Tag Archives: statues

Beijing – Olympic Park and Panda Bears………

While we were in Beijing, we wanted to see Olympic Park. This was an interesting thing to accomplish.

I don’t know if all tours are run like this in China or if we just got some bad tour mojo….. but …. yikes. Our travel agent planned an itinerary for our day and a half in Beijing. We asked to go to the Great Wall – the section that you walk up and luge down. That did not happen. We went to the wall and walked up but we also had to walk down. That was a big bummer!

He also coordinated visits for us to see the Summer Palace and Ming’s Tomb. I ask you – why would we go to stuffy ole Ming’s tomb when we could see where Michael Phelps made history? Duh? And why would we go to the Summer Palace when we could see the Panda bears. I mean, really. Honestly, if we would have had more time, we would have so gone to Ming’s Tomb and the Summer Palace but time was short and we were traveling with three younguns who love to swim – so priorities, right?

When we got on the tour mobile, we asked to make some changes to our original schedule. OOOOOOOppppps. Apparently that is not acceptable – well, it can be acceptable if you are willing to pay more. Huh? We wanted to change two sites for two other sites. In America, we call that a “no-brainer” – in China it is apparently called an “increase in fees”. Got it.

We were also told that we were going to be charged more money because we were not going shopping. You read that right – n.o.t. going shopping. Huh? We did not ask to go shopping. And, shopping was not on our original schedule. But, now we were going to pay to not shop. Hmmmmmm.

Oh, and our tour guide was happy to take us by an ATM machine so we could pay in cash. Yeah, how do you think that worked out for her?

So, very long, very frustrating story short – we made the changes and only had to pay extra for the zoo fees. Now, that makes more sense.ย  And hubby had sense enough to suggest insist that our travel agent in Delhi be billed by our guide’s travel agency directly in Beijing – no cash transactions, thank you very much. So nice of you to offer though. tee hee. (Now you know I did not just marry hubby for his good looks.)

We quickly put it all behind us and walked in awe through Olympic Park. It is a pretty cool place. Most of the signage in China is in, well, Chinese – so it was fun to see this sign that we could actually read.

The bird’s nest was huge and fabulous…

And then, of course, the water cube. Unfortunately it was not open – but we used our imagination. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I could easily imagine Bear, Flower, and Angel diving off the same block that Michael Phelps used. Can’t you?

And the fun mascots…

And how can you go to Olympic Park and not take a picture of the rings? You can’t, right?

There were some pretty awesome statues throughout the park. And if you stand at angle with the sun in your eyes and lean to the left and lift one foot up, this guy absolutely resembles Michael Phelps.

Her, not so much…

Not too sure what this symbolizes – but it looked cool enough…

Maybe he was trying to envision the swimming statue as Michael Phelps, too? What? He could be. Or, maybe, it’s just hard to hold a sailboat with no arms.

The sign wasn’t much help either…

Sure, it’s nice information to know, but it didn’t so much help on the interpretation side of things.

Travel in China is different than what we have experienced in the rest of Asia. Truly, not many of the people we encountered spoke English. This lady and her sister were so kind to help hubby negotiate with a vendor for a better price on the stuffed mascots. If you plan to visit China, learn from our mistakes, you’ll want to know this about shopping with vendors in Beijing (and perhaps all of China). It is wise to have money in smaller denominations. Otherwise the vendors are likely to give you counterfeit bills as change. Wanna know how we know that? Go ahead. Take a guess.

We tried to buy her sister a set of mascots too but the only thanks she wanted was a picture with our family.

Next, we headed over to the zoo. Fun Fun. We have seen a panda or two at the zoo in Washington, DC, but the Beijing zoo has at least a dozen of them. And here was another sign we could read.

And these guys were fabuloso!


The pandas also had this wonderful playground.

But this guy was just too tired to play. So cute!

Anybear, we did have a wonderful afternoon and hope to go back some time and see more of the historical stuff.

Statues of Thailand………….


I am fast becoming a fan of the various statues around the world – so that means I get to share them with you. I will wait while you count your blessings. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

This guy greeted us at the airport. He did not exactly look happy to see us. But maybe he was just tired from standing there all night.

This was actually at a shop. It surprised me to see a statue of an American Indian in Thailand. I am guessing this shop owner is an exporter. I cannot imagine a big need for statues of American-styled cowboys and indians in Asia.

This guys were hanging out at the Tiger zoo. They seem really happy together. That’s a good thing – I think they will be there for a while.

There are a lot of statues in this position – it is an Asian greeting. In India, it’s “Namaste” – I am not sure what the actual greeting is in Thailand but the hands are the same. I want one of these for my American home.

This guy is either getting ready to swim or to pray – or to pray that he can swim. Either that or a plane is flying over his head. He looks a little odd to me – but he caught my attention.

There is lots of seafood in Thailand. This guy was hanging out in front of a restaurant at the night market.

Temples are everywhere. This was a mini temple at the night market. I guess you can pray for good deals or ask forgiveness for buying too much.

This guy said goodbye to us as we left the airport. He is all full of purple awesomeness.

The elephant in the room.

There is a Thai legend about a 5 headed dragon – this is a tribute to that famous battle. It was at the Bangkok airport.

He is protecting the streets in Bangkok.

Everyone is in on the folded hands. And, yes, I made my children stand around Ronald and fold their hands the same way so I could get a really cute picture. No, they were not happy about it. Yes, I realize that 5 million mothers before me have picked the same battle. Some have surely won and more have probably lost the good fight. It seems my children were afraid that someone they know might actually “see” them. Okay. At a rest stop in T.h.a.i.l.a.n.d. – we weren’t even “in town” – a 5-hour flight from Delhi and an entire day away from the U.S. I understand completely. Not.

These are not really statues – but tributes. They are all literally everywhere – all throughout the country. This is the king of Thailand and his lovely bride. I don’t even think Simon Cowell would want to see his face plastered this much and this big all over town. But the Thai people seem to really want to show their respect to him. I feel bad for his wife – I cannot imagine trying to find the perfect outfit for this photo.

Dragons are tres popular here!

This lady was also at a shop. Honestly, I think I found more statues at markets than actually on display.

I’ll get you my pretty.

And your little dog too.

The Statues of Singapore……

Singapore has some tres cool statues – the most famous one is the MerLion – it is a fish mixed with a Lion. According to Wikipedia, “the Merlion is an imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. It combines ‘mer’ meaning sea and lion. The fish body comes from Singapore’s ancient name back when it was a fishing village – temasek, meaning sea town. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name – singapura, meaning lion city.”

Did I get a picture of it? Well, ummm, yeah, I think my dog ate it. Somehow we managed to miss it but here are some of my favorites………..

I am not sure if that is a man squished beneath her or a blanket – but either way I love this one!

You have seen these two before – but they are among my favs – so you get to see them again ….. lucky you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And this just made me laugh.

She’s crafty……….

Those of you who know me, know that I know my way around a craft table. Pass me that glue gun. STAT.

So when I heard my daughter’s class was going to the craft museum, I just might have pushed a mom out of the way to get in line. Okay, not really, but I might have if I needed to.

So I went with 100 4th graders to the craft museum. They were well-behaved and, for the most part, interested in seeing the displays. Flower walked with me (almost) the whole time. It was a lovely afternoon.

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We did not walk around with a guide, so I do not know what all the pictures represent or what era they are from. You might not learn much here, but they are fun to look through.

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These are dolls – yes, I am sure you could tell that yourself. But just in case.

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No, this is not a picture of my children – it was an exhibit. If you cannot behave yourself, I am not going to show you anymore pictures. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This is my new throne. My traveling throne.

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This is my traveling throne when I am not feeling quite as royal.

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This is what number one hubby and I look like doing yoga. And yes, we have come so far that we can balance ourselves on the ledge of a window. Actually I think these are musicians, but that wasn’t as funny.

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This cloth is embroidered – it was stunning.

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I really have no idea. But isn’t it cool?

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This was one of the outside walls. It has dimension which I didn’t quite capture, but just imagine the white parts being raised up a bit.

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I was eavesdropping – I mean the people next to me were talking really loudly – so I found out that this is a wedding mural. I believe the groom is the blue guy with two heads. No, I do not have a comment on that.

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I know it’s bad to steal and, let me be clear, I do not steal – but if I was gonna – whoa!

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This dog is not an exhibit – but you can hardly go anywhere in Delhi without seeing stray dogs. They are part of the experience.

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This little boy’s mom was a craft vendor. She was exhibiting her talents and selling her craft items. She was a weaver and he simply spun himself around my heart. He is just beautiful and I absolutely fell in love with him.