7 Nov 2017 – Tourist For One Day

Mon: uneventful flight from SIN. Landed on time in PEK after 6+hrs of flying but taxing to the gate took nearly an hour + another 1+hr thru immigration to baggage claim and a slow-train to the arr terminal. Poor Audrey who was meeting me had to wait for 2hrs.

It was dark by the time we got to Keystone Academy, Shunyi District which was not too far from the airport but heavy traffic made it seem further.

Tue: an early start with my own private charming  driver/Jeff and car (800¥ S$164 for the day) driving thru[ country-side to the Mutianyu Great Wall, Huairou County,  70k from the city, but shorter from where I was at the school, getting there by 0900hrs.

Amazing how beautiful and pleasant it was without too much of a crowd, the glorious weather helped. Was thoroughly awe with this most impressive architectural man-made monument in history.

Well restored for this section and breath-taking views. Cable car took me to Tower 14, beautifully restored and can see to the far above towers. Tower23 would give a panoramic view but also read that it is really steep to get up there – 450steps, perhaps another time?  Further beyond that is not restored not is it open to the public.

Walked from Tower 14-15 and back.  Very blessed for the short quiet stroll in this glorious weather on the wall.

Would have walked up here if only time was on my side. And no it is not the AT even when it seems like a White-Blaze is marked on stair-case – they are lights on the path for walking up to the wall. Cable-car or maybe be carried up like this person is the way to go today 🙂

From the shuttle bus back to the car, guards picking pears and got to taste it – yummy. Vendors selling delicious sweet persimmons+other fresh fruits, warm roasted chestnuts,  – bought a bit of everything 55¥ S$11.

Well- worth 180¥ S$37 for the RT shuttle bus, cable car, entrance to both the Stone and Cultural Treasures Exhibitions. Another item on my bucket list done 🙂

The pix say it all regarding the air-quality and the traffic into the city. Was told by Jeff that the air is pretty good!!


Forbidden City – now Palace Museum served as the home for 24emperors and is the ceremonial&political centre of Chinese government for nearly 500yrs. It is the largest and best preserved collection of ancient buildings in China and the largest palace complex in the world.

Panic in the Forbidden City – could only exit by the sides or the back. Memories of a movie scene from the Last Emperor movie came to mind when the mother of the boy Emperor was taken away from him when he tried to chase after but only to be stop by the guards. What a desperate helpless feeling of being trapped.

After getting in, realized that time was not on my side as the drive was meeting me near the front and there was absolutely NO parking there. Bought lunch 25¥ S$5 but no time to eat – doggie bagged it. Managed to find my way out by paying (1.50¥) to go thru’ the gardens, tkx to the police and some kind bilingual lady. It was too crowded for me to appreciated this location.

Wed: finally the chance to explore around in daylight this 5*school – Keystone Academy. Interesting layout of this campus with a modern designed Performing Arts Centre surrounded by the traditional red-brick buildings in a more conventional style.

Appreciations to Audrey for putting me up in the Residential West Building – such luxury, 3bed-rooms apt with a view when not too hazy!

While waiting for Justin to take me out for lunch, my first thought at distance – this cannot be litter as the school grounds are sparklessly clean and this was just outside the school wall. These white leafs are new to me! The small cute vehicles were park on the pavement are also new to me!!

Yummy fish lunch and tasty soup with noodles+the condiments which were added into the soup when it was pipping hot.

There is even a SIN food place in this location! Tkx to Justin for being such a wonderful lunch guide.

Learning from the TEDx Team at the set-up and 1st rehearsal.

PEK duck dinner, tkx to Justin. Here in PEK they eat it differently from SIN. The skin is dipped in some sauce or sugar as a starter bite followed by the meat wrapped in the pancake with the condiments and sauce.

Thu: after good constructive feed-backs from Audrey, editing talk and added more pix of the AT – 2nd rehearsal. Bought some take-away food across the road from the school, too spicy oily, but the portion for 2 was big enough to feed even my family! Tasted some sushi and KFC from the students which was way better!!

Fri: chat with Kamani who arr from London this early morning. Lunch@the school canteen – its sure is better food than the take away from across the road last night. Final rehearsal. Dinner@Shine Hill Mall under a full moon. Best stir-fired cauliflower tasted.

Sat: up bright and early to get outfit ready. Entrance to the talk nicely done, watching this maze take shape as the hard-working students kept at it the past few days and now glad that things are going smoothly for ppl to find their way thru’ this maze!

Fun to mingle and chatting with the speakers and audience in between refreshments and lunch supplied by the school.

Was touched by the gift – a black hoodie-sweat. Appreciations to the Keystone Academy and the TEDx Team for a job well-done and many tkx to Audrey for the invite to speak on Off The Beaten Path. Also tkx to Gel for the intro video and to Leonard for pix set-up.

Will be edited with professional pix and video when I receive them.

The reward of a thing well done is having done it – RW Emerson

2 Happy Bdays  HongSze and JohnK/Ireland

8 Happy Bday Beverly

11 Happy Bday AudreyM/China

13 Happy Bday Yee Fun/NZ

15 Happy Bday Chris Tay

19 Happy Bday Yulis

27 Happy Bday DaisyC

29 Happy 11th Bday to my grandson JohnW/USA

30 Happy Bday Chai/Canada