Monday, August 26, 2013

Beijing, China - the beginning of our 40 days in country #15

We arrived in Beijing on August 5 (sorry for the delay in posting, China blocks Google and a whole bunch of other sites).

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.

Locals knitting

Paul wandering among the locals

More locals playing Chinese chess 

Close up of Chinese chess

Making hard decisions

A cool looking door

Close up

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

Slinky shot

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.







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