Beijing 2002 – Day 4: Beijing Zoo, The Summer Palace, Cloisonne Factory, & the Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show

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The Giant Pandas at the Beijing Zoo

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They’re like Koalas – they eat all the time!

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Close-up of a Panda eating bamboo

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More of the same…

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A Little Red Panda running around

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What’s that Little Red Panda doing?

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I can’t remember what was in this tree but I remember we were all fascinated at the time

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Ducks swimming in one of the lakes

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View of the other side of one of the lakes

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A Polar Bear climbing on top of some rocks

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Another Polar Bear resting

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Another lake on the way back from the Polar Bear enclosure

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A compact car at the zoo that the locals call “the little turlte”

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Pants with slits at the back are the go if you haven’t been potty-trained yet

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A dragon statue in the first courtyard to the Summer Palace

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A bed of peonies along a walkway off the main courtyard

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View of an impressive, octagonal, building across the lake

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A bridge linking a small island in the lake

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Entrance to an imperial bedroom in another courtyard

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Picturesque roof-top view from one of the courtyards

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Another courtyard view; grassy gardens are very popular in China – they look good, too!

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Detail of another doorway

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Detail beneath the ceiling from one of the rotundas along the edge of the lake

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View from beneath the large octagonal building

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Bronze statues are common-place in front of important entrances in China

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The pontoon ferrying tourists back to the main entrance of the Summer Palace

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The entrance to the building at the foot of the hill below the large, octagonal, building

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The restaurant in the building below the large, octagonal, building

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The entrance to the men’s toilet at the restaurant – flashy, huh?

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I think this is where the emperor’s throne was located during the summer

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A view from beside the emperor’s throne area looking up the hill

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Detail underneath the ceiling above the emperor’s throne area

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Extreme close-up of the detail on the ceiling of a wooden walkway

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Detail of the ceiling directly the emperor’s throne

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Another view looking up at the octagonal building

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Chinese tea ceremony. The best tea I’ve ever had, too!

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Ron always made friends with the girls!

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A marble boat docked at the Summer Palace (the original was destroyed, unfortunately)

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Another view of the marble boat

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View of the front of the marble boat (btw, it’s too heavy to actually leave dock!)

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View of the octagonal building from the pontoon on the lake

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Another island in the middle of the lake

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A bridge joining the island close to the main entrance of the Summer Palace

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A view of the octagonal building off in the distance

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Chinese worker at a cloisonne factory adding detail to some copper pots

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Adding the many layers of special paint

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Firing the cloisonne vases

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The cloisonne shop. This stuff don’t come cheap!

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One of those large vases will set you back around $5,000 Australian!

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I can’t remember the price of the one in the glass cage; let’s just say that I couldn’t afford it!

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Inside the McDonald’s restaurant a few shops down from our hotel

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In front of the Chaoyang Theatre

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The empty stage, before the performance

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Chinese girls twirling rugs in mid-air

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Chinese Lion and various performers in balancing acts

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Men, and men in lion costumes; I usually took the photo just after the good bit :-(

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Again, just after they had performed an amazing somersault!

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My trigger finger got a little better for this one!

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Four men, in two lion costumes, balancing and moving across the stage on a rubber ball

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A boy balancing on a plank of wood and flicking plates onto his head

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Balancing before flicking one of the plates

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A boy balancing on top of a man and flicking plates onto his head

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A boy half way through jumping off the platform held by the balancing man below

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Girls twirling discs on the end of bendy-rods

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Twirling discs in a stack

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Variations on a theme

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This was truly amazing! The girls in mid-air were being spun around and juggled back and forth!

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The highlight of the evening…

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It took quite a run-up to jump and twist through the top ring!

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Extreme close-up!

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Jumping through the top ring and each other!

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You’d be showing off, too, if you were as good as these guys!

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About to jump through the middle ring.

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A backward somersault through the top ring!

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A backward somersault through the fifth, and final, ring!

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Two troupes of girls riding together in circles

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Doing fancier tricks on the bicycles; you don’t see your average Chinese doing this in the street, though!

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Riding in circles standing on top of their bicycles

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What a finale!

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The End :-(

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