Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beijing-Part 1

I have not been able to update as I had planned because of site issues in China so I am going to go back to the beginning and update a little at a time.
We arrived in Beijing after nearly thirty hours of travel. Just the flight from LA to Hong Kong was fifteen hours! We met our delegation manager, Duan, at the airport and traveled a little over an hour into the city to our hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, we were finally able to shower. It felt so good! We went on a short walk around the neighborhood before dinner. Everyone was very tired after traveling so we were able to go to bed early to get ready for our big day the next day! China may look dirty and run down to some people, but to me everything is fascinating!

The next day we began our day at Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City. It is always fun to people watch in China and the square is the perfect place for that. The anniversary of the founding of the Communist party in China took place while we were in Beijing so everything was decorated for that. The smog was so bad in Beijing that it was hard to see very far in front of you and the colors all seemed diluted. I realized that China is much more crowed than when I had been just five years before.
Here are some pictures of Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City.

The Congress of People's Deputies

Someone in China must be selling Mary Kay!

The entrance to the Forbidden City with Mao's picture.

Since China has so many more people to employ than we do in the US, they use people to do simple jobs such as scrape gum up off the sidewalk.

It was very crowded at the entrance to the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City was built during 1406-1420 and is the world's largest and best preserved Imperial Palace. It is really hard to see the bright colors of all the building because of the terrible smog. It was a very hot and crowded visit!

These pictures are from the inner sanctuary where the Emperor and his concubines would have lived. There was more of a "home feel" here with small courtyards, trees and gardens.

When little Chinese girls visit the Forbidden City, they always get a concubine hat. These hats are what the Emperor's many concubines wore since they were not entitled to a crown.

This was a popular snack that could be found all over China, cantaloupe on a stick. I am sure it was very refreshing on a hot day if you like cantaloupe.

After a Chinese lunch, we headed to a local cooking/tech school. We were able to see their classrooms where they learned about hospitality and the tourist industry. We were also treated to a tea ceremony.

There were English sayings on all the stairs so that the students could practice English as they walked to the next class.

We were able to practice making dumplings to eat. I passed on trying them since I had seen the students make them!

We also got to make fondant roses for cake decorating.

The traffic was pretty bad in Beijing with all the people on bikes, scooters, cars, trucks and on their feet. This pictures shows a mild version of the traffic chaos!

We had Peking Duck for dinner which is a Northern Chinese delicacy. I, however, am not a fan of duck especially since they bring it out whole with its crocked neck still attached!

Our first full day in Beijing, June 29th, was packed with adventures! It was a great day!

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