These are my pictures of Beijing, China

First stop: The Forbidden City

The first view of the Forbidden City
This is the entrance to the forbidden city
The fountains moved with the music Las Vegas style
and there are hundreds of various colored roses lined up
Stone totem pole wearing a hat? No idea at all!



Entrance to the Forbidden City
The Royal Palace in Beijing is also known as the forbidden city
This palace has been the home of the Kings of China for centuries
Ordinary citizens were forbidden to enter, thus the common name



the first court yard as you enter the Forbidden City
The palace is laid out in a series of gates and courtyards
This is the second gate and courtyard
The courtyards have matching buildings on both sides,
but the scale is too big to fit into one picture



One of the many bronze statues inside the forbidden city
There are many fierce mythical stone and brass sculptures in China
There are tigers, lions, bears, dogs and dragons
They stand guard at the entrances to important places
I love this one, wearing armor and with fingernails like talons
he is entertained by an attack from his young child



the second courtyard of the Forbidden City
The third gate brings you to this massive courtyard
It looked big enough for about 100 football fields
The forbidden city has a total of 980 rooms



the last courtyard of the Forbidden City
This is where the King parked his royal rear
when he presided over matters of state



the last courtyard of the Forbidden City
This is the last big courtyard
The brick work in the courtyard looks worn and rough,
but it is not that bad considering it is a 600+ year old courtyard



walkway separating the Royal Residence from the rest of the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace was made into two completely separate walled in sections
The section that was the Kings residence occupied about one third of the palace
the other two thirds was used by guards, ministers and state officials
This single walkway runs the length of the palace and divides the two sections
It would probably take me 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other



Second stop: The Great Wall


The Great Wall is only an hour away from Beijing by bus or train
Bring comfortable shoes and bring some water to drink along the way
and be prepared for a good hike, some parts are very steep




There are restaurants and souvenir stores at the bus stop and train station
The price of a tee shirt was $10 at one store and $1.50 for the same one at another
Check a lot of prices before you buy anything and bargain to get a better deal




If you don't want to hike all the way to the top, there are alternatives
There is a cable car that goes from the train station to the top of the wall




Or, you can take a ride on what they call a Slider Car
The cars attach to a chain and are pulled up the mountain
To get down, the cars are attached together like train cars
and an attendant in the first car rides the brakes as you go down




Here are some tourists we met along the way
This man was visiting China from Kazahkstan



Third stop: 2010 Beijing Olympic Park

Birds Nest Stadium
This is Birds Nest Stadium
Truly a one of a kind stadium



Aquatic Stadium
This is the Aquatic Stadium



the Olympic Stadium food court
And this is the food court in the Olympic Park
The traditional foods of several countries were represented
but don't expect to find a hamburger or what you know to be a hot dog
With 100 vendors, you are sure to find something you like



Fourth stop: The Temple of Heaven


This Palace was built as a place of worship
Once a year the King would come here
to prey for rain and good crops and prosperity
The center row of stones have a crest on them,
Only the king was allowed to walk on the raised part



Fifth stop: The Summer Palace

The destroyed Summer Palace in Beijing
The Summer Palace had many lakes and bridges for the King to relax in and enjoy
but it was attacked and destroyed during the Opium Wars
China lost the war and they agreed to give up control of two ports
Hong Kong went to England and Macau went to Portugal in 1897
As agreed, China regained control of them both in 1997



Last: Assorted scenes from Beijing

a typical side street in Beijing
This is a typical side street in Beijing, called a hutong
it is a two way street but barely wide enough for one car
most drivers fold in their side view mirrors so they won't get clipped!




This street is named Beixinqiao, pronounced bay shin chow
Restaurants traditionally have strings of paper lanterns at their entrances
both sides of this entire street was virtually all restaurants



Starbucks in China
You may not recognize this famous American store chain
The name in English is visible in the right side window
a latte in China will cost you a lot more than the same one at your local Starbucks



Birds Nest Stadium at night
Most of you have probably never seen one of these
I decided to post it as a pro active measure
to avoid the shock of seeing it for the first time when you need to use it
And bring your own toilet paper, most toilets in China do not provide any



Birds Nest Stadium at night
Thanks for looking!
more will be added bit by bit


Here are links to my other Asian pages.
My Shanghai pictures are  here
My Seoul pictures are  here
My 2004 pictures of China are  here
My 2005 pictures of China are  here

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