The Blue Zoo (BJ Bucket List #3)

In Beijing, we live opposite a soccer stadium. But it’s not only a soccer stadium. It’s a nightclub hotspot. It’s a popular family walking spot. It’s a place to show off your new sports car. It’s a place to watch big pop concerts. It’s a place to open an over-priced jewellery shop.

Oh, and there’s the “longest acrylic tunnel” in Asia, measuring in at  120m! Only in China would you find an giant aquarium under a soccer stadium and nowhere near the ocean.

I’m always a little apprehensive about zoos in China – they don’t have the best reputation. But aside from one section where some turtles and sharks were in a pretty small tank, it was actually pretty impressive! We also went half an hour before closing, so there was no one there! Fabulous!!

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Baby on the Great Wall (BJ Bucket List #2)

We had a great recommendation from a friend to stay at Great Wall Fresh. We were picked up by Mr. Chen’s lovely son in a very comfy car from line 13 subway and we cruised past the touristy Badaling, and soon found ourselves in a lovely Chinese village called Chenjiapu.

The accommodation was great, and all of the food was fresh from the garden, cooked by Mrs. Chen. Adella enjoyed Chinese mantou for the first time.

We unfortunately stayed on a very foggy day, but we were so glad to have clean fog rather than smog. So, it ended up being quite a mysterious hike along the wall. Because of the fog and having the little one with us, we did their “easy” hike, but it was still a solid three hours, and we kept up quite a pace! The Wall was highly variable, with weather-eroded turrets, and some pieces of complete wall, whilst other bits had completely disappeared.

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We’ve been to a number of parts of the wall in our six years (Sancha, Jiankou, Simatai, Jinshanling, Badaling{bleh}), and I would highly recommend Great Wall Fresh to anyone looking for a Chinese homestay-style Great Wall getaway. If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below.

The Beijing Tap Water Museum (BJ Bucket List #1)

There are a few things on my bucket list for Beijing. And this was the first thing we’ve knocked off the list!!

After parking the car in a ‘xiaoqu’ carpark, we followed the parking inspector’s directions to…

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The Beijing Tap Water Museum!!

After passing the ticket booth, where the guard insisted that we didn’t have to buy a ticket, we found ourselves in a big field with assorted exampled piping and old machinery. Some groundskeepers were watering the grass/weeds (perhaps to check the water quality?!?!?) and repaving the paths. We were the only guests of the field.

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Look how big the pipes are to get water to Beijing!

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No water at the tap water museum.

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Oh wait, there’s a little bit of green water.

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No pizza for you!

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Well-watered lawn. I’m thinking it would be a great place for a picnic! I wonder what the guard would do…

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Does this remind anyone else of the chamber from “Licence to Kill”?

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Weedy.

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Quite beautiful architecture

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As we rounded the corner, we realised that there was a big museum inside the red building! It was mostly full of a lot of Chinese info, but it had big empty spaces for babies to crawl/run around and some cool models of the water system. There was one other family inside… not a big tourist attraction! The second guard did make us buy a ticket though.

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The Beijing water network

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Whoops! I think someone poked the Forbidden City.

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The Beijing Tap Water Museum in 1949 (can you see the train going through the city wall?)

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The Beijing Tap Water Museum “now”. We couldn’t see the giant water tower though… that must be gone. And the model seemed quite a lot more manicured.

Beijing is so full of random adventures! You may also be interested in Fake Disneyland, Crab Island and Wonderland Abandoned Amusement Park. Onto bucket list item #2.