Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Beijing, Beijing, China

Apr 17, 2015 - Tiananmen Sq

17 April 15 Today was Tiananmen Sq. It’s simply massive and exceedingly crowded, because I am a foreigner with a grey beard I get photographed many times and I wonder what will happen to the pictures, Facebook is not available here so I will only get onto the Chinese version. The famous photo of the man in front of the tank is still a very sensitive issue and we were asked not to discuss it. One of our group had to stop a garbage truck in similar style and the Men in Black (with dark glasses to conceal their identity) who seemed to follow...

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Apr 16, 2015 - Bullet train to Beijing

As usual, we awoke in Xian to the lovely sound of recorded music being played on Shaanxi government square a few blocks away. It's a combination of delicate, Asian sounds alternating with rousing parade themes. It's played every day shortly after sunrise and again before sunset as a call to the area's senior citizens to come out and exercise. Bing picked us up at 8 am and we drove completely around the square, still full of people dancing in one area, doing arm and leg exercises in another, moving through tai chi poses in another, jabbing...

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Trip Journal

Northern China 2015

Apr 16, 2015 - "And the Temple Bells they call"

So before boarding our train we went off to visit the Goose Pagoda. While there I rang the Temple Bell 3 times, Chinese tradition says it brings good luck and I hope it works, I have a couple of friends who need some good luck. I did my best too, it would have been heard all over Xian. Then into a house to see how Chinese calligraphy works, it’s really simply when you get the jist of it. Each of the characters is a “schematic” of a scene, man or object, e.g. a square box with a dot in it is??? Guesses from the readers? Simple it’s a...

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Apr 13, 2015 - Shanghai

The Bund area of Shanghai or embankment, was initially a British settlement, which reflects a lot of the styles of buildings. Later the Americans arrived followed by other countries to make Shanghai an International settlement. The Bund is a mile long on the bank of the Huangpu River and has 52 buildings of various western classical styles, the tunnel, a recent addition under the river has an amazing array of lights and effects. Shanghai is the country's largest city and is a global financial center with the worlds busiest container port,...

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Apr 12, 2015 - Three Gorges Dam

The final part of the Yangtze river cruise, travelling through the lock system to get to the lower level of the river system. Both the lock system and the hydroelectric plant a fantastic engineering feat, the technology coming from all over the world including Germany and the USA. After docking at Yichang we had a short tour around the city which was very much old China who relied heavily on their tea production for jobs. Tea in China is a very special tradition that the Chinese take very seriously, not just a drink almost a religion. A...

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Apr 9, 2015 - Xian the city

The ancient city of Xian was the old capital of China and now has a population of 35 million. The wall round the old city is 13.75 km and is perfectly preserved. In the middle of the old city stands the Great Mosque, the oldest and biggest Islamic mosque in China. A visit to the local market and 'knock off street' where you could buy fake everythings rounded off the morning. A flight to Chongqing and the Yangtze river was the next stop.

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Apr 9, 2015 - Yangtze River Cruise

The Yangtze river is the longest in Asia just under 4,000 miles. When the Three Gorges hydroelectric plant was built the Yangze had to be raised to a level of 91 metres above it's natural level. The problems this created were Imense, apart from environmental issues 1.3 million people in 13 cities,140 towns and 1350 villages had to be rehoused. Cruising down the Yangtze today you would never know anything had changed such was the depth of the river canyon and the scenery was still stunning.

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Apr 9, 2015 - Chongqing

A short flight fom Xian finds us in Chongqing were we would join the MV Victoria river boat for the three day cruise down the River Yangtze. Before joining the boat we visited some of the old town of this riverside city, the photographs are all of this part of the city.

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Apr 7, 2015 - Xian Terracotta Army

After a 5 hour journey through the countryside we arrived at Xian. What was expected to be the highlight of the tour did not let us down, three huge hanger type buildings housing thousands of Terracotta figures. Discovered in 1974 by farmers drilling fo water, the first excavation was opened in 1979 and to this day new figures are still being found. In 210 BC the first emperor of China Qui Shi huang decided to build the warriors to protect him in the afterlife. By the time he passed away there were 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses...

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Apr 4, 2015 - Beijing

Arrived in Beijing to a nice spring morning and no pollution in the air, first impressions were good. Beijing has a population of 27 million, a fraction of the 1.3 billion total population. There are 5 million cars within the greater Beijing area which has become a huge problem. A person cannot go out and a buy a car, first you have to purchase a license plate, you then go on a waiting list. There is a lottery every year and if your license plate number comes up you can purchase a car. The first of our very busy days was a visit to...

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Mar 26, 2015 - Yes, Verne There are Birds in China

We drove for an hour and a half to the Mutianyu section of the great wall. On the way we saw many intersting road signs on the expressway with cute little photos. Verne took photos. We got to see some nice countryside. Very clean. We drove passed 2 waterfalls that were frozen. The sky here is still hazy with pollution. Bathroom stop. Out of 18 stalls, 2 were marked as potty toilets, the others were marked as squat toilets! We took a shuttle bus to get to the cable car. Verne's memory of visiting this area was that you could drive to the...

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Mar 25, 2015 - The BeijingExperience

This is the first morning that we were not awake when we received our wakeup call! We left for Tiananmen Square. There is military standing guard by the National flag, it is raised every morning at sunrise and lowered at sunset and then the square is closed. It is also gated all the way around. It has been this way since 1998 when a 13 year old girl set fire to herself. Apparently she was a follower of an illegal religion They do not believe in medical care. Kevin informed us that when you enter the square your cell phone loses service for...

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