Beijing is way more modern than five years ago! Almost every bar, restaurant or shop has got wifi. Although it’s annoying that I can’t use all the realtime apps and websites as in Europe. Facebook, WordPress and Twitter are blocked by the Chinese government. The alternative is VPN (a network via another country). Luckily, my Whatsapp still worked. I sent I Chu a lot of pictures and messages about our adventures.
Also, the food in China is changing a bit. For example, this morning we had breakfast/lunch in a great vegetarian and organic restaurant: Baihe Beijing (百合素食). The food was refreshing and absolutely outstanding.
Lama Temple (雍和宮)
Besides of the newer and improving Beijing, there is also a part of ongoing history! An example of this is the Lama Temple, a tribute from the Chinese Emperor to the Daila Lama, as proof of their superior religion. Around the Temple, there are many stores selling incense. We didn’t buy any. The atmosphere inside the temple is peaceful and spiritual! People, young and old, are bringing their respect to the different Buddhas. They also have the biggest wooden Buddha created out of one huge tree. Although I am not a spiritual person, I loved the ambiance of people performing their personal rituals using the fragrant smoke, in the cold outside air.
Because of today’s low temperature, it’s not a very attractive day for outside activities. We did some shopping in the vintage stores near the Lama temple and then went inside a nice lounge bar (Vinyard). The Lemon Cheesecake, lazy couch and hot coffee made us feel comfortable and chill. The rest of the day we only spent our time eating and chilling at several bars and a famous, touristic Duck restaurant, warming up for a night of partying.
This time we went to the more alternative (in comparison to Lantern) club Haze. It’s a small underground club in the basement of a coffee bar, from the owner of the famous (closed) White rabbit.
The crowd is weird and consists of many drunk people. It’s a mix of foreigners, willing Chinese girls and gay people. The DJ, playing low energy progressive/minimal/lounge looks sleazy. We had a good laugh about all of this and tried to keep awake. At two o’clock, a new punk/gothic looking artist, Digital 21, started his performance.
Everybody went crazy on his hard experimental electro sound. It was almost a scene of a bad vampire movie when people transform into bloodsucking creatures on a dancefloor. After a half hour, it all became a little bit annoying. People were getting even more drunk and the monotone music kept us disinterested. We decided to go home where we hit on a bottle of good whisky.