Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rick's Roadshow: Beijing, China- Day 2 The Forbidden City

Welcome back to Rick's Roadshow: Beijing, China. Today I would like to bring you along on my visit to what is known as "The Forbidden City". Located in the heart of Beijing, it was the original Chinese Imperial Palace dating back to the Ming Dynasty. It was in use for five hundred years as a seat of government and the working residence for the emperors, staff and officials. Amazingly, the structure was built in the early 1400's with nearly 1,000 buildings and structures as part of the elaborate labyrinth.


As I stood in Tienanmen Square, just at the entrance of the Forbidden City,  I couldn't help but think back to 1989 when the protests took place here. Seems like it was just yesterday, but that was quite a few years back, now. At any rate, I looked around for signs of the Communist state in which I was visiting. Other than an abundance of police roaming the square, it felt like any other big city public area. 
National Museum of China 


















And now, we enter The Forbidden City, which is enormous. You walk through a series of multiple gates (buildings) which eventually lead to the Emperor. As I am here on business, I don't have much time to write content for this blog post, so forgive me if I just post all the photos from The Forbidden City. Enjoy the show.


































































































































Can you see the dragon?
















































Here are a few photos of the various Throne Rooms for the Emperor. They were each in different buildings, varying in size and design based on the need of the delegation meeting with the Emperor. 





























Below is the entrance to the Emperor's Garden, peaceful and beautiful.















































































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As we finally prepared to exit the Emperor's garden, I looked up and saw in the distance even more buildings as part of the Forbidden City...























This last photo above is from outside of The Forbidden City. You can see the water moat- on the corner is what was a watch tower. As you can imagine there are many of them around the walls of the city. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit this incredible piece of history. It certainly exceeded my expectations as a tourist, and as a student of world history. I would definitely recommend a visit here, but only if you like walking! My colleagues and I moved fairly quickly, but could have easily spent a full day if we wanted to do so. If you like Asian history, particularly of the Ming Dynasty, be sure to check out The Forbidden City. Tomorrow I'll return with a few photos from Taiwan, where I have already arrived and once again enjoying the hospitality of the Taiwanese people. Rick's Roadshow continues from Taipei...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rick's Roadshow: Beijing, China- Day 1

Welcome back to another installment of Rick's Roadshow. This post is about my first day in Beijing, China. I should start off by mentioning that I am no longer in China, but I was not able to post anything to Blogger while I was in China because they have several websites censored. Things like Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc just could not be accessed. So anyway- now that I am in a democratic nation (Taiwan) I am able to catch up on the Roadshow from China.
Beijing (or Peking as many Asians still call it) is an interesting city. It is huge. Crowded. Chaotic. Insane traffic like I have never seen. The worst smog I've ever breathed. Between the factories and all the vehicles, the air quality is terrible. In the center of it all lies the old city, the heart of China. Tomorrow I'll take you with me on a fabulous tour of The Forbidden City. But for today, here are a few photos of the old Courtyard houses in Beijing, which were a common method of housing in old China. Many of these are still in use, but certainly today Beijingers rely on tall apartment buildings due to the size of the population.

The courtyard houses were a classic family unit. Each of the four sides were for a part of the family; males, females, elders and parents each had a side, with common areas, and a much valued courtyard with Pomegranate, Bamboo and other plants. They are actually quite charming, with lovely detail not seen today.

interior room of the courtyard house.

exterior wall at the front entrance of the courtyard


































these birds were in the courtyard saying 'Ni Hao!' (hello in Chinese)

lovely river banks


wonderful architecture can be found in this old area





My first day in Beijing was full of mixed feelings. The traffic and air was very frustrating. It just seemed like way too many people, even though the city is huge in size. Despite all this, I found the old Beijing quite exciting and visually stimulating. The locals seem to like tourists and were especially friendly to me and my business colleagues. Tomorrow's photos will no doubt impress you- The Emperor's official buildings and residence, so stay tuned for a dose of really ancient China! Rick's Roadshow of Beijing continues...

Disclaimers...

This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.