Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou 2010-2011
From the end of December 2010 we returned for my fifth trip to China, spending three amazing weeks visiting China’s capital Beijing as well as Tianjin, located south of Beijing, and Zhengzhou in central China.
This is the Photo Album from my trip – while viewing these pictures you can at the same time read the story from this trip (opens in new window/tab).
Chongwenmen (Chongwen gate) was one of the gates in Beijing’s ancient city wall. Leading east from Chongwenmen a 1.5 km section of the ancient city wall has been protected in the Ming City Wall Site Park.
Tian’anmen Square takes its name from the Tian’anmen gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) to the Imperial Palace at the north of the square, and includes the Monument to the People’s Heroes and Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.
The World Heritage listed Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) is located in the centre of inner city Beijing, and is a vast and extraordinary complex of many grand gates, palaces, and halls with an incredible 8,700 rooms.
The hutongs are Beijing’s ancient narrow lanes lined with traditional courtyard houses. The hutongs we toured are located directly north of the Imperial Palace, and the sites we passed included the ancient Drum and Bell Towers.
Prince Gong Mansion is one of Beijing’s largest and best-preserved royal mansions. It has numerous buildings and courtyards, with exquisite grandeur reminiscent of the Imperial Palace.
The 130km journey from Beijing to Tianjin, famous for its great food and European colonial architecture, took only 30 minutes on the new high speed rail service which reached a speed of 325 km/h. China is constructing 17,000 km of high speed rail lines.
Located north-west of the Imperial Palace in the centre of Beijing, Beihai Park is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved ancient imperial gardens in China with a history of about 1,000 years. A major landmark in Beihai Park is the majestic White Dagoba.
Wangfujing is one of Beijing’s best known shopping areas, and Chang\'an Avenue is a major road that runs east-west across the Beijing city centre. Beijing West Railway Station is one of the largest railway stations in Asia.
We enjoyed the night view of Zhengzhou from the city’s only revolving restaurant, which is located on the top floor of the Zhengzhou Guangdong Hotel, and I visited the nationally significant Henan Museum.
Yonghegong Lama Temple was built in 1694 as the residence of Prince Yong, later becoming a palace and then in 1744 a lama temple. It is the largest lamasery in Beijing and has many Buddhist statues, paintings and relics.
The Temple of Heaven is a spectacular group of ancient temple buildings, and includes the landmark Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and Circular Mound Altar. The temple buildings are located in 273 hectares of beautiful parkland with ancient Cypress woods.
First established in 1442 in the Ming Dynasty, this is one of the oldest and longest operating astronomical observatories in the world. The observatory platform, located on top of a tower that was part of the old city wall, features well-preserved historic astronomical equipment.
The Summer Palace was built by Emperor Qianlong in 1750 to celebrate his mother’s birthday, and includes beautiful Kunming Lake and the Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha which dominates Longevity Hill.
The dominant feature of the Jingshan Park is a hill with the Wanchun Pavilion on its peak, offering magnificent views over Beijing in all directions, including of the directly adjacent Imperial Palace to the south, Beihai Park to the north-west and Drum and Bell Towers to the north.
For the stories and pictures from my other trips to China see My China Trips and the Galleries.