Day 19 Capital Museum
So today we visited the Beijing Capital Museum and managed to stay there until we were kicked out at the end of the business day. Y'see, to my aunt, museums are "serious business". :P
The shape and layout of the museum itself is kinda interesting. It seems to be still a work in progress though, since from the upper floors we could see they were still building something inside the museum that had already been completed on the first two floors or so. There was also a round exhibition hall on the other side of the building from the normal exhibition hall that we couldn't figure out how to get to until we eventually wandered into it by chance.
To start off, we spent about 1.5 hours in the largest exhibit, which was of the history of Beijing on floor 2. I kinda like the setup of the exhibit. The path proceeds from pre-historic times in chronological order all the way to the establishment of the PRC. Along one side of the path are the artifacts on display, of various stuff that have been excavated from around the Beijing area (or replicas and images thereof) of the time period in question. On the other side of the path are listed major events occurring in the rest of the world, including tibits of things related to China that were found or occurred in foreign lands. Occasionally on the artifacts side, there would be a small cranny where you would step in and see a life-size model or a brief movie of some particular time/place/event. Interspersed on the other side, were world maps denoting the major powers in the world during that century.
After that, we took a short lunch break, which just consisted of getting some drinks and cookies at a nearby cafe. We also stopped by the bookstore on the basement floor where the food was. My aunt/uncle bought a children's book version of Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the 36 Strategies for the twins. They were rather cheap, which kinda surprised me. (Of course, the museum admission, sans the special exhibits, was free - so I guess this museum is not looking to be a tourist trap but a serious learning establishment, I guess.
Then came the ceramics exhibit on the fourth floor, where we actually entered through the exit and made our way backwards through time through history. Of course, all the pretty stuff were nearer to the later time periods anyway, and I took some pics of the pretty pieces I saw.
Last on that floor (not counting the round hall we couldn't find the way into yet) was an exhibition about Buddhist statues, which we went through quickly. There were a few pieces there of two figures in...embrace/kissing positions, which made me wonder if they were about the tantric thing. >.>
Eventually, we found our way into the round exhibition hall. The first exhibit we saw there were of bronzes. Nothing too special there. After that, we saw the jades exhibit, which was cool. I tried to take better quality photos there since a lot of the pics I took of jades from the Shanghai museum all came out pretty blurry. It's rather hard to get good focus on the jades for photos since they reflect light so much, which messes with auto-focus.
We had to finish up the jade section because it was near closing time. As it was, we were only able to do a partial glimpse of the exhibition of writing utensils (文房四宝) before we were being shooed out by the museum staff.
We returned the same way we came to the museum - by navigating the subway metro system. It wasn't as hard as my aunt feared, and we were able to get everyone back to the correct exit without any problems. For dinner, the twins insisted on duck again. We tried our luck at the 前门东全聚德 restaurant, but unfortunately there was an hour's wait for service there. In the end, we went back to the other 全聚德 that we'd gone to previously and had peking duck there. The girls were happy and I am of course stuffed. :P
Tomorrow is our last tour day of Beijing before we return home!