If you read last week’s post, you know we spent an entire day walking around Macao. But, in the end, I qualified it by saying we walked around Mainland Macao. That means there’s a whole island to the south we didn’t touch on. On this day, we’ll be walking around all of Taipa, as well as going to the Venetian and Studio City. Our first task was crossing over the island to head to our first stop, the Taipa Houses – Museum. To do so, we walked over an hour over a long bridge to Taipa.
Macao, formerly a Portuguese colony, is a special administrative region (SAR) of China. In recent years, Macao has become a resort city, its gaming industry seven times that of Las Vegas. It has a population of 667,400 and an area of 12.7sq mi (or 32.9km^2), making it the most densely populated region in the world. But, this little island has a lot more to offer than high-stakes gambling and luxury shopping (luxury brand shops can be found everywhere on “the strip”).
Another week passes by, another day exploring Beijing. Actually, everyone is so busy studying every day, we barely have time to explore. At least Beijing has many attractions, especially cultural, especially in and around the center. Speaking of which, the Heavenly Temple lies in the center of Beijing, near the Forbidden City. Specifically, it lies in the southeastern part of central Beijing, in Dongcheng 东城(dōngchéng). First, let’s talk about history.
This week we took a trip to the Beijing Horticultural expo. The venue covers a whopping 6 hectares, displaying a variety of flowers, trees, and other greenery. It definitely lives up to its theme “Live Green, Live Better” It’s actually a pretty impressive event in its own right, an effort to increase China’s soft power, garnering the support and participation of over 70 countries and organizations. It’s also an embodiment of China’s promise to become a greener country.
The place we went to was 金山岭长城 or jīnshānlǐng. Apparently fewer tourists go to this section of the wall, so we were excited to be one of the few there. Of course, it was like 200 of us attending so maybe not that few people. We took some buses provided by PiB to the main entrance. Then walked a long way through some yellow, wooden bridges, down a long, long road, until we arrived at the foot of the wall. It was actually very commercialized, with carts ferrying people willing to pay up, and many vendors and small restaurants all the way up. Not the Great Wall I envisioned but nice nonetheless.