In October 2018 LeAnn and I finally had the opportunity to visit China. We toured the cities of Beijing, Xian, Chendu, and Shanghai. We met many friendly people wherever we went. We saw several ancient structures including The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, The Wild Goose Pogoda, The Terracota Warriors, and the Buddha of Leshu carved out of the mountain. We enjoyed experiencing the history, culture, and traditions of the people of China.
Entrance to the Forbidden City at Tiananmen Square. One has to pass through three gates to enter the Forbidden City. This is where the Emperor used to reside along with the empress, his officals, and servants. Only visitors invited by the Emperor were allowed to enter the Forbidden City. A portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong is preserved over the outer entrance, The Gate of Heavenly Peace. Tiananmen Square is the world's largest public plaza. It is surrounded by history and war museums.
The Temple of Heaven. The temple is a round structure because Heaven is represented as a circle in Chinese writing. This imperial complex consists of several religious buildings and is situated near southeastern Beijing. The Emperor presided over annual ceremonies praying for good harvests.
Today local people spend the day here playing cards, mahjong, or just visiting with friends.
At the local parks people gather early in the morning to sing, dance, practice taichi, play instruments, play mahjong, drink tea, or practice caligraphy. Some parks have small lakes and people can rent boats. There is even a section of the park where singles can go to meet other singles or parents can post notes to find a date for their son or daughter.
Our tour group was invited to sing and dance along with the local group.
Terracotta warriors reside in Xian and date back to the 3rd century BC. They were first discovered in 1974 when a farmer was attempting to dig a well. Using ultrasound over 10,000 warriors have been found to be buried in four different pits. Every warrior is unique in size, shape, and facial characteristics. No one is sure why they were built.
Below is Pit 1 which holds 8,000 warriors.