Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Great Wall at Badaling

I am sorry for such a delay in posting, but I got very frustrated with problems I was having uploading pictures. I don't recommend Beijing in January- freezing!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Llama Temple

Building work on the YongHeGong Temple started in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. It originally served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was then converted into the court of Prince YongZheng (Yin Zhen), a son of emperor KangXi. After YongZheng's ascension to the throne in 1722, half of the building was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism, while the other half remained an imperial palace. Unfortunately I could only find Chinese batteries around this area, so I ran out of batteries after a few pictures and couldnt take any more, but there were lots of really cool statues, people burning incense everywhere, and maybe a thirty or forty foot tall Buddha carved from one tree, with a plaque outside from Guinness Records (Ive inserted someone else's shot below).

798 Gallery District

one of many big-eyed cliches

798 Gallery District

798 is like Beijing's Chelsea, and most people seem to see it as the center of the Chinese art world. There are plenty of complaints about it though, such as the feeling that with the explosion of interest in Chinese artists, it has become over-commercialized (like Chelsea) and of course, the usual complaints about some of the Chinese art itself, which is sometimes not well executed, maybe has a weak concept, or more often than not, is imitating something that someone has noticed is already successful. Unfortunately, I made my trip as many galleries were shutting down for the Chinese New Year Spring Festival, so I dont think I got a fair shake of what's usually on offer.

The area is a a former industrial park, and some of the factories there are still working while retired elements provide interesting scenery.

Leaving the Forbidden City

Beijing's Forbidden City

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beijing's Forbidden City

The old palaces

Beijing's Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is a massive complex of palaces used by the emperors in old China.

Forbidden City

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tiananmen Square

The Mausolem where Mao's body is preserved and on view (I did not go see him)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Taizhou International Wen-Wu School

I thought the best part of our trip was the visit to this martial-arts school, where an army of children pulled out all the stops to give us this amazing, long performance! I couldn't help feeling that with this kind of discipline, the Chinese are going to be formidable. When I noticed that the little kids there were also learning English, my buddy commented, "That's so they'll be able to give you orders in your own language."