ALP – Fast times

1 Jul

By Rui Hong

Hello everyone, Team UX is here again!

Time passes really fast when you are with great company! Due to work and play, we haven’t got the time to update on our statuses. Just to summarise, we are currently working hard on projects at our internship in Alibaba… but that is not quite the end to my summary. I am going to have to rewind time until 3 weeks before to let you see us having fun =D

端午节 is a really big festival here in China. Everyone heads home to celebrate this festival with their own families. Besides the congestion from the mass migration within the country, there were so many events going on around the country especially the dragon boating events. However, there was only one thing my group and I were looking forward to… the three days holiday! Together with the weekends, our team had a total of 5 days in our pockets to have fun! And the destination this time is…

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BEIJING!

On the first day, it was already 1 pm when we arrived at the hotel. To make full use of our time, we took to the streets immediately. Based on the travel route provided by our Beijing friend, we got to our first destination 西单.

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We fell in love with this place immediately because of the long stretch of food stores. Not to my surprise, we spent majority of our time here eating instead of walking down the urbanised streets of 西单.

Here's a picture of Yong Cheng looking ever so cool along the food street.

Here’s a picture of Yong Cheng looking ever so cool along the food street.

We went on to explore the next location of the day which is known for the beauty red lanterns dangling overhead, 鬼街.

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On the second day, we went to the renowned art street 798. Along the street, there are many warehouse sized buildings with shops selling a huge variety of artworks.  These buildings used to be factories owned by the communist party.

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and look at what else we found.

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These are some things that we might never get to see in the land sacred Singapore and I am glad our team took time off to explore China. We then proceeded to the night life in Beijing, 后海 to end off our day.

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The third day was a very special one for me. I had always wanted to visit the Forbidden Palace in my life and today was the day. Knowing that we could not comprehend the rich history of the palace just by reading the signs put in place, we hired a tour guide and in the end, we took a photo together with him because he did such a good job guiding us.

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At night, we went to Beijing’s Olympics park to witness for ourselves the famous bird nest. We did have some fun in the meantime =)

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On the fourth day, it was time to scale the great wall. We had to traveled to the station to take a transit bus up to the start of the wall. Our journey towards the wall was really interesting. We met with a group of swindlers who were stalling us and tried to get us to pay 500 yuan for a ride up the mountain towards the wall when we only had to pay 4.8 yuan. Thanks to our quick realisation, we can now laugh it off easily as a close call. If only they have security camera systems to monitor these crooks closely.

Going back to the great wall, we managed to scale 8 levels within an hour to save, pretty impressive I would say.

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That’s me on the great wall and here’s us with some cool guys.

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With that, the fourth day passed by. On the fifth day, our last day, we visited the Summer Palace. This place had the most impressive scene among all the places that we visited during Beijing.

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We also had the chance to be closer to the edge.

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After our visit to the Summer Palace, it was time to go back. The journey back evoked a bittersweet feeling within me. On one hand, I was so glad that it’s finally time to rest while on the other hand, I know that I am going to miss travelling around China. This trip exposed us to the rich mix of history and modern culture of China. Having been around China, I now have a very different perspective about this blooming country. Looking back on our little trip, I think that this would be a part of our ALP experience that we will never forget.  With that, we have all freshened up and are all pumped up to start our internship =D

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