We stayed at the Century Golden Resources Hotel 北京世纪金源大饭店 (now known as the Empark Grand Hotel Beijing). The above photos were taken in the lobby of the hotel and its underground mall.
On Christmas eve, after my spouse have left for work, I took the local public bus to the nearest subway station (Xizhimen). Then I took the subway train to Tiananmen. I have taken subway trains in Hong Kong and Tokyo but this really takes the cake - the whole train was jammed packed with people - my whole body was stuck to everyone elses bodies around me and I couldn't move at all. It was a horrible experience.
Then I alighted at the Xi Tiananmen stop but I didn't go into 故宫 Gugong (Imperial Palace) as I wanted to wait until my spouse could go together with me. I just walked around outside and took photos. Since I was alone, many Chinese came up to me to offer me their tourguide services. I had a difficult time saying no so many times. They were really persistent.
While I was walking slowly and enjoying the scenery, daydreaming in my own world, I suddenly realised that someone was shouting at me from behind. I turned and to my horror saw that a group of people were marching behind me and their troop leader was shouting at me to move away from their path. I quickly jumped aside to let them passed. I was so embarrassed. They must be thinking, who is this stupid tourist who is blocking our way. Luckily I managed to snap out of my daydream in time or else I would have been trampled to death by the marchers.
Then with a map in my hands as my guide, I walked all the way to the main Quan Ju De 全聚德 restaurant located in Qianmen (famous for its Quanjude Peking Roast Duck) to meet my spouse and his customers for dinner. It was very, very windy and cold but not snowing. I had to struggle to walk against the force of the wind. The above photos were taken along the way. I walked through rows and rows of bare naked trees in the grey wintry weather.
This photo was taken in the lobby of the restaurant.
On Christmas day itself, my spouse had to go to work as it was not a public holiday in China. As we were leaving Beijing on that day for Shanghai, I didn't venture out of the hotel for anymore lone-sightseeing. Instead I just did some lone-shopping in the huge underground shopping mall of the hotel.
It is good that for this year, we are going to spend Christmas with our extended families. Nothing beats singing Christmas carols with all our family members around us. Here's wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas!