Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beijing, China

Beijing looked entirely different than I was expecting; then again, I'm not really sure what I was expecting.

Had an adventure by taking a public bus an hour outside of the city to the "Pheonix" mountains. Really cool hedge carving on the side of this mountain.

While hiking up this mountain, ran into a cool pagoda. These things were scattered across the mountain.

Very neat taoist temples nestled midway up the mountain.

Another pagoda further up the mountain. I really like the look and feel of these things.

Went to dinner at this amazing palace of royalty from the Ching Dynasty. It's now a restaurant.

More shots from inside of this incredible palace.

The entire staff of the restaurant dressed in the clothing of that particular period.

Headed out to the Ming Tombs, where I got to see these enormous structures.

There's something so unique and exotic about these buildings; very different than the west.

More shots from inside of the Ming tombs.

Took a bus out to the Great Wall, which really is great.

It was really foggy, so I didn't get the full effect of just how long this thing is. Gonna have to go back a few more times.

I was thinking about those "more bars in more places" mobile carrier commercials when I saw this.

The bird's nest coliseum - very impressive. Home of the '08 olympics.

Made it over to the forbidden city too. Equally impressive and a peaceful place to hang out despite all of the tourists.

As soon as I got into the forbidden city, I was totally in awe of how articulately designed all of these buildings were.

And just when you think that you're about to reach the perimeter of the forbidden city, you walk into yet another sprawl.

I want to get one of these for my front porch back home.

I haven't seen "the last emperor", but apparently this is where they filmed it.

Coming out from the southern gate of the complex.

The one and only.......

Walked across the street to Tiananmen Square.

The People's Republic government buildings just off in the distance.

Went exploring at the temple of heaven, which was a beautiful and peaceful little spot.

This thing is actually huge - notice the little specs for context in the lower left region.

Spent some time walking around the summer palace too. Really pretty place where the kings used to hang out back in the day.

The interior of this place is really calming, but I did miss the blue skies.

All and all, I'm definitely digging being here. Looking forward to some more travel soon.

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