Still in Beijing
After having used the public transport systems in different Chinese cities countless times, we feel very comfortable with them. (Except busses, still no idea what’s going on here.) The number of cars in the streets feels very small still, especially knowing how large the population of Chinese megacities like Beijing is.
Some of us went to see the Summer Temple in Beijing, which is rather a large park than an actual temple. Beautiful gardens and small lakes here.
The Longmen Grottoes
On our train trip to Xi‘an, we also made another stop at Luoyang. The Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO world heritage site, consist of hundreds of caves carved into a rock face, each with one, a few or thousands of Buddha statues within them. All of them carved out of the same rock. Since they kept adding more and more over the dynasties, you can easily compare different art styles here.
The name Longmen, by the way, has nothing to do with, well, long men. Lóngmén means “Dragon’s Gate”.
When it comes to languages, the English of the locals is often not better than our Chinese. How ignorant, right? When you find someone who speaks your language, get ready some Chenglish. It’s sort of it’s own language: English words, Chinese grammar. If you say “Thank you”, for example, they usually respond with “No thank you”, meaning “You’re welcome.”