Beijing, China ~ 北京

B ĕijīng (北京, north capital ) is the capital of China (中国, zhōng guó ). The city is centuries old and lies in a huge bowl surrounded by mountains. Just north of the city at Bā Dá Lĭng (八达岭, eight big ridges ), the Great Wall of China (长城 cháng chéng, long wall ) passes by on its over 3000 mile journey along the mountain ridgelines. In Beijing there are ancient districts known as Hú Tòng (胡同, alleys ), characterized by their maze of narrow dirt alleys and interconnected roofs. People still live there just as they have for thousands of years except now there are electric lights. One can take a rickshaw ride through the alleys and you will soon be lost in another world. At the Beijing Opera (京剧, jīng jù ) one can see ancient operas and fantastic acrobatic acts.

F rom Beijing a 1½ hour drive west takes you to Sī Mă Tái (司马台, Secretary horse station), a small town which is a gateway to the steepest and narrowest section of the Great Wall. One must hike up from the road for about an hour to reach the Wall. Most of this section of the wall more closely resembles a steep staircase than a wall. A zip-line several hundred meters high has been put up along here that can transport you from the wall back to a landing pad high over a 1/2 mile wide lake. The cables are rusty but strong, however there are NO REAL safety harnesses ~ YOU MUST HANG ON. Please see the above video.
One World - One Dream
Great Wall - Ba Da Ling
Great Wall - Si Ma Tai
Zip-Line Landing Pad at Si-Ma-Tai
Three Wheeled Vehicle
A Trike Truck
At The Beijing Opera
At The Beijing Tang Opera
Typical Chinese City Apartments - 2007
Classic Bridge in a Beijing Park
Ringing a Large Bell in a Beijing Park
Shopping for Jade
Cloisonné Factory Worker Applying Copper Dividers
Cloisonné 'Phoenix' Dish Ready for Painting
Cloisonné Worker Adding Paints
Polishing a Chinese Cloisonné Bowl
Finished Cloisonné Vases for Sale
Chinese Rug Worker at Work - Each Thread is Tied and Cut to Length By Hand
Final Rug Clipping By a Steady Experienced Hand
Finished Chinese Rugs For Sale
Interconnected Roofs in a Hu-Tong District
More Interconnected Roofs in a Hu-Tong District
Rickshaws Just Outside a Hu-Tong District
Drum Tower Near a Main Hu-Tong District
Steep Stairs Leading To/From a Hu-Tong Tower Drum Room
Drums Played Every Quarter Hour in the Drum Room
Typical Wiring Throughout China