to beat a hot gust of fresh air as Chungking! You can not say, although it would not be hot, but there was a gentle breeze, and overall was a lot more comfortable.

China: By Journalists Eyes - Freedom of Speech in China and the Internet I
Published: 9.2.2013
We all got used to all these superlatives surrounding China. I wouldn’t exaggerate if I said that she achieved some primacy every week.

China: By Journalists Eye II. - Great Wall Of China
Published: 19.5.2012
Being in China and not visit the Great Wall is equal to savagery. The official program that the Chinese government has prepared us is this trip only alternative and we have to earn deserve it. From early morning we sit in the Red Hall headquarters of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China and pretend to listen to propaganda papers enthusiastic speakers.

China: By Journalists Eyes XXIX: Chinese New Year
Published: 19.1.2013
We have all this Christmas martyrdom behind us, more or less. New Year’s eve after-effects are the past now and everyday life came back again. Far in the east of our planet the holiday season is getting to its peak.

China: By Journalists Eye XIV: Back to 19th century
Published: 18.8.2012
The third day we devoured spell of western China and the knowledge that we have somewhere "behind" Tibet is our "ugly," said attractive. There, under the auspices of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, certainly can´t go, but Tibetan culture we meet at every step.

China: Land Of Contrasts
Published: 18.2.2012
Huge China is a country of contrasts. It consists of several climatic zones, there you can find a noisy city full of glass skyscrapers and smog, but also the traditional mountain village with mud houses and rice plantations.

China: By Journalists Eye XXVI: Gan Bei Or What to drink in China 2
Published: 17.11.2012
In China, people drink really everything you can think of. Everyday drink is inherent tea, whether green or black, fermented or semi-fermented. Water and hundreds of species of non-alcoholic beverages are part of food as well as beer or very popular traditional rice wine. On the tables of local "higher" classes but there are also wine from grapes, until recently marginalized drink.

China: By Journalists Eyes V: China: Life In The Streets Of Beijing
Published: 16.6.2012
From the bus window, we could see Beijing crisscross, authentic atmosphere of the streets and alleys and hundreds of thousands of people in them, but we sucked up in the role of hikers and then of course after "bedtime" is ended with an official dinner with selected potent and our tired guide disappeared behind hotel room door.

China: By Journalists Eye XVIII:  In A Carpet Factory Or Life Of Happy Worker
Published: 15.9.2012
We are still in the far northwest of China, in the region, which is interwoven with Tibetan culture and history. After dense doses our Beijing hosts are served us bait to persuade Europeans ignorant about the interest of the central government in the development of local underdeveloped economy, improving people's living standards while maintaining support all the attributes of the original culture

China: By Journalists Eyes IX: Among Chinese Students Of Czech Or "Around Hradec"
Published: 14.7.2012
China's hard work and discipline accompanied us at every step and a visit of Beijing Foreign Studies University just confirmed it. Here we had a chance to appreciate even more characteristic of Chinese - adaptability.

China and cheap flights ...
Published: 13.2.2012
China - land of unlimited possibilities, a country which, unlike the developed world is growing and whose economic growth in today's world seems like a miracle. Country with many cultural and historical monuments, a country, that sends a man into space.

China - By Journalists Eye XXII: Shanghai - Queen Or A Whore?
Published: 13.10.2012
We are in Shanghai, in a metropolis shrouded by hundreds of "firsts" that is, in the largest Chinese city. One "the best" there certainly lacks – the historic one. Shanghai, unlike many other Chinese cities has relatively short history, after the Middle Ages, you won´t find any foot mark.

China: By Journalists Eye I. - Fight On Tiananmen Square
Published: 12.5.2012
Finally Beijing. Our journalistic team has battled a series of security checks and we find ourselves in an endless airport lounge. The feeling that the local crowd have to absorb us was not correct. Then we see a smiling Chinese lady and in minutes everyone sit in a luxury air-conditioned bus.

China: By Journalists Eyes XIII. - At school
Published: 11.8.2012
Our bus finally stops at the end of a long, dirt track, in which about an hour ago has changed as if by magic a modern six-lane highway. My worries we will finish up on the roof, fortunately not materialized, we drove past woods and gouged out before us, football pitch right and green has left. Everything was dominated by ground shabby, battered gray building - school.

China: By Journalists Eye XXVI: Gan Bei Or What to drink in China 1
Published: 10.11.2012
The first ever Chinese word that I learned, and it still did not forget, is the "pi-jo". If you seem familiar, you are right - though vastly different languages, for favourite golden-coloured brew has phonetically very similar name as Czech and many other Slavic languages. Drinking beer is a hobby that is definitely common with the Chinese.

China: By Journalists Eyes IV. - How To Ride In Beijing
Published: 2.6.2012
We "elect" could see the Chinese megalopolis through largely a luxury air-conditioned bus with a smiling dude behind the wheel. It is also part of local standard, certainly not just for a small group of natives and of course for wealthy tourists.

China - By Journalists Eye XXIII: Pearl Of Orient
Published: 20.10.2012
When I looked at the city in evening from promenade of colonial Bund, Oriental Pearl enchanted me with its graceful shapes, and I watched long how at it clothed in new and new colours in regular intervals. I do not know, which one suits her most...

China: Wall Ten Thousand Miles Long
Published: 21.1.2013
The Great Wall of China. The Long Wall. The Endless Wall. There are many names for the same wall, the wall that everybody knows wherever he/she lives. If you are Chinese, it is THE wall. You are proud of it because it is a national symbol. As Mao Zedong once said: “Who never got on the Great Wall of China is no man.” Or Chinese.

China: By Journalists Eyes X: Qing Hai Province - The First Night In Xi Ning
Published: 21.7.2012
After four days in Beijing we packed suitcases and with our guide got on the plane. Before us is a big unknown - we are moving into one of the poorest provinces of China to west to the Tibetan border. It won´t be surprise just for us, but also our girls will visit Beijing - Ai Qing the first time in their life.

China: By Journalists Eye XIX: Carpet For Monks
Published: 22.9.2012
Classical Chinese carpets have described Marco Polo in his travelogues, but till today in the world are still not too much to seen and know little about them. I look forward to our visit carpet factories in the province of Qinghai, Xining on the outskirts of the city, to widen my horizons. The lives of local workers I try to plug deeply into the subconscious and try to see the beauty around.

China: By Journalists Eyes VI: Around The Chinese-Covered Table
Published: 23.6.2012
The first dining experience in China didn’t impress me too much. Five stars beautiful hotel, a lot of fuss on arrival our journalistic delegation - a bow and waving fans welcomed us beauties in traditional dress, from the table.

China: By the Eyes of the Journalist XXVIII: A Gift for Chines? Never Scissors Let Alone the Flower!
Published: 24.11.2012
To move on the other side of Euroasia is nothing easy for those who don’t know how. Especially when they are going to have a personal contact with a Chinese family, business partners, or politicians and officials. For such a stay it is good to make some little preparations, otherwise you will experience more than one faux pas.

China: Si-an
Published: 25.2.2012
Ancient city of Xian, or Si-an is about 3000 years old. It is one of the most important places throughout Chinese history, since it is here that housed 11 Chinese imperial dynasties. At the time when Beijing was a mere village, golden Si - an shone by bright colours of temples, wide boulevards and architectural excesses.

China: By Journalists Eye III. - Great Boxers
Published: 26.5.2012
World media today proclaims that the Chinese state television CCTV triumphantly finished its job and officially opened a new headquarters in Beijing. The futuristic-looking building that should symbolizes the emergence of China on the world stage, journalists dubbed it - thanks to the remarkable shape for her grace in the world called the Chinese "Great boxers."

China: By Journalists Eyes - Chinese Names
Published: 26.1.2013
We had many formal meetings during our journey in China with government officials or top managements of some companies that tried to make themselves more visible through us, European journalists. In a hurry after these precisely scheduled meetings I always gathered prepared business cards and carefully placed them to my notes.

China: By Journalists Eyes XI: On The Yaks Farm
Published: 28.7.2012
Morning view from hotel window in Xining reveals a breathtaking backdrop. The city is surrounded by high mountains, over which the sun shines and I'm really looking forward for today's trip, which has sometimes copied the former trade artery between Asia and Europe - the Silk Road. The fact that I wet my feet in the Yellow River, it is still like science fiction.

China: By Journalists Eye XXIV - How to get the picture in Shanghai  
Published: 27.10.2012
The second day in Shanghai. I slept great, the apartment from Chinese Ministry in one of the most modern hotels in Pchu - tung district, hardly compares to the most luxury holiday model.

China: By Journalist Eye XX: Colour Symbolism
Published: 29.9.2012
Exploring the China is join with infinite variety of impressions, perceptions, experiences and surprises for Europeans often shrouded under a veil of mystery, many time but just ignorance. I did get out of this country dominating feeling - China is incredibly colourful. Colourful from drab uniform gray to a beautiful rainbow combination.

China: By Journalists Eye XXV. - Expo And Better Life
Published: 3.11.2012
Till the start of the World's Expo remains less than 11 months. Here in Shanghai the word Expo is inflected to suffer. Sky blue mascot of Hainan - pao exhibition more than a year before the outbreak this exhibition´s madhouse smiles from windows, posters, winks from light boards, and I decided to bring one teddy home.

China: By Journalists Eyes VII: The jump to the Chinese market 1.
Published: 30.6.2012
Beijing is for us concentration of paradoxes. Endless skyscrapers, luxury living residences, shops of all tech brands on one side and then thousands of artifacts, ancient Chinese culture. We are interested in both of it, but the traditional one is but much more interesting.

China: By Journalists Eyes XII: To See The Yellow River
Published: 4.8.2012
Our bus goes on the perfectly smooth highway, where we ones a time meet some man in a hat, with a scarf over his face and a broom in his hand - he is alone, far from him you can´t see anything of civilization, the high mountains on both sides, and he sweeps the shoulder.

China: Half of a Kid in Shanghai
Published: 5.1.2013
Walks and rides in Shanghai are an infinite fount of learning unknown and different no matter where it is. I manage to sit down and observe rush around me for half an hour on one very busy avenue.

China - Yangshuo And It's Magic Surroundings
Published: 5.9.2010
If you would like to have a stop in a locality, where the time is passing in another rate of speed, where everyday hunt for activity and stress do not have any chance, so, you arrived to the right spot. It is Yangshuo, small Chinese town, situated in nature karst along Li and Yulong rivers.

China: By Journalist Eye XXI: City The Best
Published: 6.10.2012
To leave the province of Qinghai and thus few days of life in the past, sometimes the century before, it was the more sensitive nature really hard. Local on many places the virgin nature, proud mountain ranges, deep green valleys, vast dry plains, miniature boxes, herds of yaks and colourful mix of nationalities, often pristine civilizations us captivated, amazed, left imprint on the hearts.

China: By Journalists Eyes VIII: The Jump To The Chinese Market 2.
Published: 7.7.2012
Visit of Beijing food market and edibles of all kinds, shapes, smells, often of unknown origin and a long life even more dangerously we were really stunned for a moment and quietly wandering Chinese traders staring at the blonde, which move at a rate of marathon runners. Phew. We are off and miraculously in front of us pleasantly familiar signs shucks "Starbucks Coffee".


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