Dongcheng District in Beijing – My Home For Three Years
Between 2011 and 2014 I lived in Dongcheng District 东城区whilst working at the Australian Embassy in Beijing. So I thought I would post some photos I had taken during the different seasons over those three years and in particular for my dad who, unfortunately never made it to China and would love to see where I lived.
I lived in a fabulous building about a four minute walk from the embassy and every morning I would walk over a lovely stone bridge to get to work; regularly seeing lao Beijingren (elderly Chinese) performing their morning stretching.
I had all different sorts of views from my lounge room windows which included local buildings, a canal and a children’s play area as well as the lovely garden and BBQ area for use by the occupants of the building. As you can see the views were different in summer and winter especially after a snow fall.
The canal was especially pretty to walk along in summer as there was always the local Chinese men fishing and walking their dogs as well as swinging small birds in their bamboo cages.
Dongcheng covers the eastern half of Beijing’s core. It’s about forty km2 and subdivided into seventeen sub-districts which includes all the old city inside the 2nd Ring Road. There are currently six Ring Roads in Beijing with the 6th being an expressway which runs around the city and approximately 220 kilometres long.
Dongcheng includes many cultural attractions including Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven amongst many others. But what I really loved about living in Dongcheng is that one minute you are walking in a concrete jungle and next you are looking at beautiful old buildings, trees and ponds.
There were also the many stray cats I fed over my time and many bicycles parked on the side of the pathway, whilst their owners popped into local restaurants for a quick meal.
And at night the sights are very different to those seen during the day.
And of course if you don’t want to walk or cycle you can always take one of the little silver carts that are available around the district…they are not supposed to go onto the main roads but do or usually take the back streets…always good to set your price before you get in otherwise the drivers usually charge way too much (I know this from experience but did need to get home one night so I guess 50 RMB [around $10 AUD] was worth it).
So, this was where I lived for three years and really loved it in all seasons [although my least favourite season is summer – it’s just too hot]. I much prefer the cooler seasons!