We have recently returned from a 13 day tour of China which we thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately due to China’s ban on external social media, we were unable to use Facebook, Google or WordPress which I use to publish this blog. We were however able to use our email so could keep in touch with family.
We flew into Beijing at night and were amazed at how huge this city is – current population is nearly 24 million and growing. This photo is just a small part of the city.
The weather was perfect. Clear skies and about 28 deg. C. There had been a thunderstorm the previous night and as a result the smog cleared for a couple of days.
Our first tour stop was to Tiananmen Square and as the tourist season has started we were two of the expected 70,000 (yes that is right) visitors for the day. The crowds included many, many bus groups and also locals who were out to enjoy their Saturday.
It was then on to the Forbidden City and Imperial Garden; home of the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty. This is where the movie, The Last Emporor, was filmed and it is the only film ever allowed to be made in this location.
Just out of Beijing at the foot of the mountains is the Emperors Summer Palace. Built on a large man made lake the Summer Palace was once enjoyed by the Emperor and his family as a country retreat. A 750 mtr undercover walkway was built to be a cool sitting place for the family.
The highlight of the tour so far has been our walk on the Great Wall of China. We climbed the very steep steps and enjoyed the picturesque views. Although we only visited one small section of the wall we could not help but be impressed by the feat of construction undertaken by the Chinese; albeit many men must have lost their lives in the most remote regions of the wall.
We have been impressed with how clean and organised this city is although the traffic is horrendous.
Next stop is Xi’an – city of the terracotta warriors.