Our Great Wall trip also included a few days in Beijing, the capital of China. With a population of 21.5 million people, Beijing is the nation's second-largest city after Shanghai.
It is a modern city known for the ancient temples, the Forbidden City, Olympic stadiums and terrible pollution. It also has some of the most expensive real estate in the world.
As pretty as the modern part of the city is, we preferred the hutongs (residential neighborhoods which form the heart of Old Beijing).
He's a big boy.
Doesn't this meal look good? Having translation problems with a menu that was in Chinese characters, we ordered this dish by pointing at a photo. When it arrived at the table D took a bite and assessed it to be kidneys. We then googled "kidney" in Chinese and showed it to our waiter. He nodded yes and I ate rice.
The next three photos are my favorite of the trip. Peanuts anyone?
Obviously someone likes peanuts. Look closely at his mouth.
So did he fall asleep with the peanuts in his mouth or did someone place them there? So funny!
It is always interesting to see the different modes of transportation in various countries.
This one is so cute!
Most everywhere we travel in Asia a post-lunch nap is essential for shopkeepers. And they really do not care if customers come in to shop. Yes, the sleeping lady on the cot is the owner. I decided not to buy so I did not need to wake her up!
The summer Palace
The Summer Palace was built in 1750 and was destroyed in the war of 1860. It was restored on its original foundations in 1886 and is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. It was used for the Imperial family to get away from the heat of the forbidden city. Today it is only used for tourism.
The Forbidden City
Also known as the Palace Museum, it lies at the city center of Beijing, and once served as the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911).
The Forbidden City was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987. It holds the title of the world's largest preservation of wooden structures from ancient world.
Around one million artifacts are housed within the Palace Museum and they are considered Chinese National Heritage items and under the protection of the Chinese government.
I can't end this blog without a little clip of my shopping!
First, here is D at the market... patiently waiting for me. What a great hubby!
It was a large indoor market with many treasures.
Look at all the chops (stamps)!! Did you know that in many Asian countries they still use chops in lieu of signatures for personal documents, office paperwork, contracts, art, or any item requiring acknowledgement or authorship?
Me, happy with my purchases! The vendor was very excited that I was so interested in the chops.
This vendor was very popular. He was selling seed pods from a Banyon tree. They are really fun as you have no idea what it will look like until he polishes it. People analyzed the pods forever until they picked one. I guess they knew what they were looking for. We bought a few.
I was exhausted after my shopping and made D get me a Tuk Tuk back to the hotel. As always... safety first!
With all of our travel in Asian, we had never seen this. It was in the closet of our hotel. To be used in case of a nuclear attack... we are glad we did not have to use it.
This was a quick trip but we really enjoyed seeing the city of Beijing!