about We are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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arts and crafts
in beijing


Bridge over Summer Palace

I've told you how much I love the colors in Beijing , right?  The things here speak to me in bad, bad ways, calling to me, and enticing me to buy stuff that I don't need.

Panjiayuan Market Panjiayuan Market
Panjiayuan Market Panjiayuan Market
Panjiayuan Market

I don't have space in my backpack to fit masks, paintings, and silver and beaded necklaces.  But, I am so tempted, here.

Boots at Panjiayuan Market

Panjiayuan Market

These shoes, for example.  I am never going to have a reason to wear Mongolian riding boots in the coming years.  Heck, I've been to inner Mongolia and I'm not sure that they use riding boots like these.  Still, just look at that gorgeous hot pink embroidery on the feet.  I mean, aren't these the sort of shoes that you adjust your wardrobe around?  (Honestly, somebody help me out on that one because I am currently living my life in Birkenstocks and hiking shoes .)

Leather puppets Panjiayuan market
Leather puppets and Obamao T-shirt

And, then, there are things that aren't all that attractive but I just want to buy because where else in the world  am I going to find a t-shirt of Obama in a Mao outfit with Obamao written by a person who never learned capitalization?  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I tell myself, before I sternly haul myself away from the vendors who look at me expectantly.

Summer Palace Summer Palace

Summer Palace artwork

Happily, there are places in Beijing where I can enjoy the arts and crafts without feeling inclined to open my purse.

Yellow boat Summer Palace
Boat at Summer Palace Summer Palace

Floating through the river in the Summer Palace

The Summer Palace, for example, is a beautiful, restful site located just outside Beijing.


Gate at Summer Palace

Blues and golds gleam and I want to wrap myself in all that color until I can ward off the gloomy clouds and bursts of smog that perpetually hover over the city.  After nine days here, we are still amazed, and overwhelmed by the craziness, diversity, and beauty of Beijing.  We could spend months . . . or maybe even years . . . and not see everything.  But, it's time to move on.  We are off to find the next place in China that will tantalize and mesmerize us.