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03/21/11 (Suzanna and Richard) 

Vacation 2011 in CHINA!

Thank God for a wonderful vacation!   We began our adventure in Beijing (Peking).    Tiananmen Square was closed to the public both times we attempted to visit.  This picture is as close as we were permitted to go.   We walked around the outside of the square and it is immense.
201103_08 Beijing Tiananmen Sq02

Forbidden City is the largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex in the world.  It has 9,999 rooms and is surrounded by a 6-meter deep moat and 10-meter high wall.  For 5 centuries it functioned as the administrative center of the country.
201103_08 Beijing Forbidden City02

These intertwined trees at Forbidden City symbolize love of a couple
.
201103_08 Beijing Forbidden City Trees02

Eating with chopsticks requires lots of skill and coordination!  Suzanna thinks it would be a good way to lose weight because she’s so slow and more food hits the plate than her mouth!
201103_09 Lunch  Mutianyu, near Great Wall of China02

A big highlight of the trip was visiting The Great Wall of China.   The wall is around 5,500 miles long and it was constructed over 2,000 years period from the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC) to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Steps of The Great Wall are extremely steep at times, and many require long legs!
201103_09 Great Wall of China Tall Steps for Short Legs02

Yes, it was cold!  It has been two years since we saw ice and snow.
201103_09 Great Wall of China Richard and Suzanna02

Here’s Richard with a cannon left from the time when the wall was used for defense.
201103_09 Great Wall of China Richard02

The Great Wall looks like a gigantic dragon as it weaves across the tops of the hills!
201103_09 Great Wall of China Long Range View02

201103_09 Great Wall of China Suz Climbing02

We used a cable car to reach the top of the mountain where we could climb up on the Great Wall and then we used bobsleds to slide back down the mountain.
201103_09 Great Wall Toboggan_Suzanna02

The Temple of Heaven in Beijing was visited by the Chinese emperors for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
201103_09 Beijing Temple of Heaven02

In one busy market area of Beijing, Richard opted to eat some roasted corn, but he did not choose to eat these live scorpions and seahorses that would be made into a kabob!  They were wiggling!
201103_10 Beijing Richard eating corn02

201103_10 Beijing Live sea horses02

The Golden Arches and Colonel Sanders were everywhere!
201103_10 McD_sm02
    201103_10 KFC_sm02

Lama Temple in Beijing is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world.   Buddhist people were constantly burning incense and praying to Buddha both here and in all the Buddhist temples we visited.
201103_10 Lama Palace, Beijing (3)02

At the Summer Palace in Beijing, many residents, mostly elderly, congregate daily to sing and play music, entertaining the tourists.  In some parks, costumed senior citizens sang and danced.
201103_10 Beijing, Summer Palace02

201103_10 Beijing, Summer Palace musicians02

201103_10 Beijing, Summer Palace music02


We rode a 21 hour overnight train from Beijing to Guangzhou (Canton or Kwangchow), the third largest city in China.   The train was quite modern and we had a small two person berth with a private bathroom.   This was a major change from the train travel we have experienced over the last two years in South Asia.
201103_11 Overnight train from Beijing to Guangzhou02

Suzanna enjoyed chrysanthemum tea.  The train provided thermoses of hot water, and we were told the tea flavor would last through 5 refills.
201103_11 Beijing Train Station Chry Tea02

While waiting for a second train to take us on to Hong Kong, we enjoyed a brief tour of Guangzhou city.

Helen, our tour guide, is telling Richard about the Temple of Six Banyan Trees.
201103_12 Temple of 6 Banyan Trees_Guangzhou02

201103_12 Temple of 6 Banyan Trees, Guangzhou02

Note the ornate architecture on the tops of buildings at the Chen Ancestral Shrine.
201103_12 Chen Ancestral Shrine, Guangzhou02

Our travels concluded with 2 full days in Hong Kong/Kowloon.   The nightly laser light show over the bay is spectacular! 
201103_13 Hong Kong Light Show02

Repulse Bay is a lovely beach with many shrines and statues.  Many people believe they will have good fortune and longevity by touching them.
201103_13 Hong Kong Repulse Bay02

201103_13 Hong Kong Repulse Bay Hanhams02

To get to Victoria Peak we rode the subway under the bay between Kowloon and Hong Kong and then rode the tram up to the top of the mountain.
201103_13 Hong Kong Subway02


The view of Hong Kong, Kowloon and Victoria Harbor from the top of Victoria Peak.
201103_14 Hong Kong Victoria Peak _Suzanna02

In the middle of busy city streets are many relaxing parks.  We enjoyed a free walk through this aviary, which was full of many multi-colored native birds.
201103_14 Hong Kong Aviary Blue and red parakeet02



Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

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Family-Mar 11