Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Keeping The Environment Clean

Bicycles are common sight in China. They not only keep the environment clean, but also get to stay healthy. That's why you see a lot of elderly Chinese at their golden age and still looking strong around the city. I took the opportunity to take a few photos of the local people at work and on the move with their bicycles. This is one of the way I enjoy myself traveling and taking photos by the street side.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beijing 2008 Olympic - Better Late Than Never

After the daily tour with tour-beijing.com, I opted out to go on on my own instead of them sending me back to my hotel. This time it's the Beijing Olympic 2008 stadium complex comprising of the Bird Nest Stadium, Water Cube Swimming Pool, The National Indoor Stadium and it's surrounding.
I was there slightly early and I heard that the place looks prettier during the night after all the lights are on. So, I decided to stay till night falls and had light meal of instant noodle with hot coffee on a cool and windy weather.
One thing I like about this place is the weather and lots of locals coming with their kid. And also tourist around doing the same thing as I what I was doing, either for a stroll or taking photos. So, I never feel alone in this foreign land.
Well, after all the daily activities and lots of photography for the day, I decided to go back to my hotel at about 9 pm by taking the subway train.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Ming Dynasty Tombs, Beijing

The moment I have been waiting for have finally arrived, after waiting for years. Yes, I always wanted to go to the Great Wall of China. It's today, but not right now, because I have an appointment with tour-beijing.com . Mr Laoli the manager with tour-beijing.com have arranged for my Tour A. Details as below:
Tour A: Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs One Day Tour
Departure: Daily
Duration: 1 day
Starts at: 07.30 am
Ends at: 06.00 pm
Starting point: Your Hotel
Ending point: Your Hotel
We speak: English
Price: USD$20.00 per head
Tour Itinerary: Pick up at your hotel between 7:30am and 8:30. Then drive to Changling--- one of the Tombs of thirteen Emperors of Ming Dynasty with 500 year history are about 50 kilometres to the north of Beijing. After lunch. the drive to Badaling Great Wall takes about 40 minutes. Badaling section is the most famous and best-preserved wall. It lies 100 KM away at the northwest of Beijing. If you want to get to the highest point and have a bird eye¡¯s view of this section of the great wall, cable car is a good choice ( optional ). After the tour, transferred back to your hotel. After picking us from our respective hotels, it took us another hour by coach to reach the Ming Dynasty Tombs at Changling. Photo: Silk Burning Stove, Changling tombAccording to Wikepedia: The Ming Dynasty Tombs (Chinese: 明朝十三陵; pinyin: Míng cháo shí sān líng; lit. Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty) are located some 50 kilometers due north of urban Beijing at a specially selected site. The site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402–1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to the present location of Beijing. The Ming tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty were located on the southern slope of Mount Taishou (originally Mount Huangtu). He is credited with envisioning the layout of the ancient city of Beijing as well as a number of landmarks and monuments located therein. After the construction of the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and created his own mausoleum.
From the Yongle Emperor onwards, 13 Ming Dynasty Emperors were buried in this area. The tombs of the first two Ming Emperors are located near Nanjing (the capital city during their reigns). Emperor Jingtai was also not buried here, as the Emperor Tianshun had denied Jingtai an imperial burial, but was instead buried west of Beijing. The last Chongzhen Emperor, who hanged himself in April 1644, named Si Ling by the Qing emperor, was the last to be buried here, but on a much smaller scale than his predecessors. During the Ming dynasty the tombs were off limits to commoners, but in 1644 Li Zicheng's army ransacked and set many of the tombs on fire before advancing and capturing Beijing in April of that year.Photo: The book of facts explaining the past Emperor. kindly click the picture to enlarge.
Frankly speaking, I was more interested in visiting the Great Wall. As such I didn't pay much attention to the tour guide this time. The Ming Dynasty Tombs offer more historical stories rather than just scenery.
And here is the gate where you don't walk through to visit the tombs, but you have to walk through to get out. The belief is that you don't walk to the tombs, but when you walk out, you have to walk together with the rest of the entourage saying aloud 'wo hui lai le' meaning 'I am back'. literally it means you are back to the real world now. The ladies will step with the right leg first and the guys with the left leg first. Well, at least you know some ancient Chinese custom. Belief it or not, it's up to you..My next posting is the Badaling Great Wall of China ! Do drop by to join me on my Great Wall tour coming soon..
Good Night (11.50 PM)