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03/21/11 (Suzanna and Richard)
Vacation 2011 in CHINA!
Thank God for a wonderful vacation! We began our adventure in Beijing (Peking). Tiananmen Square was closed to the public both times we attempted to visit. This picture is as close as we were permitted to go. We walked around the outside of the square and it is immense.
Forbidden City is the largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex in the world. It has 9,999 rooms and is surrounded by a 6-meter deep moat and 10-meter high wall. For 5 centuries it functioned as the administrative center of the country.
These intertwined trees at Forbidden City symbolize love of a couple.
Eating with chopsticks requires lots of skill and coordination! Suzanna thinks it would be a good way to lose weight because she’s so slow and more food hits the plate than her mouth!
A big highlight of the trip was visiting The Great Wall of China. The wall is around 5,500 miles long and it was constructed over 2,000 years period from the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC) to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Steps of The Great Wall are extremely steep at times, and many require long legs!
Yes, it was cold! It has been two years since we saw ice and snow.
Here’s Richard with a cannon left from the time when the wall was used for defense.
The Great Wall looks like a gigantic dragon as it weaves across the tops of the hills!
We used a cable car to reach the top of the mountain where we could climb up on the Great Wall and then we used bobsleds to slide back down the mountain.
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing was visited by the Chinese emperors for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
In one busy market area of Beijing, Richard opted to eat some roasted corn, but he did not choose to eat these live scorpions and seahorses that would be made into a kabob! They were wiggling!
The Golden Arches and Colonel Sanders were everywhere!
Lama Temple in Beijing is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. Buddhist people were constantly burning incense and praying to Buddha both here and in all the Buddhist temples we visited.
At the Summer Palace in Beijing, many residents, mostly elderly, congregate daily to sing and play music, entertaining the tourists. In some parks, costumed senior citizens sang and danced.
We rode a 21 hour overnight train from Beijing to Guangzhou (Canton or Kwangchow), the third largest city in China. The train was quite modern and we had a small two person berth with a private bathroom. This was a major change from the train travel we have experienced over the last two years in South Asia.
Suzanna enjoyed chrysanthemum tea. The train provided thermoses of hot water, and we were told the tea flavor would last through 5 refills.
While waiting for a second train to take us on to Hong Kong, we enjoyed a brief tour of Guangzhou city.
Helen, our tour guide, is telling Richard about the Temple of Six Banyan Trees.
Note the ornate architecture on the tops of buildings at the Chen Ancestral Shrine.
Our travels concluded with 2 full days in Hong Kong/Kowloon. The nightly laser light show over the bay is spectacular!
Repulse Bay is a lovely beach with many shrines and statues. Many people believe they will have good fortune and longevity by touching them.
To get to Victoria Peak we rode the subway under the bay between Kowloon and Hong Kong and then rode the tram up to the top of the mountain.
The view of Hong Kong, Kowloon and Victoria Harbor from the top of Victoria Peak.
In the middle of busy city streets are many relaxing parks. We enjoyed a free walk through this aviary, which was full of many multi-colored native birds.
Trust in the Lord with your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
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