Our last stop for our China Trip was Hong Kong. We spent most of the time visiting family and friends rather than seeing sites. It was humbling to meet people who shared fond memories of my toddler years but I had no recollection of them.
We got most of the tourist attractions through the first half of our trip to China visiting parks, national monuments, and other famous places. Beijing and Huangshan had climates similar to the northwest. When we arrived in Shen Zhen, we were greeted with sticky humidity and Cantonese-speaking people.
My parents goals in our visit to China was to climb the Huangshan Mountains. They were a beautiful vista of rocky mountain tops that peeked out of a sea of clouds in the early morning. We had planned to see the sea of clouds, but we missed our flight out of Beijing and arrived a day later. While we missed that spectacle, when we did climb the mountains, we were greeted with sunshine, which didn’t happen very often.
My favorite memory of the Temple of Heaven was the line of people waiting to have their picture taken at one particular spot where the king stood and prayed. For a spot that is transcending and meditative, it has become loud and busy with people going one after another to get their snapshot taken, just like everyone else.
My parents are really interested in parks, as evident that we visited most of the major parks in Beijing. Bei Hai Park had a body of water nearby like the Summer Palace, but we didn’t have as much time to visit the whole park.
My family visited China in 2004 without me and I was jealous that I missed out on seeing the Great Wall of China. Thankfully, my parents were kind enough to take Jenni and I. I never realized that portions of the Great Wall had very steep inclines.
Our second video takes us to one of the scenic parks in Beijing, the emperor’s summer palace.
There were many friends who were interested in what our China experience was like, so we put together videos of locations we visited. We presented our trip to our friends a week after we got back and also at my workplace.
The videos were too long to upload to YouTube or the now defunct Google Video, so we had not been able to share them on our blog. Until now.
The Forbidden City was where the emperor resided. It is a city within the city of Beijing, surrounded by a large moat for defense. The ground was made of many stones, which made for a bumpy walk. There were many stairways and colorful rooftops. On some of the stairways would be dragons carved in stone.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was difficult to sleep on the hard beds in China (I didn’t like that a third of the trip was spent in rooms with two separate single beds either. I had David push them together one night). But there were other factors that disturbed sleep just about every night while there.
- Cars honking. They honk all day and all night in Beijing. I think it’s part of the requirement for driving there. Even out in the peaceful countryside of Huangshan, we would hear cars blast their horn as they went rip-roaring the through curves in the road to warn everybody they’re coming. Our room had a great view of the bend in the road our hotel sat on.
- A construction site right outside the window.
- Someone buzz-sawing in the morning.
- Strong wafts of cigarette smoke coming from the windows or hallways.
- Someone ringing the doorbell (they have doorbells for each room) or calling your telephone at midnight or 6am.
- Tourists getting up at 4am and
talkingshouting in the hallway.
But now that I’m home, and thoroughly enjoying my soft bed, and I am even tired enough to sleep through the construction next door to our own apartment.