Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I retired and moved back to the USA December 2015.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories for the last 8 years in Hong Kong, this time around. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015


TUES NOV 24th - SAT. Nov 28th 

-1 = 30 degrees
-6 = 21 degrees
-10 = 14 degrees
-16= 3 degrees

who's idea was this!
dress warm at night!

Day #1 TUESDAY November 24thDay #1 TUESDAY November 24th 
Flight 8am - 11:15   
  • Taxi to the hotel
  • Raffles : $190 complete - very good location to Forbidden City  
  • Leave the luggage and off to:
  • Forbidden City - 3 hours (about 1:30 - 4:30).  We got there very late - like 3:30 and they close at 5:00.  It was so cold I had to run into gift shops to warm up.  We didn't get to meander the way would have liked.  There is a long line at the front gate with no signage.  We just got in assuming it was part of the entrance and herded ourselves to the front - finding it was the security check point.  The ticket office is later - far into the front gates on the left. Have your passport!
  • had free cocktail hour on executive floor with staff - they were empty due to the weather and time of year- so they delightfully upgraded us. The hotel has old style rooms but very spacious.  It's a part of history. 
  • They also allowed us to have a light buffet for dinner @ the executive lounge.  Too cold to go out and drive for Peking Duck that they recommended.  
  • Store: Pop Up Beijing - interesting spot if you're near it. 
  • Another option to see is Houhai Lake. 16 minute / 7 km from hotel - we’ve seen it before. 
  • A must see is the Hutongs and take a rickshaw ride thru the area.  We have done it before.  It is located by the Lake. 


It was so difficult to take photos - which meant taking your hands out of your gloves and your pockets.  We have down jackets under our down jackets with wool or cashmere sweaters over our long sleeve shirts and cashmere scarfs. And we're still cold! Of course, this is not the norm for Bejieng- the wrong weekend to accomplish my bucket list before leaving China after 20 years. 

DAY #2 WEDNESDAY  November 25th

Raffles to 798 Art Zone 16 km - 45 minutes

798 Art Zone to Antique Market - 10 km, 30 minutes

Antique Market to Aman Resort - 13 km, 30 minutes

Panjiayuan Antique Market


  • Breakfast
  • walked over to Tomb for viewing and back to Raffles - interesting but takes time for only a very brief moments of viewing Mao's tomb as you shuffle by.  On a normal day this would take a long time with lines.  We didn't have any. 
  • Pick up at 12:00 at Raffles check out w/ luggage
  • Drive to 798 Art Zone  12:- 3:30 includes lunch.  We could have taken much more time here - it's huge. But again it was freezing and the winds were horrendous.  
  • Did not do Panjiayuan Antique Market - too cold and not all open during the week.  Best to view on the weekend.   
  • Instead drove to National Olympic Stadium "Bird's nest" for photos only - so cold!!!!!
  • Then drove to Aman Summer Palace Hotel arrived just before 4:30pm.  The rooms were lovely and the concept of living on the palace grounds was unique.  There is a backdoor at the hotel that leads to the palace - so you don't have to go thru the public gates and wait in line. 
  • $700 rmb driver
  • not much on drinks and bar - had dinner/ Peking Duck

Day #3 THURSDAY November 26

Summer Palace to Ming Tombs 42 km, 1 hour

Ming Tomb to Mutianyu Area 44km, 1.5 hr 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Walk the Summer Palace Lake  8am - 9:00
  • returned for breakfast to warm up and back out to the rest of the grounds. The sun came out and beautiful skies.  It actually became comfortable. 
  • Driver picked us up at noon. 
  • Drive to Ming Tombs. 12 - 1:00pm
  • Ming Tombs 1:00 - 3:00 - again - statues were interesting - a pretty walk, but the tomb is a separate location and not interesting.  
  • Drive to Mutianyu - drop off at Brickyard Resort  4:30  
  • Driver all day $ 800 
  • Brickyard Thanksgiving dinner starts at 5 - 8:30  388 RMB  each

Summer Palace 

Ming Tombs

Brickyard Resort

Day #4 FRIDAY November 27

  • Breakfast
  • Had the hotel drive us to gates about 11:00
  • park fee: 45 rmb
  • hours for wall November 15 to next March 15: 07:30 - 17:00
  • Gondola up the mountain  80 rmb
  • Explore the Great Wall
  • Because of the winds - we had blue skies.  It's colder at the bottom and warmer as you climb.
  • Toboggan down the mountain.  80 rmb- many friends that have done it - it was closed because it was too cold. 
  • had a late lunch at the School House.  Had the Hotel pick us up and take back. 
  • Another night at the Brickyard with a light dinner by the fireplace. 
  • The rooms are lovely and so is the hotel. 

Day #5 Saturday November 28
Mutianyu to Airport 52 km - 1:45 minutes
  • Breakfast
  • depart hotel  8:30am
  • the pollution was back - we could hardly see anything. The next day it was the highest on record. 
  • 12:30 flight to Hong Kong
  • car booked with Brickyard
  • back in HK 4:10 pm
Driver:  nice man - very quiet but dependable. 
Eric Wang
Phone: 0086 18611633263
wechat/whatsapp: 0086 18611633263

FEES us dollars:
Air    $482
Raffles $190
Aman : $407
Brickyard  $545 (includes car to airport)
Private Van 2 days: $236
Taxi from airport: 78
Summer Palace and Ming Tomb $20
All of Great Wall fee  $12
Cable Car: $12
Toboggan : $12
Forbidden City: $19
Total $2013
EACH $1006


Mutianu Great Wall:  Mutianyu section is recommended for visitors looking for a casual way to experience the Great Wall.It is a masterpiece of restoration, with 23 original-style watchtowers and is the longest fully-restored Great Wall section open to tourists

Friday, October 30, 2015




Should be finished and ready to ship in a few days.
The factory is loaded with work - 3 times what we saw when we were there!  Do not rush or mistakes happen.  You will be very happy with your piece. 

Before the hardware:

Needs to be polished yet. 

A hint of the raw wood peeking at the edges.  Very nice. 

Other items he is painting white. 



The request was for a White lacquer Chinese Cabinet with silver hardware.  After we left we found out that the government has stopped silver plating because it's not environment friendly.  So Brass hardware must be used.  
Brass can come in many forms and designs.  
* Bright
* Blackened
* Ornate Design
* Adding handles plates
* Solid painted or slightly distressed

 Very ornate disc and handles - shiny brass with blackened etched. 

Gold is back in fashion!  Silver is a modern look but gold is picking up the popularity in the 'today's' look. 
Add a gold garden stool to the mix.

note the gold tone in the vase. 

Blackened Brass 

A white Chinese lacquer wedding cabinet decorated with gold butterflies

The disc is plain and the handles are filigree - not just etched.  I like this combo


8 drawer cabinet

Need a light gray like the door 

Raw wood is still in fashion.  Distress the sides to show the raw wood.  If you want it looking less "Chinese" do not use the Characters. 
No antiquing. 
This gray has a green tint.....

Hardware has to be brass - not silver 
this gray has a blue tint.....

Blackened brass with distressed edges showing light wood underneath.

 Light gray with blackened hardware and distressed edges.  

Other items we saw:

I reserved - but they were sold..... boo hoo


This alter table from 1790 a.d. - I will strip and bleach the top and take about 20" off the legs to show more of the lighter wood. Then sand more off the shutters too to match. 
I canceled the trunk - too dark and orange in color and too many flaws showing after it was stripped.  The leather trunk was dark brown originally and didn't see them.  Maybe if she has 2 trunks to stack will work instead. 

The bench will be sanded down some more and then I'll add 2" foam and fabric with nail heads.  (that I have to do myself). 

This cabinet has been sanded down and then bleach added - and sanded some more.