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.
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Part of the Great Wall.
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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.
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Look at how steep the steps are!!
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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.
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Another shot of the section of the entrance to get up onto the Great Wall.
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More stalls selling souvenirs at the bottom of the Great Wall.
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Like what you see? If you want more, then keep following me back into history in China. 😊

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.

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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.

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

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… 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.

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

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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.

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A brief summary of the history of the Palace Museum.

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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. =)

China – Shanghai with a View (2)

Continuation on my trip to Shanghai. I was there for a business trip and  I managed to stay over the weekend and to go around some interesting places.

Saw this vending machine in one of the Shanghai Metro station; selling which I believe food vouchers. Catching a metro in  Shanghai is easy once you get the hang of it.

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Heading to Shanghai Old Street….but it looks like no old street with the high rise apartments in the background.

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Vendor selling all sorts of Chinese calligraphy brushes and souvenirs.

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… moving along, I was heading to Shanghai Old City. This is an interesting place as it was literally packed with tourist but is rather touristy area but undeniably picturesque with old buildings that caught my eyes.

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Connected to the Old City, is the Yuyuan Garden (Happy Garden) which was believed to be built in the Ming Dynasty, around 400 years ago.

A pond filled with Japanese Carp…

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Yuyuan Garden which was just next to the Shanghai Old city.

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More to come. …..