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Old 26-01-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
olobley

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A wander around Beijing (not 56k safe)

I'm not entirely sure the pictures are Photo forum relevant (as I'm more the hobbiest when travelling and only took the little Olympus out as it's more 'Olly proof'). If one of the mods thinks this is more relevant to the General/Photo forum, please move it

So I spent today on the tourist path (as I've got 4 days to kill while the equipment is being moved by the couriers from our Beijing to the Shanghai office).
I started out at the Ming Tombs where one of the great emperors is buried (will dig out the name later when I get back to the room).



The outer wall is immense, I think it's about 200m side to side.



The first building was actually a residence/temple. You may notice there are three tiers (the building being on the top), this is apparently from Chinese mythology where there are three tiers in heaven, the gods (and thus emperor) being in the top tier, and the lesser dieties inhabiting the surrounding rings.



Moving in towards the inner sanctum is the Lingxing gate (Gate on the threshold of the stars). It's purpose was to pray/wish for a good harvest. The animals on the top are called Wangtianhou.



The final building before the tomb itself is called the Soul Gate. It's basically a building to signify the five directions (North, East, South, West and Center) and to house the tombstone



The tombstone itself



And a crappy bit of trivia - between each of the courtyards is a pronounced step like this. Similar steps are also common on the way into buildings/houses. It stems from Chinese mythology that bad spirits don't have kneecaps and are thus unable to cross the step.

After the tombs, we headed up to the Great Wall of China:



A view up to the North



A veiw up to the South. I climbed up to the top right of this.



Managed to convince a local wandering past not to nick my camera and take a photo of me, looking back over the route I had taken. You may just be able to make out a Chinese flag in the top-center of the picture. That's where I started.



On the drive back into the city, I passed through the Olympic village from the 2008 games. On the left is the water cube and in the background is the 'crows nest' where the track/field events took place. Another random bit of trivia - the Chinese believed that the earth was square and that heaven was round - yin & yang, hence why the swimming pool building is square and the crows nest is round - to keep things in balance.



Finally, I finished the day at the largest tea house in Beijing. Pictured here are blocks of tea.



A demonstration of how to hold a Chinese tea mug like a girl - men are to tuck the little, ring finger into the palm of the hand

Last edited by olobley; 26-01-2010 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 26-01-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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Re: A wander around Beijing (not 56k safe)

Some great pictures there, i would love to go to China, their culture really interests me as its completely different to ours.

I like the great wall pic, very dramatic
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Old 26-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
Gunn (LA)

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Re: A wander around Beijing (not 56k safe)

finally proof of you being there (and not full of hot wind as Rasher kees telling us).

Nice pic's bud
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Old 26-01-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: A wander around Beijing (not 56k safe)

Nice pics! Keep em coming!
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