|There are a lot of people in China
|Our taxi had the door taped up...I don't think it was very safe
|Paul didn't mind because he fell asleep
|Our hotel was near the Beijing Railway Station
The next day, we had the privilege of starting our 3-day tour with Vivie Pan, a terrific tour guide I found on Viator. Our first stop was the Temple of Heaven.
|The locals are only at this public park in the morning to do their exercise - by the afternoon, they are gone.
|Paul wandering among the locals
|More locals playing Chinese chess
|Close up of Chinese chess
|Making hard decisions
|A cool looking door
|The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest
|Me and Mr. Peanut
|As Sloth would say..."Ehcho"
|We didn't test the echo wall since there were 10 million tourists with us (you can't really tell in this photo though)
|Walking towards the Circular Mound Altar constructed in 1530 during the Ming Dynasty
|Everyone wants to get a little closer to heaven
|Central Supreme Stone - love the socks
|A really old Juniper tree
Our next stop was Tian'anmen Square.
|I thought there were a lot of people at the Temple of Heaven. I was wrong.
|A lot more people here
|I tried to capture the panoramic view
|Behind us is the front entrance to the Forbidden City
|There are a ton of cameras everywhere...watching
After lunch, we headed to The Forbidden City.
|We spotted a family who were all matching at the East entrance
|One of the many doors
|You can kind of see the 5 marble bridges which symbolize the 5 cardinal virtues of Confucianism
|Here's a closer shot - looking towards the Gate of Supreme Harmony
|And of us in front of one of the bridges
|Crossing one of the bridges
|Looking back towards the entrance we came from
|Gate of Supreme Harmony was used for banquets during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912)
|Roof guardians are supposed to protect the building from fire
|Hall of Supreme Harmony is in the middle
|Always an odd number of roof guardians - the total number was dictated by status
|Another door - this one (as my cousin Amy pointed out) - has a weird sad face
|Looking inside the Empress' bedroom
|I like this door
We also went across the street to BeiHai Park.
|BeiHai Park - an imperial garden just Northwest of the Forbidden City
|Pretty willow trees
|The White Pagoda (Bai Ta) is a 40m stupa
|9 dragon screen/wall built in 1402 - one of the three in China
|Maybe where dragon ball Z comes from?
Our last activity of the day was to watch the Chaoyang Acrobatics Show. It was pretty awesome.