Beijing 2002 – Day 3: The Great Wall, “Pub Street”, City at Night

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Toll gate on the Badaling Express Way on the way to the Great Wall

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Getting close to the Great Wall

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The bottom of the Great Wall at Badaling

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There are a lot of steps along the way!

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View of the Great Wall across the valley from the path I chose

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Upon reaching the top, I found that it kept on going!

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Yet another path I didn’t take – there was plenty of wall to go around

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Me at the Great Wall

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Me standing at another section of the Great Wall

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A view of the wall with a guard tower

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Walking back is just as hard; walking down on a steep slope is very slow going!

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A view of the buildings at the bottom

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One last look at the top

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A view of across the valley from the bottom

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Souvenir stalls at the bottom: be prepared to bargain hard!

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Italian restaurant in “Pub Street” at night

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Waiting at the traffic lights, some children in the car next to us were playing with the electric windows and waving at us

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We asked the taxi to drive around Tiananmen Square on the way home

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Driving past The Great Hall of the People

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The gate at the south end of Tiananmen Square

Beijing 2002 – Day 2: Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, & the Ming Tombs

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Walking along the eastern side of Tiananmen Square

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Walking across the road to Tiananmen Square looking at the Great Hall of the People

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The Great Hall of the People

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Portrait of Sun Yatsen still on display after the national holiday.

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View of the entrance to the Forbidden City from Tiananmen Square

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Me standing at the north end of Tiananmen Square facing south

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The entrance to the Forbidden City

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Closer to the entrance

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Close-up of Mao Zedong’s portrait over the entrance

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The first gate within the Forbidden City walls

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Followed by a courtyard with the Meridian Gate at the north end

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The Gate of Supreme Harmony

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The Hall of Supreme Harmony, looking north

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Close-up of the Hall of Supreme Harmony

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The Imperial Throne inside the Hall of Supreme Harmony

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The Imperial Throne inside the Hall of Supreme Harmony

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A male lion bronze statue in front of one of the many gates

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Bronze statue of a crane with a view of the Dongcheng district in the background

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A building of lesser importance along the eastern side of the Forbidden City

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I think this is the other side of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, looking south west

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The Hall of Medium Harmony, facing north-west

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The Hall of Medium Harmony, facing west

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Inside the Hall of Medium Harmony

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The Hall of Protective Harmony, facing north north west

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Imperial residential quarters, facing north

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Close-up of a roof corner

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Close-up of roof tiles; more animals indicate an important building

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Walkway leading to the Palace of Heavenly Purity to the left (which we didn’t see)

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Walkway leading to officials and servants quarters

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Approaching the entrance to the Ming Tombs

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Chinese national flag flying at the Ming Tombs

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The wording of most of the signs provided some entertainment

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Exiting the Ming Tombs walking up to the tall building on top of the hill

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Stone monument inside the tall building

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The view of other tombs in the distance from the top

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The vendors at the Ming Tombs; once you express your interest in an item it’s very hard to get away!

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The “Spirit Way” on the way to the Ming Tombs

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Me standing next to one of the dozens of statues along the “Spirit Way”

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A large statue of an elephant

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The triumphal arch at the beginning of the “Spirit Way”

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The store at the jade factory

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The Song He Hotel where we stayed

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Wangfujing Street near our hotel, looking north

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Wangfujing Street, looking south

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Karina, Holly, Josh, Natalie, and myself at a Heineken bar near our hotel

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The glass stage at the Heineken bar with bottles underneath

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Making our way home after a night out

Beijing 2002 – Day 1: Sydney Airport, Views over Queensland, Timor Sea, Guangzhou Airport

My trip to Beijing started on the 5th and finished on the 13th of October, 2002. I went with a group of 37 people from Tamworth, Ballina, Safety Bay, and Melbourne. The one thing we had in common was an association with Oxley High School in Tamworth; in my case, it was knowing the group organiser’s wife who works at the same place I do. Beijing is such an amazing place that I will definitely have to go on the next trip!

(Picture: Air China Boeing 777)

The Air China Boeing 777 as seen from gate 25 at Sydney airport

(Picture: somewhere over south-west Queensland)

View outside my window somewhere over south-west Queensland

(Picture: somwhere of the Timor Sea)

View outside my window somewhere over the Timor Sea

(Picture: Probably the Sulu Archipelago)

Probably the Sulu Archipelago according to the on-screen map displayed during flight

(Picture: Guangzhou Airport)

Waiting at Guangzhou airport, which was very 70’s in appearance

(Picture: Disembarking at Beijing Airport)

Getting off the plane at Beijing airport