Inner Mongolia Trip part 3 | Gobi Desert + Dschinghis Khan Mausoleum | Golden Week Holidays in China !

Hey everyone !

Ready for the last part of this travel series ?

This is part 3 of my

Inner Mongolia trip ~

The third day was most probably my favorite day !

Even though things like traffic jams and wasting time in the bus like forever didn’t get any better

( NO – actually it got even worse . . . )

I was really really happy :D

After all it was my first time seeing a desert in real life .

You think it’s boring ? So did I at first haha ~

But the sun was so nice and we got to do some fun activities !

1st activity : riding camels !

This was sooo much nicer than riding horses ~

And they look so much friendlier than horses ( to me :P ) !

You noticed these super cool scarves ?
Just look at how fashionable we looked with these scarves to prevent us from breathing in too much dust .

 

Yup – totally cool .

2nd activity : riding a squad car
but we weren’t allowed to drive x.x

Damn it – no photo of that even though that was probably my TOP favorite activity of the entire tour .

TOTALLY MADE MY DAY ! ! !

3rd activity : sliding down a dune

That looked so much more fun than it actually was .

It was super slow and looking up from the bottom the dune seems not as high as thought :P

Cloudy was somehow really fond of the shovel she found lying around at the bottom of the dune .

And wanted to build a sandcastle .

I guess the amount of sand strongly recalls old memories of being a little kid in a huge ( vast ) sandbox :D Or maybe it’s just our inner little child who wants to play around from time to time haha ~

My inner little child was hugely fond of the cute pineapple ice I had ~
4th activity – 
One last photo of the desert –
dedicated to my architecture buddies !

I miss u guys !

After that we had lunch at another restaurant .

And here comes the next strange thing about this whole trip :

( Skip to next photo if you are not interested in more details :P )

The tour guide told us that we were not able to go to the Dschinghis Khan Mausoleum because we are far behind our time schedule . He told us that by the time we had lunch we should already have arrived at the Mausoleum .

WAIT .
What’s this . . . fishy smell here ?
SRSLY WTFH .

We were totally on time when we departed from the hotel in Baotou .

We got to the desert without much ado . Actually it was no problem at all !

In the desert we just quickly went from activity to activity .

NOW he was telling us that we were 1.5 – 2 hours behind our time schedule ? ? ?

He told us that it would be better to directly head to Hohhot so that we would arrive there by normal dinner time . 5 hours bus drive .

If we were to head to the memorial first it would take 2 hours ( or at least 1.5 h ) and maybe we wouldn’t even be able to access it because they don’t let people inside anymore and close once it starts to get dark .

Looking at some internet sources we knew it would get dark starting 5.30pm .

The time he told as and we had lunch was about 3pm .

So he actually tried to persuade us , that it would be for nothing if we head there .

ALRIGHT .

He wanted to hand us back 100 RMB .

But srsly . The Dschinghis Khan Memorial is one of the MOST IMPORTANT sights in Mongolia .

I am not that much educated in history especially asian history but I do now the importance of Dschinghis Khan dude .

You tell us to pass on this ?

After A LOT of thinking and talking and not being sure and having to decide by poll . . . we actually went to the memorial !

Yea ~

I think it was definitely worth it !

After an 1.5h bus drive ( I think the bus driver speeded up a little ) we arrived at the memorial and the sun was still up !

Race against time won haha ~

We got off the bus and explored the whole area by ourselves – like always :D

Looking at this photo and comparing it my perception of the Mausoleum when standing in front of it . . . I feel like there’s no way of showing you what I felt .

I can only tell you that the whole atmosphere of this vast open and actually high up space ( 99 holy steps + more ) was great !

 

I like monumental architecture like this – it’s terrifying and makes the individual human being appear soooo small and yet . . . it’s some individual humans who leave behind significant footsteps who are honored like this .

To remember them forever .

Leaving behind something to remember is what I think is so great about architecture and which is why architecture is not only about being a shelter !



 

After this we got ready to leave for Hohhot – the capital of Inner Mongolia .

After arriving I can tell you – in enormous contrast to the rest of Mongolia ( except Baotou ) . . . this city appeared so Chinese to me haha ~

Felt like being somewhere similar to Beijing rlly .

But before we even got to see the sight of the streets of Hohhot . . .

We ended up in a HUGE traffic jam . 


And also caused a HUGE traffic jam .

The photo above was obviously taken the next day when we left Hohhot ( after seeing actually nothing of the city but this the streets from inside the bus ) .

Before we could sleep in the not-so-lovely beds of a little run-down hotel in Hohhot we caused a huge traffic jam . It was midnight and we still had 1 hour to go but a transport car from the opposite lanes drive into the side-planks and also took a huge pole with him .

This pole fell right in front of our bus .

Good and bad news for us !

The good news were – thanks to the bus drivers reaction of braking . Otherwise it could have been far worse .

The bad news were – we needed to wait for a looong time to continue our journey :D

How I love waiting . After all only the bus was damaged so I should have been happy .

But how could have possibly been grateful in this situation after all of this ???

NO WAY in hell . Not when we arrived at about 2 or 3am at our hotel .

I still feel kind of angry writing all of this .

So much to complain about but I guess –

YES – I did have some nice memories of this trip . . .

it just wasn’t worth the money and it’s not even worth complaining about that misery but I guess the good memories should be hold onto even more to forget about the bad things more easily :3

I reeeeally liked the Wudong Temple and the Gobi Desert and the Dschinghis Khan Mausoleum ~

Well that’s it !

I will try hard to push myself to blog again very soon !

There’s too much to show you actually I don’t even know where to start atm x.x

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen
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Inner Mongolia Trip part 2 | Wudang Temple | Golden Week Holidays in China !

Hey everyone ~
So this is part 2 of 3 of my
Inner Mongolia trip !
Here’s a peek at what I’m going to blog about this time ~
I super rarely use the panorama function of my iPhone but when I do . . . most of the time the photos come out shitty . Haha XD
But recently I got the hang of it I guess :D

photo taken from a high up spot with best view of the scenery
This panorama shot showcases the beautiful Wudang Temple in Weimongu / Inner Mongolia . Make sure to click on the photo to expand and enjoy the view haha ~
The temple at the Yinshan mountain nearby Baotou ( where we also had a hotel stay at ) looks so peaceful and harmonious due to its quite remote location .

photo taken in front of the main entrance of the temple
I like how China makes tourists climb stairs ALOT .
Good for the health of tourists and good for the income of the Chinese people who are always nearby to sell some pricy beverage to you !
But climbing up stairs is srsly always worth the work ( out ) haha ~
All the more it seemed like an outstanding place to me ~
The architecture was also quite interesting – they said it was Tibetian architecture ( I am not sure which style that is ) .
Cloudy while going off the road to take some nice photos hehe ~
I like taking photos of people when they are doing something – not just posing for a photo and that’s it . . .
I guess I have always liked that haha – it’s far more interesting this way !
Another example :
handsome Geon haha
He wasn’t posing for this photo and actually I didn’t even intend to take a photo of him – he just happened to be there XD I wanted to take a photo of the hill we went up to get the panorama overview of the temple area ~
I like how the temples here are always so colorful – makes them seem so full of life even at moments when there are no people there .

Of course it’s stupid to even compare – but I guess I still like gothic ( christian ) architecture more when it comes to religious architecture :D Do I need to tell you why ? :D

That was another great stop of our trip .
Next on the schedule : a Chinese restaurant like any other . Or at least so we thought haha ~But before I forget it – did I mention the great infrastructure at some spots in China ?

Stopping to get out the bus and trying to get the bus pass this stop did have something good ( always try to search for a positive thing :DDD ) -> breathing some fresh air before being stuck in the bad-air-conditioned bus for another 2-3 hours again and having something more to talk about haha ~

WOW – in just four days and being 80-90 percent of the time of the trip ( including sleeping time ) on the bus . . . somehow a lot of incidents piled up . Just WOW haha ~

OK – back to the schedule again – Chinese restaurant .
Photo of the food :
Nothing special . Or to be precise – pretty much the cheapest dishes you could make .
I don’t complain .
This way we made up for having tons n tons of snacks in the bus ( while being stuck on there and getting bored – snacking is a nice thing to do haha ) :D

What the restaurant made it so special ? Well at least to us – we may never forget the show they presented haha ~
Actually they had a wedding party but I have never attended a chinese wedding like this . It was shitty as hell .
Sorry not sorry .

No comment . I have nothing against older people doing this stuff . I have some kind of HUGE problem their getups and that glittery sparkly stuff that’s like at least thousand times exaggerated . Why Chinese people WHY ? Tell me why so many of you don’t think of this as simply TOO MUCH .
This kind of portrays the general taste of the Chinese .
Which is why I find it super hard to get some clothes that I like .

After this dinner we had a long long trip to a hotel in Hohhot .
Being stuck in a traffic jam was just one rather long but boring part of the trip .
Needless to say something more interesting occurred – I could have skipped on that one too :
we had a car accident . No one got injured but the bus was damaged . After waiting for the police and wasting more of our precious time we could have spent sleeping in an actual bed at a hotel we continued our journey . YES . DESPITE the bus being damaged . Y ? Chinese .

Did I mention how they tried to repair the clothes washer ? 


It had a pretty obvious leak in the pipes at the back of the machine – the pipe that pumps the dirty water from the machine . It could be so simply and done without further ado . NO . Using the most likely cheapest duct tape might do the job all the same . At moments like these I wish I would be better at speaking Chinese . . . I would have told them how stupid that was and how I would do a better job than them . Even if I really were only using a duct tape .
U know the way you use a duct tape to connect two pipes can vary BIG TIME .


Stupid .

I don’t want to say that things are like this in general .
Just saying that things are like this in general for me :D
Anyway – look forward to my last blog post ~
More interesting things coming up there !
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Inner Mongolia Trip part 1 | Great sights but . . . NEVER AGAIN ! | Golden Week Holidays in China !

Hey everyone ~
 
I haven’t updated my blog for weeks now even though ALOT of things happened and I srsly need to show you guys alot of Beijing ~
But actually I want to tell you more about the awesome
Inner Mongolia trip
 I had with some friends !
Awesome as FUCK . Literally .
This trip showed me some sides of China that I would have gladly skipped on haha . . .
Even now when remembering it to tell you . . . I get a headache . . .To sum it up :

Inner Mongolia is really beautiful . Really .
It’s so nice to have visited that beautiful part of China
 . . . BUT . . .
The trip itself was most likely
the most horrible trip I ever had and ever will have had in my entire life .
No I am not exaggerating right now – you can ask the other ( about ) 25 victims :D
I promised myself never to follow any tours like these again . NEVER . Even if one would give me money I wouldn’t as it was so super nerve-wrecking !
Well – done with talking about how miserable it was – now I wanna show you the nice sides I have hold onto ( with photos of course ~ ) !
This will be a 3 part blog series again I guess haha . . .
I noticed how many photos I wanna show you and how much I wanna tell you . . . XD


The whole trip was 4 days long stopping by in Baotou and Hohhot which is the capital of the autonomous region Inner Mongolia .
Did you know there is an Inner Mongolia that belongs to China ( but autonomous ) and a Mongolia that is completely independant ? Now you know haha ~Anyway – most of the time of the trip we spent on the bus waiting to arrive at the next sight or at the hotel .
But sometimes we passed some lovely refreshing sceneries . If I also happened to be awake at those moments I took some photos .
But the bus trip was soooooo boring and more like a torture than anything else so I tried to sleep to let time pass more quickly for me haha ~

Finally we arrived at the first stop and our first nights stay – genuine Mongolian tents .
SURE . . .
See how perfectly rowed up they are ? BTW – the tents are on the left and right side of that bigger buidling in the middle .
And they seem more like small huts made of concrete .
With some paint to make it seem more genuine .
Result appears to me FAR OFF from that .
I kind of really like the following photo haha ~
It was taken from inside the bus when we passed the bigger building of the whole camp ( I will call this a tourist camp for now ) .
A not-yet-finished tourist camp that is .
. . .
. . .
I guess this first impression of our trip didn’t fade but only grew stronger the following days haha ~
. . .
. . .
Actually a pretty sad thing .
Pretty much everyone was pissed off about the whole situation but my friend Cloudy was really looking forward to the horse riding at the camp .
Yes – horse riding .
I was scared . More than just a little but pretty much quite scared :D
Now that was a weird way of saying that I was actually REALLY scared .
Somehow ever since 4th grade I never touched a horse again or got near any horse . At that time we went to a school trip for five days and rode horses everyday . But my horse was the wildest one and just couldn’t stay still . I only felt secure with the lecturer leading my horse but I was scared all the time .
I myself didn’t know this fear never vanished and somehow even got bigger .
I was scared . Damn scared . I tried hard not to show though but I guess I’m no good at that x.x
Look at how happy Cloudy seems though haha ~

Complete opposite of me I guess :D

I tried to take some decent photos of the beautiful wide and open landscape .

I tried but I was too scared to fall of the horse .
And maybe get stomped upon .

And die a truly cruel death .

No no – I didn’t think that way :DD
Everyones butts were hurting like hell even days after this I guess haha ~
All the more I was suuuper excited to get off the horse . . . to get onto these cars !
Geon was also happy I guess hehe
Awwww – I love these cars !
I love speed haha ~
This not so good photo shows how healthy our lunch was ~
Really generous I think . Dinner was exactly the same .

Geon had a hard time having to forgo having meat for both lunch and dinner haha ~

Look at how healthy this was !

Which is why snacks like these were really reaaaally essential during our trip !

To keep it in chronological order – this rather boring part of the Inner Mongolia trip had to be posted first . But I can promise that the following two are more interesting :D
I actually finished writing the 2nd and 3rd part before this part haha ~
Why ? Because they are more interesting after all !I will post the next part in short time !
Look forward to it ~

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Harbor Village – Wong Ye Kok / Tung Ping Chau – Hong Kong / architecture bachelor thesis / B4 project urban design

Hey lovelies !
It’s finally here .

The blogpost about my
BACHELOR THESIS .
OK – my best friend has been waiting for this for ages I guess and some others also asked XD
Here it comes haha ~
Finally it’s time to show you what I’ve been working on the last three months . . . I’ve already told you a bit about the island Tung Ping Chau but if you haven’t read it yet – make sure to read my first post about the island in the link HERE .
The actual plan was to make a revitalization of the Sha Tau village part – which also includes the house that my family owns .
But it was without much ado changed to a new island part / village development : a new port for Tung Ping Chau !
So my bachelor thesis ended up being the first step of a redevelopment of the island because a vital part of getting more people to visit TPC and to change its economy for the better is to have the means of doing so . An upgrade to the existing port which only has space for one ship at a time is necessary for any island development .

 

Since there was no actual building around the area of the port it was simply put an entirely new village to be planned – which was a really exciting yet difficult thing for me to do !
It’s always ALWAYS difficult to do something if you have can go all-out . . . because actually you can’t simply go all-out haha ~ You need to have a concept and lots of thought behind every little thing and that’s what urban designer / architects do . Everything has to add up to a harmonious structure :D Everything has to make perfect sense .
These pictures are excerpts of the brochure I made about my bachelor thesis :) Therefore all rights belong to me ( photos + illustrations + texts ) ! If you want to you any of these images or see the full content of the brochure please mail me ~
This maps original size is M 1:500 but it has as much details as a M 1:200 because I simply added the building layouts for the Zoom-Ins . . . OK – I know how some of you may not even get what I am saying here ;A; Well – I simply spent most of my time working on this map to make it appear full of life ~ ;A; !
The port aka Ma Tau has an upgraded access for ships so that four instead of one ship can be harbored . The long promenade from the harbor leads the visitors towards the village .
The buildings which are further away from the coast are visible from the port thanks to the topography of the island , which is explained in the pictogram below .
Once you arrive at the port and go through the portal at the end of the harbor promenade a huge space opens up before your eyes which is the market space . Directly opposite to the portal building lies the visitor center , which is the first landing point for all the visitors of the island . Here you can get any information about your stay on TPC . I’ll give more information about the multi-functional visitor center further below !
The two main open spaces are the market space and the temple space – which also harbor the two most important attractions of the village : the visitor center ( + market ) and the temple .
The harbor villages structure is simply put a ring of buildings with a green core :
the ring of buildings is made of two main open spaces ( the big pinkish areas in the pictogram below ) which are connected by paths which pass by smaller open spaces and some “neighborhood spaces” , which are in the hierarchy the smallest and most private spaces .
The pictogram below shows the accessibility of the green core – the bamboo forest .
As you can see I have planned the entrances to the bamboo forest so you can enter it at any time without having to search for the entrance for too long ! I wanted the visitors to have constant visual contact with the bamboo forest . By being surrounded by buildings and using great height bamboo the forest gives of the charm of an enchanted forest ( asian style haha ) .
The pictogram below shows the zones of the village . 
I differentiated between 4 zones : the 0 zone is the entirely open zone which can be seen from the sea . Once you enter the village you step into zone 1 which is the open public zone . The market space with the visitor center are in this zone as well as all the other touristic facilities such as hotels , hostels etc. The main path which leads to the two nearby villages Sha Tau and Tai Tong are still in zone 1 . If you go further into the harbor village you enter zone 2 which is the less public zone . Here you can find more facilities and buildings of residents but still some shops and gastronomy as well as the temple space – one more public space which can be temporary used as market space or for events . From zone 2 you can enter zone 3 which is the private zone . Here you can find homes and buildings of residents and the so called “neighborhood spaces” in which the residents can hang out and play some Chinese chess ! ( That’s how the elders spent their time haha ~ )
The following illustrations are Zoom-Ins of the village – each of them show an important aspect of the village :
the 1st Zoom-In shows a neighborhood space and the pictogram next to it shows the hierarchy and connection of the spaces .
 
The 2nd Zoom-In shows a smaller open space with water basins / pools which are part of the water supply system of the village . The pictogram next to it show the village divided into 6 six zones each with a water emergency supply . The water basins are such emergency supplies . They can be accessed when the rain-water reservoirs of the buildings are used up .
 
The visitor center is yet another water emergency supply which can be seen in the 3rd Zoom-In below . In the pictogram next to it you can see how the rain is collected in a underground water reservoir which at the same time regulates the temperature inside the building : the earth cools the water – the water cools the ground – the ground cools the air .
When the amount of water in the water reservoir reaches a certain level , it gets forwarded to an underground water tank .
The 4th Zoom-In below shows the bamboo forest . 
Here you can see how the forest is divided into steps following the topography of the island . Each step has a height difference of 2 meters – which is in fact higher than most people are haha :D But what is a more important trait of the bamboo forest is its path system which are simplified in the pictograms next to the Zoom-In .
The left pictogram shows how the paths are actually connected with each other and which entrances ( A to G ) lie at which end . You might think it doesn’t has a system . WRONG . It does has a system .
Ever heard of chaos having its own system ? Haha ~
Well – it’s kind of hard to explain but once understood it appears to be the most important part of the harbor village !
The bamboo forest as already mentioned should lure in the visitors from any space . Once entered one shall not know where to go . That’s right ! It is designed to make the visitors clueless of what is ahead of them .The idea behind it : I wanted the visitor to get surprised by the village and to see all the parts of it by exploring it little by little with the bamboo forest !
Or simply put : step in and get surprised ! !Not forget to mention the inspiration of this concept – which can be seen in the right pictogram : hua gui jiao ( engl.: drawn ghost legs ) . It’s an old traditional way of randomizing and deciding things like who gets to do which task in a group . It’s really simple and if you ever want to fairly decide such things – google how they work :D It’s a little too much to explain here and I might confuse you with my weirdo english .

ANYWAY ~ my two professors really liked the concept of the forest !

I am really proud of myself of what I have accomplished in these 3 month but I’m not yet fully satisfied with it . If I had more time it could be even better ! But no project is perfect and you can always keep on working at it for FOREVER srsly – that’s what so many of my professors tell me all the time ! Well –  I am happy with the results and maybe I will specialize in urban design ? MAYBE ~ I love both architecture and urban design ~
I hope you liked this post about my bachelor thesis !
It actually only mentions the most important parts of my island village design :D . . . Very much theoretical stuff left out . . .
As you might have noticed by now – it kind of got a bit out of hand and I can hardly imagine this being realized on TPC . . . if it does happen though . . . I would be one of the first ones to buy myself a house there haha ~
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Between traditional and modern China ! / 3 weeks in Hong Kong – part 3

Hello lovelies ~
This is part 3 of my HK trip blog posts :D
You know why I love China so much and I also think why many people like it that much ?
It’s because everywhere in China you can still see its traditions . And the Chinese still live their traditions .
Seeing the people put so much effort in saving their heritage is something any country should do .
Because it’s where we came from , who we are .
It fascinates me how such old traditions such as the one I was able to be part of are still being kept . . .
This is a tradition in which all the villagers celebrate , honor and thank the teachers of their children for their efforts with a feast . And it’s no small feast ! Every teacher is invited and the represantatives of the village .
 
 
How I sneaked myself in there ? Not sure – my father got asked by a friend of his haha :D
Traditions like these show the moral of the Chinese people which is simply part of every childs education to honor and be thankful to teachers ( actually anyone who teaches you XD parents etc too ) .
The traditional rice bowls looked like this .
Not round but octagonal ! Way easier to make by handcraft than perfectly round ones !
Then there is this new China .
Most objects build nowadays have a really western touch .
They don’t resemble the traditional China at all . . .
This architectural style is global , international .
These buildings beauty has nothing to do with the old China which is ok .
But I don’t like how almost every new building follows this global style . . .
Yes, this is still in China ! It’s the university isle of Macao .
The university isle is completely new ( thus there are almost no people on the photo ) .
Would you have guessed this photo is taken in China when you would have stumbled upon it on any other website on the web ?
The way Macao is growing into a greater Las Vegas with lots n lots of luxurious hotels and loads of casinos . . .
In the Venetian Macao – shopping level with canal . Just like in Venice . Look at the sky . It’s fake .
I must admit that on one hand I don’t like the way Macao is . . . but on the other side I can’t deny that I like it there . Going there is always like diving into another world to me . If that is a good thing – I guess there ups and downs of anything .
I only know that Macao is making a whole lot of money for China and thus it can do about everything it wants haha ~
In those three weeks in Hong Kong I stayed in Macao 4 times !
I always have the best sleep of my life there because the beds are so ultimately comfy ~
Just take a look at this Dim Sum !
It has gold leaves on top of it !
I don’t mean to brag . . . it’s just that everything in Macao is sooooooo exaggerated .
It’s a bit too much I think . . .
Even making me feel bad staying there !
But what my dad says is so true . . .
Everything there is TOP .
Never had such yummy food as there
Truffle Dim Sum . . . I can’t describe how good this one was ;A;
Kobe beef . . . first time eating it . . . damn – too good . . .
I guess I like Macao haha . . . because of the food . . .
Who could ever say NO to such good food ? !
I would never dare x.x !
Until the next part of my HK trip !
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen