April 18, 2009


Our 1st stop on this wonderful journey!

We will be so excited & probably tired. But we're NOT going to let the tired-ness stop us from enjoying this beautiful country! There are so many things to do & see, and we're going to cram as many as possible in.

Over the next few days I will be showing some pics & giving some information on the cities we will be visiting while in China. It's going to be a great trip!

Ming Tombs

The burial place of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors, along with 23 empresses and a number of concubines, princes and princesses, also called The 13 Mausoleums. These tombs are the best preserved Chinese imperial tombs and have been nominated by UNESCO as world cultural heritage. Nestled between high, green mountains with a river running nearby, the natural environment around the Ming Tombs is tranquil, beautiful and spectacular. Tourists enter the tomb area through the Sacred Way, on both sides of which there stand in total 36 stone sculptures. Of the 18 pairs of the sculptures, 24 are stone animals and 12 human figures. The stone sculptures represent the supreme authority and dignity of the emperors and signify that they are still supreme in power after death.

Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 when the city of Beijing was designated as the capital of the Ming Empire.

Built as a place of worship, the temple is different from any other imperial structures. There are two parts in the temple zone. The outer wall of the temple zone is 6,416 meters in length while the inner wall 3,292 meters long. The architecture of the temple represents two themes: in the heaven and on the earth. The 6 meters high walls of the temple constitute a semi- circle in the north and a semi- rectangle in the south. This special layout illustrates an important belief in ancient China that the heaven is round and the earth rectangular. The northern section of the wall is high while the south is low, which means that the heaven is higher and superior to earth.

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is said to be the best preserved imperial garden in the world. The Chinese call it Yihe Yuan (Garden of Restful Peace), and the landscaped gardens, temples and pavilions were designed to achieve harmony with nature, to soothe and please the eye. The park spreads across the low hills, including Longevity Hill, around Kunming Lake, and was is divided into three main zones (administration, living, and relaxation). The wonderful buildings and courtyards wander beside the lake, along the waterways and climb the low slopes of the hillside. The arched bridges, pretty promenades, decorated ‘corridors’ and breezeways all lead visitors through ever-changing views and scenery. Here the marvelous marble boat, there an old theatre, over there an island reached by small wooden boat, and in the distance the hills, with a temple on the hillside, framed by dark trees.

the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the ancient time, the emperor claimed to be the son of the heaven and therefore their supreme power was conferred upon them from the heaven. Their residence on the earth was built as a replica of the Purple Palace where the God lived in the Heaven. Such divine place was certain forbidden for the ordinary people and it is why the Forbidden City is so called.

It is claimed that the Forbidden City has a total of 9,999 rooms, just one less than the Purple Palace in the heaven. The Forbidden City is enclosed by a high city wall and surrounded by a moat for protection.

the Great Wall

You better believe we will be seeing this! (although when we go it won't be near this colorful)

The Great Wall is undoubtedly among the most imposing and amazing architectures on this planet. The Great Wall was constructed over a period of 2,000 years, and was largely built in the Ming Dynasty.

We also hope to see this:

and take a tour on one of these (which includes a visit to a Hutong and lunch prepared in a home):

I absolutely CAN NOT WAIT!!!!


  1. OMG! Sounds like so much fun! Wish I could come along, but I'm on babysitting duty (and the whole no money thing:) I'm sure you'll have a blast and I can't wait to see the pictures and souviniers (especially Kalia:)

  2. And I can't wait to see you there!!! I so hope this paperwork thing is cleared up soon Brandi. Ugh...

  3. We didnt do the bike tour ( not really my thing) but when Hubby and I visited Beijing a few years ago my favourite was the Summmer palace. It it truly beautiful. Dont forget to go to a roast duck resturant as well. Truly yummy! Now lets hope your paperwork gets sorted today!