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Location - Asia; Capital - Beijing; Population - 1.3 billion; Currency - Yuan MORE CHINA

After crossing the Amnok River that separates North Korea and China, we had a couple of hours with Chinese immigration at Dandong before an overnight journey to Beijing - September 2009.


chinanote1Chairman Mao Zedong on the 5 Yuan note










china2After all the Kim Il Sung statues in North Korea, this looked very familiar - Mao Zedong statue outside the train station at Dandong $600 Bonus



china20The very distinctive National Stadium in Beijing
















china9It's better known as the Bird's Nest Stadium and host to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
















china13The Bird's Nest Stadium cost US$423 million, Beijing

BBC report on the National Stadium



china17Bird's Nest Stadium, Beijing



china6If you look away from the Olympic Green you'll get this view - Beijing
















china7A monument at the Olympic Green, Beijing

















china28Opposite the National Stadium is the Beijing National Aquatics Centre - Beijing



china30..Which is better known as the Water Cube - Beijing


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china35Nanluogu Xiang is a tourist-orientated hutong, or alleyway, in Beijing















china31A main road next to Nanluogu Xiang, Beijing















china36A few minutes walk from the north entrance to the Forbidden City is Beihai Park - Beijing



china42It's a good place to soothe aching feet after Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City - Beihai Park, Beijing



china43Boating on Beihai Lake - Beihai Park, Beijing
















china44On my way to the Forbidden City, Beijing
















china46A moat protects the north entrance to the Forbidden City, Beijing



china49The Forbidden City was home to emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties (14th to 20th century), Beijing



china51The palace was built in the 15th century - Forbidden City, Beijing















china53The Forbidden City is huge, with numerous temples, courtyards, gates and rooms - Beijing


The Forbidden City's website here














china58The Forbidden City's proper name is the Imperial Palace - Beijing



china59Colours mixed with intricate craftmanship at the Forbidden City, Beijing



china61Several halls line the central route from north to south - Forbidden City, Beijing















china62Are there female Buddhist monks? Those dressed in grey are all women - Forbidden City, Beijing















china65Forbidden City, Beijing



china68Tiananmen Gate (ie. Gate of Heavenly Peace) lies on the northern edge of Tiananmen Square, Beijing
















china69Chairman Mao's portrait appears on Tiananmen Gate - Beijing


More on Mao here














china70Mao Zedong was the founder of the communist People's Republic of China, established in 1949 - Beijing



china71Tiananmen Square and the Gate of Heavenly Peace - Beijing



china72The Great Hall of the People, on Tiananmen Square, is where the government assembles - Beijing















china75The Monument to the People's Heroes is dedicated to those who died in revolutionary struggle - Tiananmen Square, Beijing




















china79Either side of Chairman Mao's Mausoleum are sculptures dedicated to the revolution - Tiananmen Square Beijing



china81Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, where he lies in state - Tiananmen Square, Beijing



china82The weirdness that is the ultra-modern China Central Television Headquarters, Beijing















china95Rather than visit just one bit of the Great Wall of China we opted for a 10km walk from Jinshanling to Simatai



china100Walking the Jinshanling to Simatai section is a constant mix of ascents and descents - Great Wall of China



china102Sections of the Great Wall of China were originally constructed during the Qin dynasty over 2000 years ago, and then joined up by successive kingdoms and armies - Jinshanling to Simatai


















china107Keep an eye on your enemies - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China


I don't know this company but their website has a video about the walk













china108The Great Wall of China is linked by many watchtowers - Jinshanling to Simatai



china119Chinese repair workers hang precariously from a watchtower near Simatai - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China



china120I'm exhausted just looking at the Simatai section! Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China.


My YouTube video here













china125Arriving at the Simatai section - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China














china127Crossing the bridge - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China



china128There's a zip-line in the distance which takes you from the left to the right riverbank - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China



china133Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China
















china134Luckily we didn't have to climb much of this very steep section - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China















china137And here's the zip-line, an exciting way to reach a restaurant on the opposite side - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China



china138Running the zip-line, with the Simatai section of the Wall in the background - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China



china141Our tour included a boat pick-up which brought us to the Beijing-bound bus - Jinshanling to Simatai, Great Wall of China














china143With a couple of Japanese guys who were trying to improve their Chinese. I doubt if I helped their cause - Beijing



china83Another big journey lies in store at the Beijing train station



china147The Beijing to Ulan Bator train at a station en route - I think this is Datong















china144In Russia this is called a samovar, and is a god-send on long trips for providing hot water for tea, coffee and pot noodles - Trans-Mongolian, Beijing to Ulan Bator


















china149Getting closer to the Mongolian border via Inner Mongolia



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LINKS  - lots of info about China - China tourist board - guide to Beijing

Partner link - Great Wall of China


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