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					My Adventure to China


   Christine McCormic
First Stop- Korea
         • While waiting for the
           connecting flight from
           Guam to Beijing we had 4
           hours at the Korean
           airport- Luckily they had
           this cultural experience
           area where I could
           entertain myself by
           painting a fan and putting
           together a decorative kite
         • It was about a 4 1/2 hour
           flight from Guam to Korea
           and about a 2 hour flight
           from Korea to Beijing
•   Our first stop- a Pedi cab ride
    through a Hutong neighborhood
•   These are small neighborhoods
    with very narrow streets- many
    were demolished for development,
    but a few still remain and are
    being protected
•   These neighborhoods used to be
    for the elite, now many are in
    disrepair and are used by the poor
•   One extended family would share
    4 buildings around a courtyard-
    the parents, grandparents and
    children- until the girl children
    married and left to live in their
    husband’s family’s home
•   You could tell who lived in a house
    by their entryway- the number of
    stairs, paint color, type of doorway
    and decoration
•   Marriage in China- your boss
    performs the ceremony- usually
    something very simple at a
    restaurant (Western ideas such as
    white gowns are becoming more
    popular)
• Currently- In the city- couples
  are only allowed 1 child,
  UNLESS, they are both only
  children- then they may have 2
• Away from the city you may
  have 2- but the more children
  you have, the more difficult life
  will be for you
• In communist China- the most
  important possession
  someone had was a list of
  what grocery items they were
  allowed to pick up each week-
  the more “elite” your job the
  better your list
Temple of Heaven
        • This was the area where the
          Emperor performed worship
          and sacrificial ceremonies to
          the Gods. There are many
          buildings as well as enormous
          gardens that encompass this
          area
        • The building in the top picture
          (the Hall of Prayer for a Good
          Harvest) is made entirely of
          wood- no nails
        • This is one of the oldest trees
          in Beijing- If you get your
          picture with it, then you should
          have a good long life (they
          have a lot of superstitions)
                  Downtown
• Beijing at night and in
  the morning
• Yes- there are a ton
  of particles in the air-
  that is the sun in the
  bottom picture
• When it rained it
  actually rained mud- I
  had spots of dirt on
  my jacket!
Olympics 2008
       • There are “Countdown to
         the Olympics” clocks
         throughout the city
       • They are doing a lot of
         restoration work at many
         of the historical sites
         (painting and such)
         making things look good
         for the Olympics
       • This building behind the
         trees is Chairman Mao’s
         tomb- you can view his
         body in a glass casket
                  Tian’anmen Square
•   Congress was in their yearly session in
    the government building “The Great
    Hall of the People”- hence the guards
    and red flags
•   The obelisk in the picture is The
    “Monument to the People’s Heroes”
•   Off to the right (north) of the square is
    the Forbidden City- the entryway is in
    bottom photo. Called the Gate of
    Heavenly Peace. The picture of
    Chairman Mao is replaced every year
    with a new painting- the Chinese have
    a real reverence for him (although
    most westerners do not think too
    highly of his methods of leadership)
•   The Chinese students do not learn
    about the infamous Tian’anmen
    Square protests/massacre of 1989- my
    guide avoided my question when
    asked about it
Forbidden City
       • Here is a restored building in
         the Forbidden city- the office
         and home of the Emperor and
         his family (and his
         concubines)- there are
         hundreds of buildings in this
         area- it is amazing to see
       • It is the largest palace complex
         in the world- 74 hectares and it
         is also one of the most popular
         tourist attractions in the world
       • The movie “The Last Emperor”
         was actually filmed here

       • Bottom- one of the Emperor's
         golden thrones
          The Summer Palace
• The vacation home of the
  Emperor and his family
• Located on a man made
  lake- the emperor could
  enjoy long walks in the
  gardens that exist here
• The entire area is 290
  hectares including more
  than 3,000 buildings!
• Top photo- view of area
  from lake side
• Bottom photo- symbols
  for empress and emperor
The Great Wall
 •   The world’s largest cemetery- did
     you know that thousands, if not
     millions, of workers died while
     building the wall and it is believed
     that they were buried right into the
     wall itself?!
 •   There are a lot of stairs in the
     section we went to- right up a
     mountain! It is very steep and also
     very narrow at points- see the
     photo! Thank Goodness for the
     railing that was installed.
 •   The steps are all different heights,
     and some are very worn
 •   The higher you went up, the less
     people you saw- at the highest
     point of this section of the wall
     there were only a few of us
 •   It was snowing by the time we
     reached the top- the most snow
     my guide has ever seen at one
     time!
The Great Wall
  INDOOR Skiing and Boarding
• Since Beijing is very
  dry- they do not get a
  lot of precipitation so
  they have built these
  indoor facilities.
• The conditions were a
  bit icy and the “steep”
  hill was comparable
  to the beginner areas
  at Ski Sundown
• The best part of the trip was
  that the food was great!
• This was one meal I had- they
  kept bringing me more and
                                   Food
  more dishes!!
• Tea is served with every meal
  and each restaurant has their
  own type of tea that they use
• By the way- Fortune cookies-
  my tour guide says he has
  never had one and is not sure
  how they have become known
  as a Chinese thing! Dessert
  was usually fresh fruit
  (mandarin oranges)
• Breakfast- pretty much the
  same foods as other meals-
  rice and eggs was about as
  close to American breakfast
  food as you could get (Luckily
  the hotel we spent most nights
  in served toast and some
  pastry!)
Culture Shock
       • The bathrooms were
         DIFFERENT!!
       • Yep- just a hole in the
         ground for both the
         men and women (and
         they throw the TP in
         the little basket)
       • Most of the bigger
         tourist spots had
         “western” toilets also
The End
The photos were compressed in order to
 limit the file size- I hope you could see
 them clearly!

				
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posted:6/29/2012
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