Fragrant Hills | one of Beijings TOP spots | Beijing from the top

The Fragrant Hills
This is another great must-stop-by spot of Beijing .

I claim that there is no other better place to get the best new of Beijing !


Though I can’t possibly know that . . . because it’s the only highup place I have been to :D . . .


 

 

You srsly get an all over view of the oh-so-huge capital Beijing !
There is just one condition for you to get access to this view :
 

 

YOU HAVE TO CLIMB 
ALOT


OF 
STAIRS



and walk a loooong loooooong road all the way up the Fragrant Mountains :)

 

You could of course as well pay your way up to the top but I can promise you – once you reached the top after walking for 3 hours maybe ( no joke ) you feel so proud of yourself for not having returned halfway .


I love these kinds of experiences !

They view is lovely and the photos I took can’t possibly fully show you how beautiful that scenery is .

 

Yes – I am telling to go there by yourself haha ~


But let me show you my photos to let you get an idea of how it is like there :)


The weather was so good and the air soon fresh up here ~
You can see a lot of Beijing from here – in case the air pollution on that day is not too bad that is :P

 

But I was lucky that everything was totally fine that day !


 

 

 

As I was making my way up to the top we stopped at some spots to take short breaks and I got the chance to take panorama photos ~
Another chance to show off the iPhones great panorama feature hehe . . .  

 

 

And let me tell you one more thing – the scenery will look soon much better when the leaves are getting red and yellow ( autumn look ) ! Make sure to check that when you come haha ~


Both Geon and me were so exhausted from the LONG walk but super happy when we reached the top haha ~

He denied being exhausted for a long time and I bet everyone could see he was .
Stupid .
That’s how I always call him .
Stupid Geon tsss .
In the end I said that it’s damn human to be exhausted .
I was also super exhausted and thirsty . . . but I saw him being like that and so I told him to take a rest .
OF COURSE I ALSO WANTED TO REST HAHA ~Sometimes it’s better to speak out ones mind even if it’s plain stuff like these haha ~

Love you anyway. . . my stupid Geon  <3

This place is nearby Tsinghua University ( Science Park ) but still a little far off from central – it took us an hour to get there . Or maybe a little more :D ?

But it was worth it and I reaaaaally really LOVED the streets we passed to get to the entrance of the Fragrant Hills Park !



Full of yummy food and stuff – make sure to grab water there ( not expensive actually ! ) before you head to the park !

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

MERRY AND LOVELY XMAS wishes from Beijing !

Hello everyone ~
I don’t know whether you have the luck of enjoying a white christmas or you are somewhere lying in the sun or hiding inside to avoid getting yourself killed ( by smog apparently ) but
I am wishing you all the best and a
VERY MERRY AND LOVELY CHRISTMAS
with the ones you hold dear and I hope you can enjoy some fine dining and get a little something from your beloved ones to show you how much you mean to them .
I LOVE the artist of this chinese grumpy cat haha ~
Still need to buy the book – I took a photo of this illustration from Cloudy’s book :)
I finally finished my final exams and I guess I did quite good hehe ~
I am happy about being a diligent student when it actually pays off :3
Compared to my student time in Germany I have so much more freetime here in Beijing so I decided to start kind of a part-time job next year ~
For now I spent a lot of time baking because it’s been years since I made christmas cookies !
They look simple but taste good :D
But despite being done with this semester I am not returning to Germany so it will be my first time to celebrate Christmas not with my family . . .
Yea I have always ever had Christmas with family because I think there is no thing more important than family .
There are definitely exceptions but my family will always always be right behind me in case anything happens .
What happened to my sister and how much affected they were showed me the love my family gives .
Even though I find it a little sad that they don’t usually show it but I think it is kind of Chinese not to openly say how one feels so I grew used to that haha ~
In anyway . . . being so far away from my beloved ones I am missing them a lot and can’t help but feel lonely these days . Especially now when it’s Christmas once again .
But thanks to a wonderful person I got to meet here in Beijing I won’t be all alone here and I am receiving a lot of love from that person .
Thank you :)
Cheap but srsly nice looking Christmas tree ~
You know I don’t like glitter and sparkle and such things but I make an exception fro Christmas I guess :D
I wanted to cook something special but because there was no gas to use for cooking I only could use the oven . So I spontanously came up with this wrapped in foil dish :)
Ahhh ~ how I love cooking <3
  
  

The important thing about this dish was the freshness of the salmon ( Y IS SALMON SO EXPENSIVE HERE ? ? ? ) and the sauce which is based on tomatoes + masalan curry spices + garlic + fresh lemons + oil + salt + pepper giving the dish a very unique and deep flavor ~

There is something I stumbled upon and wanted to share with you which has something to do with Christmas ( of course haha – but maybe some of you already know that saying x.x ? )
I just came to know where the saying
Ten Frenchman don’t make an Englishman .
 
 comes from and I really didn’t believe it at first . . .
Well I read it on 9gag and that might have made me doubt the liability haha ~
So after that I instantly did some web research :
Did you know that on Christmas 1914 some German soldiers made a truce with some British soldiers somewhere in Belgium at the battle fronts of World War I ?
 
At that time they shared whatever they had ( alcohol , cigarettes for instance ) with each other and chatted like there was no war . Just a few days after the ceasefire ended on 27nth of December 1914 they resumed to war .
Yea . . . it might be a VERY extreme example of celebrating and thinking of the meaning behind Christmas . I just think how absurd it is to be fraternising each other and then be at each others throats in the next moment .
That’s just war . Making people stupid .
RLLY DAMN STUPID .
But though being part of something so stupid – people can still be like this .
That’s something that positively fascinated me and I just wanted to tell you about it in case you didn’t know about this :)
By the wayyyy ~
Do you know the meaning / origins of Christmas :D ?
Thanks to my religious education teacher I always got reminded and know it by heart now haha ~
I don’t make New Years resolutions ( rlly I don’t like doing this – just trying my best and keep moving forward in the best possible way is what I’ll do and I think that is fine )
BUT I do like to look back at what happened and make a resumé / evaluation of this year :
  1. I have finished my Bachelor studies and am now Bachelor of Science in Architecture !
  2. I got the chance to travel to China and started learning Chinese here ( mandarin + characters )
  3. met some great and inspiring people who I would have never come across to otherwise
  4. learned some important life lessons from those people
  5. learned about my origins culture and history ( which I think is pretty important haha )

 

Not a long list but I definitely can say about 2015 that every obstacle was worth getting by every decision right or wrong made me grow into someone I am proud to be .

I hope that if you look back at this years events you can also see how you grew from all the experiences no matter if they were sad or good .
Sad memories make good memories even better :D And in moments of sadness some things become even more warm and good . 
Oh yea – did you watch the Pixar / Disney animation movie INSIDE OUT ? If not – watch it as soon as possible !

Another children story but with deep and great meaning :)
And I actually think that the story is really interesting ~
Whoever came up with this is genius !Anyway – wishing I wish you merry and jolly holidays !
Hear from me soon next year ~

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Xian trip part 2 | street food at the famous Muslim Street !

Hello everyone ~
Needless to say anyone who knows me knows this one fact about me :
I LOVE FOOD .
 
I can’t remember a day when I was not craving for food haha ~
Food is more than just a neccessity ! At least to me it is a luxury which I really really enjoy to have ~
And I love taking photos of good food !
Which is why more than 50 percent of my photos on this blog are foodographies :P
Anyway – as I have come to visit the city
Xi’an | 西安 
I have also visited the famous
Muslim Street
which is widely known as the place to find various kinds of Xian / Chinese street food !
This blogpost is to showcase a small but decent amount its eateries ~
Some people may not like it there but I am really fond of that kind of lively atmosphere on the streets where you can see the food vendors cooking the snacks right before your eyes .
Even though the street was super duper packed ( which I actually do not like too much ) I couldn’t help it but look fascinated by all the stuff they had to offer there ~
I wish I had tried more food there :(
It all looked to good . . .
And so cheap !
Swirly | twisted potatoes on mass !
Fried spiced tofu on the right ~
Just look how crowded this street is ! And everyone is craving food ! !
I actually thought these are noodles he was trying to make right there . . .
But seeing the next food vendor with the same method making this food I noticed it was some kind of candy :D
And I even tried the candy – delicious ~ !
I love candyyy ~
Yup – he is making candy right there haha ~
Just like this following photo – also some candy in the making but pounded instead of pulled :D
You can see another speciality of Xian’s street food in the front of the photo below – a little blurry . . . I’m sorry . . .
It’s some kind of sweet ricecake with dates – you will notice them as they are super sized and everywhere on the Muslim Street .
After loitering around in the main street when went further in to smaller parts of this area which I thought were even more packed .
Looking back at the photos just confirmed that .
All this street BBQ stuff and bread etc. looks and smells too good ~
The following snack is candied fruit and a popular sweet snack among the Chinese .
I actually have yet to try these . . . though I love candy I am a little scared of the amount of sugar it has . . .
These wooden frogs make frog-like sounds when you draw a wooden stick over the zigzag back part of it – the bigger the frog the deeper the sound .
I am actually regretting right now why I didn’t get one .
They look so cute !
Beautiful floral crowns are super IN these days everywhere ( instagram , bloggers have them , all tourist spots in Beijing have them , etc. ) and I love must admit . . . I also love floral crowns especially rose crowns ~
I was mostly amazed not at the candy-making you saw in some photos above but at a situation which can be seen in the following photo :
I looked at the soup or whatever that was in that massive vessel or pot or whatever that should be called . It looked interesting . Really .
I guess I was more fascinated at the fact that the vessel or pot or whatever was actually spitting fire than at what it was cooking !
Hope this got your mouth watering or | and highly interested in visiting Xi’an ( or China ) soon haha ~
Next post will be about the sightseeing of the Terra-cotta Army in Xi’an !
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Xi’an trip part 1 | sightseeing inside Xi’an | Green Forest Hostel | De Fa Chang ( world-famous dumpling restaurant ) is . . . !

Hey everyone !
It hasn’t been long since I last posted something right ?
Hehe ~ I promised to change my bad habbit of delaying blogging about recent stuff . . . at least I try my best :D
Be prepared – this will be a LONG and image-heavy blogpost !
Not long ago I was on a weekend trip with a group of friends again !
But this time it was really really nice despite the comparatively bad weather . . .
I was happy it didn’t rain at all :D That would have surely made things a little worse :P
The city I visited was
Xi’an | 西安
People may know about the Terracotta Warriors of China – they are actually in Xian and part of the huge tomb of Chinas forth emperor Jing .
I also visited his tomb but I will tell you more about it in another post .
I want to keep it in chronological order so let’s start with the first thing we did in Xian :
have breakfast !
Haha ~
It was damn cheap and everyone got full :D
These cute n yummy mini baozi | 包子 were reaaally good !
I guess I prefer these over the big ones haha ~ It reminds me of Dim Sum .
After being stuck on a rather tiny space inside a wagon of the train from Beijing West to Xian for 12 hours ( glad it was overnight . . . . . . ) and having nothing decent to eat I guess almost everything would have satisfied our cravings . . .
Next thing we did was search for the hostel – not hard to find but it was a little amount of walk :P
When we arrived . . . I was really surprised by it . . . really positively surprised !
I instantly fell in love with the hostels interior ~
Just look at the following photos !
This is the bar and dining place of the hostel – it looks really nice , right ?
I really love the collection of tiny succulent pot plants !
Maybe I should start collecting these too ? I already have one hehe ~
I reaaaaally recommend this hostel – it was super cheap ( 60 RMB per person in two-men-room ) and it was really clean ! The rooms we booked were like hotel rooms so I wasn’t sure at first whether I should call it a hotel or a hostel .
There are also more hostel-like accommodations and rooms which I guess should be even cheaper than what we had . . . with group bathrooms . They were actually really clean but the private rooms already had nice n clean toilets so – no need ~
They also have some interesting activities everyday which they display nearby the elevators .
This seem more than perfect for those travelers who seek more individual sightseeing than what normal tourists get !
In case you want to visit Xian and search for a stay – here is the necessary information to get a stay there :
Anyway – we discovered Xian by ourselves . This way we could choose when to eat or snack or whatever and change plans anytime . I think I prefer this kind of sightseeing over any other .
First day ( Saturday ) we walked around the inner walls of Xian’s central ( which is surrounded by very old and tall walls of the old Xi’an city) and also took a look at some other spots nearby central for instance : the Big Goose Pagoda .
Besides taking photos of sightseeing spots I already told you how I love to take snapshots of others hehe ~
Big Goose Pagoda in the background , Monk statue in the middle and people and colorful balloons in the front . Somehow I like this image ~ and also the following one haha ~
The next stop was the very central of the central of Xian :
the Bell Tower .
Its significance can be seen through its positioning :
the Bell Tower is right in the middle of a giant traffic roundabout whose size can be compared to the roundabouts of the Siegessäule ( Victory Column ) in Berlin or the Arc de triomphe ( Triumphal Arc ) in Paris .
Pretty much highlighted yup .
But the sight from up there is nice THOUGH it could be much nicer if only the air condition were better . . .
Guess I can’t complain about this when thinking of the air condition in Beijing these days . . .
Though I waited for all the people to leave until there was no one left on the corridor I chose this photo with this stranger couple in the background .
Somehow people make lifeless buildings appear even more beautiful because only then the building becomes alive again .
Before we ascended the Bell Tower we stumbled upon this
Right above the Häagen Dasz store was the
world-famous restaurant De Fa Chang | 徳發長
that is said to have the most famous and best dumplings .
I must admit – the dumplings we had were good .
I just had better ones for sure .
I read alot about this restaurant only after visiting it and the opinions split into positive feedback ( which I think are from people who do not know better rlly ) and really bad feedback .
I must side with the later one haha ~

Why ?
I think this place is more of a tourist spot and just became famous out of luck ? There are countless spots to grab better food than here . I don’t say the food here is bad – just that it doesn’t do its reputation justice .
You can get better and much cheaper food elsewhere . This is the first reason .
The other reason is that the service staff was kind of rude towards us .
I don’t think it’s OK to let the guest feel out of place . SRSLY .
 
We went to third floor of the restaurant because we were a group of 8 people and the tables downstairs were already occupied . Little did we know that the third floor is for guest who spent more than the lower level guests .
Next time you better go to the first floor ?
Even my low level Chinese skills were able to understand that .
So what we ask for more valuable dishes ? We are your guests and it’s not like we are being rude in any way . I have worked in gastronomy some time and I was taught to NEVER make the guests feel uncomfortable in any way .
Guess she got too much over her head or actually skipped this class in her beginning of her career . Doesn’t matter if you get tip or not – always treat your guests the same .
Basically I want to warn anyone who intends to visit here – better give your money to some who show more gratitude than people like her . 
Plus it might be much cheaper and also better elsewhere haha ~
Anyway – I took some nice shots of the food we had there :P
It was good no doubt also looks really yummy ( thanks to my baby Lumix GF3 and the special lens hehe ) and my photo-editing skills ~
To be really really honest . . . my universities canteen makes better Jiaozi | 饺子 than these here sorry .
Just being fully honest :x
Plus they are cheaper . Did I mention how much I love the canteen of my university ?
The one at Tsinghua is supposed to be even better haha ~
OK – I really liked these dumplings because of the filling :
glassnoodles , spring onion and tofu .
But the same filling I discovered a day later at some street food vendor :D
Before I finish this blogpost about the first day – some nightshots of Xian :
We went onto the walls of the old Xi’an city ~
I prefer daytime photographies because in the night you can mostly only see the lightnings of buildings instead of the building itself . . . but I guess when it’s like this it’s OK haha !
Looks a little like in a videogame because the lightning is so bright and vibrant .
Somehow I like this image – maybe I’ll try redrawing this one ~
Thanks to long shutter time it got a little blurry . . .
The next Xi’an post will be a peek at the famous Muslim Street of Xi’an !
Look forward to it haha ~
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Hello from Beijing ! | Goodbye Germany – see you again in a year !

Hello everyone !
It’s been a long time since I last wrote an update about my life and what’s happening I’M SO SORRY . . . things have been soon busy since I had to prepare hundreds of stuff for my departure to China !
So a quick listing of what has happened the last weeks :
I GOT MY BACHELOR DEGREE !
Not official yet but my bachelor thesis already got graded ~
if you haven’t already read about it : HERE is the link to my blogpost about my bachelor thesis :D !
I visited the Animagic in Bonn this year and wore my first ( actual ) cosplay !
I was Kotori from School Idol Project Love Live ! 
The beautiful Wonderful Rush version ~
I’ll also make sure to blog about that very soon to share with you . . . how I look when I’m blond haha ~ It was better than expected XD . . . still awkward .
My lovely Kpop Cover Dance Group RUSH ( and me ) performed at this years games com in Cologne !
We had 4 shows and each of them were a blast ~
I can’t believe it’s already over . . . it was SOOOO MUCH FUN !
HERE is the link to our Facebook page and HERE is the link to our youtube channel ~
I’m not in charge for neither of them :P
I’ve been having issues with very bad internet connections both in Hong Kong and here so it takes way too long for one single image to upload . . . and you know my blog entries are mostly picture-loaded haha ~
If you are wondering where HERE is , I am talking about being here in Beijing ~
Since I wanted to take a break from studying after finishing my Bachelor I wanted to finally learn some Chinese . Best place to do that ? I thought of Beijing because here I can learn it first hand from real Chinese people in daily life and also get to know more about Chinese culture !
I will try to do my best and currently ( it’s my third week now since university started ) I am learning almost every single day until late . . . but I really just can’t wait to finally be able to speak Chinese well and understand the people here !
Being a Chinese people always try to talk to me in Chinese – yet not being able to understand I just can say Wo bu shuo hanyu… / 我不说汉语 … 
Well that’s the situation I’m in right now :D
The people at my university who attend Chinese class are ( guess what ) mostly foreign people from ALL OVER THE WORLD ! It’s supper international here and because of that . . . it was a bit hard to find friends at first . . .
I am not the kind of girl who walks up to a person and casually says “Hey – wanna be friends ?” Haha ~ In front of people I don’t know I am quite a shy person . . . I am also more of an introvert than people may think :P
Still I found some really nice people here and it’s starting to be really comfortable over here in Beijing !
And I also took lots of foodographies in Hong Kong / Macau . . . Oh dude – I can write a lot but my internet connection atm is like SRSLY forcing me into taking a lot of time between posts because of the images . . . I guess it’s also the fault of my VPN . I got the most expensive one actually – still it’s no good for me . For most others it’s no problem at all !
Anyway – let’s kick of my JOURNAL of my stay in Beijing with a first entry :
This is Beijing how it looks at the moment .
For real .
Where’s the smog and the traffic jams ?? 
Haha – I guess I picked the right time to come here haha ~
I haven’t been sightseeing at all since I came here – instead I had a whole lot of lunches and dinners with super yummy food ~
I need to show you so much ~
And make you either jelly or curious about the food here ! !
One of the first places I had dinner at was at Guijia – a very famous street for street food and crawfish ( never tasted that before ) .
When it’s lunch / dinner time the streets are packed with people . . . all of them wanting to eat and patiently waiting for a table .
The restaurant in the background of this photo apparently is very popular :D
Thus my father insisted on taking a photo in front of it . . .
I will make sure to make some good foodographies of the food from here next time I come here – but because of the red light next to us I was only able to get LQ photos :(
NEVER MIND !
Here is another really famous and popular restaurant we went to plus the food we had there haha ~
It’s actually quite close to where I live so I will definitely have more chances to go there :D
The 24 at the top left side stands for 24 hours open – come here and get food at ANY TIME you want ~
That’s what I love about China haha ~
Very late or NO closing time !
Lychee-Prawn – anything fried tastes good haha :D This is one example of unhealthy food here . . . which is too good to pass on .
Some steamed Baozi-like dumplings with lots of meat inside – not my favorite but it was really juicy and fresh ~
What kind of looks like vegetables ( beans ) which are too dry or cooked for too long is actually a very yummy and tasteful side dish !
This is some kind of fish with some sorts of vegetables on top . I didn’t bother trying only a little – it was not too much of my liking :P
Shanghai steamed dumplings , I guess ? These were better than the other ones !
Sichuanstyle peanut sauce noodle – SUPER SPICY but SUUUPER YUMMY omg . . .
These are Baozi with a lot of meat filling – compared to others I think the bread was way too dry and not soft at all . I actually don’t recommend them . Go buy them fresh on the street haha ! It’s just 2-3 yuan each most of the time ~
This is one of the best yoghurt I ever had in my life .
No joking .
Beijing has so good yoghurt which they sell everywhere on the streets ! For drinking and for eating !
It’s some kind of tradition that’s been passed down to these days haha ~
I hope I can post something at least every second week :)
So make sure to follow me to keep up with my life here haha ~
I still got so much to tell you . . .
but that’s it for today’s post . . .
See you next post ! ! !
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen