Beijing Travel Diary Pt. 4: Great Wall,Yuanmingyuan, Temple of Heaven, etc.

Here is the last post which covers all the remaining recommended Beijing tourist attractions! In addition to the Great Wall, Yuanmingyuan Park (Old Summer Palace), Tiantan (Temple of Heaven), and Qianmen, I also visited the Bell & Drum Tower, Hutongs, Ming tombs, and shopped at Wufujing, but I won’t be focusing on those activities.
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Yuanmingyuan Park is the old summer palace which was mostly destroyed during the Anglo-French allied forces attack in 1860. The park can be split into 3 different regions – Yuanmingyuan, Wanchunyuan, and Changchunyuan gardens. Sitting by the lake in Yuanmingyuan is so peaceful and highly recommended if you have ample time on your hands.
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You can see ruins here (not pictured) and lots of lotus flowers, which can be seen in the Changchunyuan garden.
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The Great Wall @ Badaling
Getting to the Great Wall is honestly a struggle but a must when visiting Beijing. The best way to get there is by joining a 1-day tour, because the Great Wall is located ~1.5-2 hours away from central Beijing. I heard tourists must be wary of taxis since they often unethically drop people off mid-drive to the location.
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We were dropped off near the Great Wall Museum (which is free btw), and rode a cable car to watchtower 8 ’North 8th Tower’, the highest point on the wall. Badaling is the most well-maintained region of the Great Wall, but is also very crowded. Still worth a visit, since this area contains thousands of years of history.
Tiantan (Temple of Heaven)
Tiantan is an imperial sacrificial altar where Chinese royalty worshipped their deities. Here is the ‘Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.’ Chinese royal architecture was very intentional; 4 pillars symbolizing the four seasons, 12 pillars equating to 12 months, the other 12 pillars symbolizing 12 hours 2x a day for a total of 28 pillars. In addition to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, there’s also the ‘Imperial Vault of Heaven’ and ‘Circular Mound Altar,’ which are other important structures located in Tiantan.
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Qianmen translates to front gate, and it is very centrally located near Tiananmen and famous shopping areas.
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Until next time,
Amanda

Subtle Stripes

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Tee-shirt dress (Macy’s), Sandals (Macy’s), Hat (Cotton-on), Cross-body (gift)

Hey everyone!

This week’s outfit features my black hat and striped tee dress, which I initially thought was a nightgown (it is definitely comfortable enough to sleep in though!). I paired these basics with my strappy sandals and threw on a cross-body to hold my valuables. Tee-shirt dresses are an essential for comfortableness and style (also for those who are too lazy to think of a top and bottom to wear – aka me). On another note, this week’s photos are courtesy of my good friend Liz, who spotted this background in the middle of a busy farmer’s market in Little Italy, San Diego. Would love if ya’ll have any other farmer’s market recommendations around that area. Have a fantastic week!

Cheers,

Tiffany 

NYC Diary: Part I

I finally pulled the trigger and bought tickets to NYC a couple weeks ago. Although I embarked on weekend-long trips to Dallas and Carmel Beach this summer, I didn’t have a long trip planned and was definitely feeling the travel bug. During my first day in the city, I kayaked along the Hudson River, strolled around Central Park, visited the World Trade Center, bought groceries in Little Italy and Chinatown, and of course stopped by Times Square. Stay tuned for my second segment of my NYC diary.

Times SquareIMG_9171Central ParkIMG_9225Central Park: Bethesda Terrace IMG_9179IMG_9214World Trade Center PATH station IMG_9383World Trade CenterIMG_9356Pho at ChinatownIMG_9386Little Italy IMG_9389Kayaking on the Hudson RiverIMG_9311View of One World Trade Center from the kayak IMG_2961Sunset viewing at the hotel rooftop IMG_9402IMG_9427Thanks for visiting!

Hidden San Francisco Gems: Fort Point and Lovers Lane

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Hey all! 

For this week’s post, I wanted to showcase Fort Point and Lovers Lane, two essential yet hidden gems all visitors should see when in San Francisco. Located in the Presidio, these two places have roots dating back to the civil war. Fort Point was built during the mid 19th century as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay; this is the only fortification of the impressive antique military architecture known as “Third System” constructed west of the Mississippi River. More information about its rich history can be found here

Lover’s Lane is a hidden forest-y one mile trail that passes through a creek and enlisted men’s and officer’s houses during the 1930s. I find the story behind the name of this trail especially adoring, as U.S. soldiers used Lovers Lane to access the trolley line to visit their lovers and family in San Francisco during the late 1800s. More information about Lover’s Lane can be accessed here.

If you’re still reading this, thanks for getting through my history spiel! Fort Point and Lovers Lane are two of many reasons of why I love living in San Francisco; I enjoy learning about the histories of local attractions and landmarks. I hope ya’ll are having a fantastic Wednesday, thanks so much for visiting! 

Cheers,

Tiffany

 

5 Things: Summer Checklist

Every year, I have a mental checklist of adventures and goals I want to accomplish before the end of summer. Among the items on this list always include good eats, sunsets, rooftop views, and tons of exploration. Below are some of the things that I have done so far this summer season. I encourage everyone to have an ongoing bucket list as well! Thanks for visiting.

Drinks and fruits near the poolside IMG_0941Exploring DTLA from above IMG_1279Kebabs and Wraps IMG_8227The Commissionary – getting work done at coffee shopsIMG_1117Sunset-watching on the roofIMG_1266

Versatile Paisley Blouse

IMG_5655IMG_5659IMG_5656blouse (Ross), jeans (American Eagle), hat(Ashley-Forever 21)

Hi all!

Paisley prints have been popular recently, and I wanted to post an additional outfit featuring this paisley blouse I recently bought. To add a pop of color, I’m wearing my friend Ashley’s burgundy hat and finished off the outfit with black jeans and my typical black boots. I hope you all are having a fantastic week, thanks for visiting!

— Tiffany

Beach Cover-Up

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French Connection flip-flops, Koali sunglasses, ASOS watch, American Eagle overalls, F21 swimsuit, hat from a SF boutique

Although summer is coming to an end, there are still a few more weeks of sweltering heat in September. Which means…. more visits to the neighborhood pool and beach. For this week’s post, I decided to feature my favorite overalls, which I used as a beach cover-up on my trip to Hawaii this past week. I have yet to curate through my stream of photos so stay tuned for more posts featuring Oahu’s beautiful landscape and golden hours! Mahalo.

-Amanda

Guest Blogger #3 Part 1: Leanna ft. Sundress

img_0099-1img_00701 Sunglasses: forever 21, Backpack: (China), Dress: H&M, Necklace: forever 21, Shoes: Birkenstock

Hey everyone! This week I’d like to feature my good friend Leanna! With summer well underway, Leanna decided to feature a go-to and comfortable outfit for warm and sunny days. Her style reflects her optimism and down to earth personality; keep reading for her description and keep your eyes peeled for her second outfit!  — Tiffany ______________________________________________________________________ “Summer means shorts, crop tops, and dress weather! My personal favorites are dresses because they’re no fuss and you don’t have to match a top or bottom, plus they’re airy and light enough for the hot, sticky weather. I paired a cute floral dress with my white Birkenstocks for a day at the Cal State Fair. To hold everything I brought to the fair, I carried a small orange backpack. And of course, you can’t forget sunglasses! Thanks for checking in and I hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather this week!”

Inspiration

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If you have been following Flying Neon Lights for a while, you can observe that Tiffany and I spend a good portion of our time at the beach. The ocean breeze, rolling waves, and breath-taking sunsets constantly leave us inspired and motivated to take on the day. Instead of a usual photo of our home base, Ocean Beach in San Francisco, I am posting an image of sunset at Ocean Park in Santa Monica. Thanks for visiting and hope you are enjoying your weekend! -Amanda

California State Fair

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Hey all!

Over the weekend, I attended the California State Fair with my friend Leanna (future guest blogger!). This was my first time attending the fair, and I have to say that it surpassed all my expectations. Despite the sweltering hot weather (over 100 degrees!), hoards of people, and the hours of traffic that we faced to arrive at Sacramento, it was an fair worth experiencing! There was even a fireworks show at night which was breathtaking, and if any of ya’ll go, I would recommend going on a weekday and in the evening to avoid the people and heat. The fair runs for around two weeks each summer, hope you can make it! Thanks for visiting, and have a fantastic week 🙂

— Tiffany