China – Beijing, a walk back in History (8)

My last stopped in Beijing trip was to Tianjin. Tianjin is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is governed as one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the PRC, and is thus under direct administration of the central government.

Its name means ‘the place where the emperor crossed the river’ and it is the fourth largest in China, after Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

After lunch, we stopped at the Tianjin’s Shenyang Road Antique Market. With more than 400 merchants peddling their often fake but handsome wares, Shenyang Dao is the perfect place to pick up tasteful decorative items such as ceramics, furniture, clocks, watches, calligraphy materials, and handicrafts molded out of precious metals. For me, capturing the building and see the people there in action was my main goal.

Colourful old style shops.

20130618-205557.jpg

This merchant making decoration out of sweet candy.

20130618-205605.jpg

..this one, he was making dragons out from strings.

20130618-205613.jpg

Nice old bicycle on the walkway.

20130618-205620.jpg

Another shot.

20130618-205627.jpg

This shop was selling all the Chinese swords and daggers

20130618-205634.jpg

This alley filled with the small time merchants trying to sell their items and antiques.

20130618-205643.jpg

A shot of a row of motorbikes.

20130618-205650.jpg

My last shot in Tianjin….

20130618-205656.jpg

Hope you enjoyed a brief walk back in history of Beijing, China.

Advertisements

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (7) .. and also my 200th Posting in my blog since Nov 2012

The next morning in Chengde, Hebei and on the way back to Beijing. Beautiful view of the bare trees on the side of the road.

20130618-203204.jpg

Arriving back in the evening, we passed the modern part of Beijing; high rise offices and buildings.

20130618-203214.jpg

We could still see lots of people cycling on the inner roads specially built for the cyclist.

20130618-203222.jpg

…and the outer roads.. jam packed with cars and buses.

20130618-203230.jpg

Later we headed to Wangfujing, located in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is one of the Chinese capital’s most famous shopping streets. Majority of the main shopping area is pedestrianised and is very popular for shopping for both tourists and residents of the capital.

20130618-203239.jpg

Wangfujing Snack Street, located in hutongs just west of the main street, densely packed with restaurants and street food stalls. The food stalls serves a wide variety of common and exotic street food. Dare to try?

20130618-203245.jpg

20130618-203254.jpg

Follow me on my last posting on Beijing and see where the the last place I dropped by before heading back. 😊

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (5)

On my journey in Beijing continues. Heading to another city outside Beijing which is Chengde in the Hebei province.

Some snap shots to keep you busy before we head to Chengde.

20130617-063521.jpg

Cute little sign which I saw.
20130617-063530.jpg

First stop was Putuo Zongcheng Temple. The temple is a Qing Dynasty era Buddhist temple complex built between 1767 and 1771, during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735–1796). It is located near the Chengde Mountain Resort, which is south of the Putuo Zongcheng.

View of the Great Red Tower of tje Putuo Zongcheng Temple
20130617-063539.jpg

It is one of the Eight Outer Temples of Chengde. The temple was modeled after the Potala Palace of Tibet, the old sanctuary of the Dalai Lama and it represents a fusion of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. The temple complex covers a surface area of some 220,000 square metres, making it one of the largest in China. Many of its halls and pavilions are adorned with copper and gold tiled roofs, adding to the splendor of the site.
20130617-063547.jpg

The main hall of the temple, crowned with Chinese pavilions and centered around a hall with a golden rooftop
20130617-063555.jpg

Closer view of the Great Red Tower.
20130617-063604.jpg

Locals setting up stalls at the base of the temple selling souvenirs.
20130617-063612.jpg

Qianlong tablet pavilion which was located behind the front entrance.
20130617-063622.jpg

Can anyone guess where does this entrance to leads to?
20130617-063629.jpg

Enjoying the journey so far? If you do… dun stop! There are more to come. 😊

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (4)

After visiting the Great Wall, another place that we visited was the Beijing’s Hutong.

What are Hutongs? Actually they are a type of narrow streets or alleys; formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. The best way to get around and to see was on trishaw.

Just look the the row of trishaws waiting for customers or more like tourist like me….

.20130617-063218.jpg

20130617-063232.jpg

One of the residence in the Hutong area

20130617-063244.jpg

Yup… a row of trishaw bringing tourist around the Hutong area…. going through the small alleys passing along a river .

20130617-063256.jpg

What a sight!!

20130617-063313.jpg

Mini red fire engine that I saw in the Hutong area.

20130617-063323.jpg

More trishaws….

20130617-063333.jpg

Moving on… we stopped at southeastern corner tower of the city wall where it was built during the Ming & Qing Dynasty. What’s left was the remnants of the southern section of the Inner City wall near the Southeast Corner.

20130617-063343.jpg

20130617-063353.jpg

Stay tune for more……

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (3)

The next stop in Beijing was the Great Wall of China which is visible from space. Yup that big and long! The Great Wall started way back more than 2,000 years ago, and represents a main part of Chinese history.

Measuring about 8,851.8 km (5,500 miles) long, the Great Wall is no doubt the longest man made project on the earth. Like a giant dragon, the Great Wall meanders over deserts, grasslands, and mountains until finally arriving at its destination – Bohai Gulf. The great wall crosses over ten provinces and cities, including Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, and Liaoning.

In Beijing section alone, there are many section and the famous ones account for 9 of them. The one that I went was the Badaling Great Wall.

This is the beginning of the section in Badaling Great Wall. It was enlisted in the World Cultural Heritage Directory by UNESCO in 1988. It is situated in Yanqing County, over 70 kilometers north of Beijing. It is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty.
20130615-224918.jpg

Part of the Great Wall.
20130615-224944.jpg

Stall selling souvenir on the Great Wall. Aside from finding foreign tourists, you could also see lots of the local Chinese tourist from other province who visit the Great Wall.
20130615-224952.jpg

Look at how steep the steps are!!
20130615-224959.jpg

Below are few of the beautiful shots of the Great Wall with a beautiful background. Words are not able to describe the beauty of it.
20130615-225006.jpg

20130615-225015.jpg

20130615-225022.jpg

Another shot of the section of the entrance to get up onto the Great Wall.
20130615-225031.jpg

More stalls selling souvenirs at the bottom of the Great Wall.
20130615-225039.jpg

Like what you see? If you want more, then keep following me back into history in China. 😊

China – Beijing, a walk back in History (2)

Still inside the Beijing’s Forbidden City, let’s continued our journey.

Walking along the alley where the wall divides the Palace of Heavenly Purity and the Hall of the Mental Cultivation.

20130610-061432.jpg

This is the Hall of the Mental Cultivation
20130610-061440.jpg

Giant bronze cauldrons seen in a row. During then, it was filled with water; like the modern hydrant to deal with any fire risk.

20130610-061452.jpg

This is the Hall of Surpreme Harmony which is the largest hall in the Forbidden City.

20130610-061501.jpg

20130610-061510.jpg

Exiting myself at the Meridian Gate. At the exit, you can see the picture of Mao Zedong and a bridge which leads you to the Tiananmen Square – Gate of Heavenly Palace

20130610-061520.jpg

This is the Great Hall of the People. It is located at the western edge of Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is used for legislative and ceremonial activities by the PRC and the Communist Party of China. It functions as the meeting place of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese parliament.

20130610-061529.jpg

Me in the middle of Tiananmen Square overlooking the entrance of the Meridian Gate.

20130610-061538.jpg

This is the Monument to the People’s Heroes. It was erected as a national monument of the People’s Republic of China to the martyrs of revolutionary struggle during the 19th and 20th centuries.

20130610-061546.jpg

Want to know more on my journey here in Beijing? If yes, then follow me on my next post.

China – Beijing, a walk back into History (1)

Welcome back!! This is my 4th write up on China. This is on my visit to Beijing way back in Mar 2006.(You can read my earlier posting; Suzhou, Shenzhen and also to Shanghai)

In fact, this was actually my first visit to China; more than 7 years ago which was 2 years before the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. Yes… Beijing at that time was rushing to get ready for the games and the city was busy with construction everywhere and was messy.

When I touched down in Beijing, it was just right at the ending of winter and beginning of spring so the temperature was still a bit cold (eeer.. more like erratic. LOL!! The guide told us that it was due to the wind blowing the coldness from Siberia) To tell you the truth, I did not know what to expect as I only heard stories from friends and read about China from newspaper and books but not see it with my own eyes.

First glances was,… mmm how do you say it… it was dull colour and not so bright looking. Maybe it was due to the building colours unlike in other countries where it is more lighted up or modern or upbeat. Maybe could also due to the cloud and also the time (ending winter). =)

Anyway, this was my first impression as soon as we started going around Beijing city.

20130608-225637.jpg

Our first stop was at the Temple of Heaven or some people say it as the Altar of Heaven; is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would visit the complex for annually for ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

This is the entrance to the complex of Temple of Heaven which covers about 2.73km² of parkland. It comprises of three main group of construction; The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and The Circular Mound Altar.

20130608-225646.jpg

This is the Circular Mound Altar where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather.

20130608-225655.jpg

20130608-225702.jpg

… this is the Imperial Vault of Heaven which is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base. Surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances.

20130608-225710.jpg

Outside the ground of the temple, we walked passed some of the flats.

20130608-225721.jpg

20130608-225729.jpg

Where’s next destination in Beijing? Yup.. as you guessed it; The Forbidden City. It sits in the central Beijing facing Tiananmen Square and has been designated as a National Palace Museum and its counted as one of the world’s five Palaces (the Forbidden City in Beijing, the French Palace of Versailles, Buckingham Palace, the White House and Kremlin). The palace of the Forbidden City is China ‘s largest and most significant ancient architectural complex with a total area of over 720 thousand square meters.

We entered the city from the northern entrance; The Gate of Divine Might, and heads towards the southern gate; Meridian Gate.

20130608-225742.jpg

A brief summary of the history of the Palace Museum.

20130608-225750.jpg

More to come….

P.S I will not tell too much or bore you on the history as there is so much here in Beijing to tell or write and some are very interesting. I will just share the photos while you can enjoy the reading of the history at your own pace. =)