To dig the moat of the Forbidden City it was necessary to remove a huge amount of land which was stored behind the palace, was used to construct a temple. The result is one of the most beautiful places to see in Beijing, including the Forbidden City and Beihai Park, where there is decent weather and pollution is not too thick. The park is very popular for its views, and also because older people here can practice Tai Chi or calligraphy with water. The price is about 10 yuan to enter.
I remember with a lot of fondness the afternoon of April 2009, when I arrived to the park believing I was seeing another corner of the Chinese capital. During that tour, in the hummed and hot Pekin afternoon, I looked around me and saw elders playing chess, children bathing in the lake and a man playing a beautiful instrument, which I later discovered was called "erhu" (violin of two strings). I breathed-in deeply, and felt a moment of happiness ... I will never forget that place becoming the most beautiful corner of Beijing for me.
It was February when I went to China, I visited a lot of little haunts, saw a lot of places, talked to many people; it was winter and very, very cold. A group of Chinese people who "wanted to train" for the Olympics in their city. Together they made a hole in the middle of a frozen lake. One of them cleaned "the pool" and others just waited. When I asked them why they were doing that they told me quite simply: "It is good for the body and the mind." When they finished in the freezing cold lake, they splashed hot water on themselves that they had in plastic containers. I imagine they did that so that their ideas wouldn't freeze inside their heads!