Beijing for 2013 Chuseok

Alex and I purchased last minute tickets to Beijing, to take advantage of the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) long weekend. Chuseok is one of the biggest holidays of the year in Korea. Since Alex had Wednesday through Sunday off, we figured it would be a great time to visit Beijing again. Plus, Chuseok coincides with the Chinese mid-Autumn festival, so we were able to spend more time with my family, who also had the holiday off! And we were able to see my mom for a day, since she had a meeting in Beijing.

The last time we were in Beijing, we were there right after the 2008 Olympic Games (during the Paralympic Games). We never thought it would take us five years to go back! Since we did (almost) all the touristy things in Beijing the last time, our mission for this trip was to EAT. The Korean food in Korea is pretty cheap. You can get a bowl of noodles or a bibimbap rice bowl for 6,000 won (around $6). But there’s usually very little meat (if at all) included, and not many vegetables either. (Kimchi, in my opinion, doesn’t count as a real vegetable.) And, we haven’t found any reasonable Chinese restaurants in Korea (we’ve seen Chinese restaurants asking 30,000 won for one dish!).

So we made it our mission to eat as much good food as possible. And eat as much meat and fruit and vegetables as possible. We must have been so hungry because I actually didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of the food- we ate it too quickly! We had Peking roast duck, spare ribs, cumin lamb skewers (my FAVORITE!!), assorted dumplings, watermelon smoothies, and super cheap but good cafe lattes! Just typing the words is making me hungry again!

Outside the Bird's Nest before the show

Outside the Bird’s Nest before the show

We did manage to do some things besides just eating… On Thursday night, my cousin Ryan, who was visiting from California, treated us all to a show at the Bird’s Nest. The show, called “Attraction”, was very flashy, with lasers and acrobats and people floating on invisible wires. We didn’t really understand what was going on, but it was nice to be in the Bird’s Nest again.

Ryan, Alex and I also went to the Yonghe (Lama) Temple. The place is huge, and there are tons of people who are burning incense, praying to the various buddahs.

Inside the gates of Yonghe Temple

Inside the gates of Yonghe Temple

Scroll written in 4 languages

Scroll written in 4 languages

Buddha carved out of a single piece of wood

Buddha carved out of a single piece of wood

My cousins and cousin-in-laws

My cousins and cousin-in-laws

 

Alex and I were able to see my dad’s side of the family during a family reunion lunch. It was wonderful to see everyone again, and to meet the new additions to the family (two of my cousins recently got married!).

We were also able to have dinner with my mom and her middle school classmates. We walked into the courtyard of their school- the school still looks really nice. And it was great to see that even after all these years, these middle school classmates still got together once in a while to have dinner and catch up.

Alex and I had a great time in Beijing and we hope to be back sooner than five years this time!

Outside of the middle school

Outside of the middle school

Meeting Mom's friends

Meeting Mom’s friends

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One response to “Beijing for 2013 Chuseok”

  1. Merbao says :

    yes, our middle school brought us a lot of memories, we spent our one year and half middle school education there. at the last semester of our second year there, cultural revolution started, everything was a disaster… a lot of teachers were beaten up, my own mom suffered a lot too. but we were the real victims. we did not get any education for the next 10 years. I remember when i just got into college, my grandma was always worried: how could you catch up, without a high school training…?
    I always wanted to write some stories, stories on our own life. maybe someday.

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