China Journals

My Cultural Revolution

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A September 2004 trip to China by onesundaymorning

A suprise parade Photo, Shanghai, China More Photos
Quote: Touring Shanghai and Beijing.

Summer Palace

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Attraction | "The Summer Palace"

Summer Palace Photo, Chengde, China
Quote:
There are two Summer Palaces in Beijing, both were used during the Qing dynasty, but one was destroyed at the end of the Second Opium War, and the second was built as a replacement. As a fan of the author Anchee Min and with a growing interest in the Empress Dowager Cixi I have visited the compounds many times in my mind. I wont get into the arguments of the politics behind the building of the Summer Palace, but is is highly credited to Cixi. The rebuilding of the Palace emptied the remaining funds that China had, but was so beloved by the Empress that she ruled China from the Summer Palace for 20 years until her death. Cixi was originally a third ranked concubine who became a favorite of her hu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2008

Summer Palace
Kunming Lake
Haidian, Beijing, China
010-6288 1144

Great Wall of China

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Attraction | "The Great Wall"

Great Wall of China Photo, Shanghai, China
Quote:
If there is one journey to be made in a life time it should be to the Great Wall. Knowing the history of the wall itself is a must before ever even trying to climb it; actually this is essential before visiting any sight with in the Chinese boarders. The Great Wall isn't actually one wall, but more of various segments built by different dynasties. The wall can date back as early as seventh century BCE, and stretches over many thousand miles. It is believed that segments of the wall were built by agricultural towns to ward off nomadic tribes. Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Chinese Emperor, decided to link the walls to create a protective wall. Prior to the Ming dynasty the wall wasn't of much use, and wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 28, 2008

Great Wall of China
Badaling
Shanghai, China

Temple of Heaven

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Attraction

Temple of Heaven Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
I really wasn't sure what I was seeing at first. The itinerary said that the first stop of the day would be The Temple of Heaven. Our bus pulled up to the stop and we got out. A huge park greeted us with hundreds of people already there. However I soon learned that they weren't here to see the temple, they came to relax. Children played games with parents, some were people watching, while others were practicing music. I stopped to listen to a familiar tune. It took a few seconds, but I soon recognized it as the Chinese version of Jingle Bells that flowed into Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was shocking at first, but I had become use to seeing Christmas things everywhere in China, and it was ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 22, 2008

Temple of Heaven
Tian Tan North Rd.
Beijing, China 100050
+86 (0)10 6702 2242

Tiananmen Square

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Attraction

Tiananmen Square Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
It was built to be the largest public Square in the World. It was built in the 1950's in an area where nothing stood, but soon became a Communist icon. During the Cultural Revolution Red Guards would gather here to chant Mao's name. It stands across the street from the Forbidden City, and lays at the feet at the Gates of Heavenly Peace where scholars would at one time gather to await edicts passed down by the Emperor, but most recently where Chairman Mao stood and declared "China Stands".His picture still hangs here today. On the ride to Tian'anmen it was easy to see what was on all sixty of my fellow traveler's minds: communism and massacres. We were accompanied by five students from a lo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2008

Tiananmen Square
Chang An Avenue
Beijing, China 100006

Forbidden City

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Attraction

Quote:
The feeling walking into the Forbidden City was intense. I am an American, a Westerner walking the halls of what was once not only once forbidden for many of the Chinese People, but especially to foreigners. Although the area is now protected as a World Heritage Site and has been open to tourists for a better part of a century walking the paths that the empress Cixi (a personal fascination of mine) might have once waled herself as well as 24 other emperors sent chills down my spine. I entered the city via Tian' AnMen Square.Once beyond the gates my group broken up and was given headsets. Out of the corner of my eye a small crowd of people drew my attention. Curiosity took the b...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 5, 2008

Forbidden City
North Of Tiananmen Square Dong Cheng District
Beijing, China 100009
+86 (0)10 6512 2255

A Walking Tour of Shanghai

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Story/Tip

A suprise parade Photo, Shanghai, China
Quote:
Shanghai, where do I start. It's cities/countries like these that help me explain why I love photography, and on the same hand make me wish that I was better. Painting a picture of Shanghai, or China in general, takes more talent then I have.I didn't know what to expect when my ship began its path up the Yangtze River. It was dark, yet foggy and the air was thick. Barges sailed past me as I looked around for something to become excited about. As the morning progressed and I could see the buildings of People's Square emerge from the fog the sinking feeling my stomach began to lessen, until I heard someone shout "did you see the pig?" Apparently there was a very large, dead swine floating in the ...Read More

My Cultural Revolution

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Story/Tip

Food Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
My trip to Beijing was just to see the typical sights, although it would have been rewarding enough if this was all that I did. Once in the capital my group meet up with students from one the the Universities in Beijing. The college is one of the best in the country, pulling together some of the brightest minds. When our bus picked the group up at the airport was when I first met Ophelia and her friends. Ophelia was to be one of our student guides throughout our trip. The bus drove to our hotel where we were able to check in and then headed over to the campus. Here we were broken up into smaller groups to be taken on a tour of the campus.Their are times in everyone life when you get a cand...Read More