China 2007

Beijing

HomeFamily photosFamily videosJake's webResources 

3 April 2007

Beijing - Forbidden City

We spent the day exploring the Forbidden City.  Wow!  I don't how this is possible, but everything from an archeological stand point seems to be getting better by the day.  It is quite possible that we have topped out with the Forbidden City though.  It was huge, with courtyard after courtyard, garden after garden, and museum after museum appearing around every bend.  The sheer size and opulence of the place was overwhelming.  Inlayed wood and jewels covered many walls, pottery and bronze pieces dating back to 1800 B.C., and unbelievable gold with pearl, precious stone and porcelain pieces.  We spent six hours walking around, and I'd say we saw about half of it.

We exited the Forbidden City by way of Tianamen Square, which was filled with people.  I know Tianamen as that site of the communist government crack down (a.k.a. slaughter) of pro-democracy students in 1989, and also as the military parade ground for the Red army.  On a more positive note, it is the largest public square in the world, and even with a large police presence to crack down on would be Falun Gong members, it is an awe inspiring public gathering place.

We also saw blue sky today for the first time since we arrived in China!  It was so nice to enjoy clean air on a sunny day!  Obviously Beijing is gearing up for the Olympics, and claen air is a part of the preparation.  Maybe they have installed coal burning power plant scrubbers here . . . now if they could do the same in the other 99% of the country.

Here are a couple short videos

Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge

Forbidden City wall

Jake and Dad in front of the Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Forbidden City sculpture

Forbidden City roof lines

Dad in the Forbidden City

Forbidden City door ways

Forbidden City

Jake in the Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Girls in traditional dress

Forbidden City sculpture

Forbidden City

Jake eating lunch

Dad and Jake in the Forbidden City

Gold, pearl and jewel cup

Crown

Carved out of one peice of bamboo

Rino horn carving

Carved out of one peice of crystal (rock)

Rino horn carving

Globe made of gold and pearls

Sweeper

Soldiers

Dad in Tianamen Square

Tianamen Square

Tianamen Square

Jake and dad in Tianamen Square

Jake improving Ango-Sino relations

 

 

 

4 April 2007

Beijing - Summer Palace

Visited the Summer Palace today.  We took the subway and bus out for a different type of experience.  One thing that I noticed, and thought was a great idea, was countdown clocks on the stop lights.  The clock counted down time left on both a green and red lights.   It took all of the guess work out of whether to 'gun it' or 'step on the breaks'.

My dad and I caught people taking photos of us several times today.  The more adventurous Chinese tourists would ask us to have their photos taken with them.  It sort of gave us the feeling of being rock stars, which was fun.  They seem as curious of us as we are of them.

The Summer Palace itself wasn't as opulent as the Forbidden City, but what it lacked in size and antiquity craftsmanship (let's not forget that that it was razed during the Boxer Rebellion - in part by us) it made up for in natural serenity.   The main building sat an a hill overlooking a lake, all of which were made by a massive labor force.  When one reads that hundreds of thousands of workers were involved with not only the Summer Palace, but the other sites we have seen as well, the absolute power that the Emperors wielded becomes startlingly apparent.  It is amazing to think that one person could have direct control of so many people.

-----

One of the more disgusting Chinese habits is all of the phlegm and mucus related noises.  Sixty seconds in public scarcely goes by without someone loudly clearing their nose and throat with a wet gurgling snort followed by and equally wet gurgling "hocking" of the throat.  It's revolting.  Men and women alike let fly with these noises with no embarrassment what so ever.  It remind me of learning how to spit a "loogie" on the baseball field in grade school, but instead of eight other ten year old boys on a 'field of dreams', I'm surrounded by the 13.8 million people of Beijing.  Snort, hawk, spit.  Disgusting!

Here are a couple short videos

Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge

Beijing subway

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Summer Palace detail

Dad at the Summer Palace

Dad and Jake at the Summer Palace

Dad and Jake at the Summer Palace

Dad and Jake at the Summer Palace

Jake at the Summer Palace

Marble boat at the Summer Palace

 

 

5 April 2007

Beijing - Ming Tombs and the Great Wall

Here are a couple short videos

Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge

Great Wall

Great Wall

Dad and Jake

Great Wall

Great Wall

Great Wall

Great Wall

Great Wall

Great Wall

Great Wall

Dad at the Great Wall

Jake at the Great Wall

Jake with a "fox" . . . meow

Bear

Camel

 

 

 

6 April 2007

Beijing - Bicycle tour of the city

Here are a couple short videos

Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge

Jake on a bike ride

Biker

Biker

Delivery drivers

Delivery driver

Hand cart

Motorcycle

Dancers ar a park

Dancers at a park

Group Tai Chi

Jake playing kick the birdie at the park

Kite

Chinese flag

Forbidden City view

Forbidden City view

City view

City view

Dad

Street scene

Street scene

Street scene

Street scene

Hand milling wood

Hand milling wood

Wangfujing market

Dad on the Wangfujing rickshaw sculpture

Jake on the Wangfujing rickshaw sculpture

Donghuamam night food market

Sea urchin - Donghuamam night food market

Skewered seahorses - Donghuamam night food market

Skewered kidneys - Donghuamam night food market

Skewered larva - Donghuamam night food market

Skewered scorpions and grasshoppers - Donghuamam night food market

Skewered octopi - Donghuamam night food market

Skewered snakes - Donghuamam night food market

 

 

Links to other reports from this trip

 

Hong Kong      Shanghai 1      Xian      Pingyao      Shanghai 2

 

Travel links

Trips from the last two years    Interactive travel map

 


This web site is best viewed using Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher.

SEARCH

RSS feed

WHAT IS RSS?

ACTIVE X QUESTIONS?