China 2012

China Forbidden City Dragon
Imperial five-clawed dragon on the Nine Dragons wall-Forbidden City, Beijing

The Chines dragon is the symbol of power, strength, and good luck. It can fly, swim, change into other animals, bring rain and ward off evil spirits.

Our trip:

Vancouver →Beijing

→Datong (Yungang Caves, Xuankong Si -Hanging Temple)

→Guilin -Yangshuo & Longsheng (Dazhai Village)

→Lijiang

→Huangshan-Yellow Mountain & Huizhou Villages (Hongcun, Xidi, Nanping, Mukang)

→Shanghai →Vancouver

China-our trip

Arts and Crafts

Guardian lions (Shishi) stand in front of palaces, temples, offices, restaurants, hotels and houses. They are believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. They always stand in pairs, with the male resting his paw upon the world and the female restraining a playful cub that is on its back.

Beijing 1

Beijing (北京) means “the Northen Capital” and is the second largest Chinese city: 20,000,000 people live here. It spreads out in 5 bands of concentric ring roads over 180 km x 160km Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City The whole Forbidden City is built with the odd numbers in mind, that represent the ‘yang’, the …

Beijing 2

The Summer Palace The Summer Palace ‘颐和园’ is an imperial summer retreat. It is the largest and best preserved imperial garden in China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Beijing 4

Old & New Beijing

Datong (Shanxi)

Datong is a ‘small’ Chinese city of 3 million people with a big coal mining industry and a reputation  as one of China’s most polluted cities. Yungang Caves 16 km west of Datong, carved into sandstone cliffs, the  Yungang Caves are famous for their  252 grottoes with over 51,000 Buddha  statues from the 5th century …

Dazai Rice Fieds (Guangxi)

Dazai village is one of the villages in the Longsheng area, famous for the rice terraces carved into the hills. We had an almost authentic experience in the middle of nature and loud music coming out from the newly built cable car station. FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below Use ——> /<—— to navigate SLIDESHOW: …

Doors and Windows

 

Huangshang (Yellow Mountain)

Huangshan is considered to be the most beautiful mountain range in the country There is an old Chinese saying: “If you climb one mountain in China let it be Huangshan” FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below Use ——> /<—— to navigate SLIDESHOW: Click ‘Start’ on full-size picture

Huizhou Villages (Anhui) 1

The Huizhou area has several small villages that preserve large houses built the ancient Hui-style architecture. These houses are built around courtyards and have beautiful stone and wood carved details. Hongcun Hongcun is the largest of the villages with picturesque views at every turn. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Various movie scenes from …

Huizhou Villages (Anhui) 2

Xidi, Nanping & Mukeng Xidi has large scale, well preserved Huizhou buildings. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nanping has less tourists and some well preserved houses with complicated wood carved decorations. Mukeng is more remote and can be accessed only by walking through a bamboo forest.

Lijiang (Yunnan)

Lijiang’s Old Town is a maze of cobbled alleys with wooden house. A major earthquake hit Lijiang in 1996, destroying 186,000 homes. Amazingly, many of the traditional wood homes held up quite well leading the government to reconstruct by replacing many of the newer concrete buildings with traditional houses. Today, Lijiang seems to be overtaken …

People and Things

Shanghai group photo FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below Use ——> /<—— to navigate SLIDESHOW: Click ‘Start’ on full-size picture

Pets, Plants and Food

Scorpions on sticks, centipedes and giant spiders -Beijing, Olympic area FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below Use ——> /<—— to navigate SLIDESHOW: Click ‘Start’ on full-size picture

Shanghai

Shanghai (‘上海’) is the biggest city in the world. 24 million people live here. It feels a bit European/North American in a Chinese setting. FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below Use ——> /<—— to navigate SLIDESHOW: Click ‘Start’ on full-size picture

Beijing 3

Temple of Heaven and Lama Temple The Temple of Heaven was the place where the Emperor would pray for good harvest and make sacrifices. Seen from above the temples are round and the bases square, a pattern deriving from the belief that heaven is round and earth is square. The Lama Tibetan Buddhist Temple integrates …