Beijing in pictures

5 days in Beijing and here are some pictures of the city. Overall, a great place to visit. If you’d like to read more about what I thought of the city, click here.

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A typical street in down town Dong Cheng. Bicycles and scooters are big business here in an attempt to cheat the ridiculous traffic. The problem is these guys don’t think the rules of the road apply to them!

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The Drum Tower – back in the day drums used to be beaten here to mark the time. Pretty cool place to go and see the view but go on a smog-free day otherwise you’re wasting your money. Visibility on a bad-smog day can’t be more than a few hundred feet

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A sculpture of a lion entering the Forbidden City. You’ll find similar statues at the entrance of most important sites involving the various dynasties. I’m speculating here but think it has something to do with protecting the site. Nonetheless, it’s an awesome sculpture – the detail is incredible considering this was made hundreds of years ago by hand!

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The notorious crowds at the Forbidden City. These have to be the worst crowds I’ve ever seen. It’s like trying to walk around at a U2 concert – virtually impossible. The Forbidden City has been known to attract crowds of up to 80,000 visitors a day. Today was particularly bad as it was a Saturday and Chinese school holidays – great planning Marc! On another note – check out the smog!

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Fishermen in central Beijing. I personally wouldn’t eat anything caught from this river – I’m sure it would be radioactive!

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Tiananmen Square on a relatively clear night. The square is massive and security is really tight. Most likely due to the square being home to the Mao Mausoleum.

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Some ultra-modern architecture in the financial district of Beijing. This is the CCTV building.

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Outside the Olympic Stadium – the Birds Nest. A group of school kids wanted a photo with us – awesome bunch of kids!

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The night market in Wangfujing Street – scorpion, seahorse, centipede and grasshopper on show!

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The lake at the Summer Palace. In a nutshell, this is the place just outside the city where some emperors from various dynasties used to escape Beijing for a bit. It’s a HUGE site – lots of temples. You can rent a paddle boat and literally use your legs to paddle around the lake, but in this heat, I’d rather cover myself in honey and run through a bee farm.

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Some of the temples at the Summer Palace – amazingly detailed wood carvings.

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More temples at the Summer Palace

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The lake at the Summer Palace. All those little boats are paddle boats – you can rent them for 300RMB but why torture yourself?

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More wooden carvings. The number of ‘beasts’ you see on the roof indicates the importance of the temple, so this one is pretty important.

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The Great Wall of China! We were exceptionally lucky to visit the site when there were virtually no other visitors there! We almost had the Wall to ourselves. How did we pull this off? We chose a remote stretch of the Wall – Jinshanling to Simatai West for starters, and then we went at sunset.

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There was a kind lady, sent straight from Heaven I’m sure, who sold us beer after 4kms of hiking. I don’t know about you, but she should be knighted and given a $1million! On a side note, how the hell did she get a fridge up here??

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The sun slowly setting on the Wall – such an incredible experience!

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Another sunset pic from the Wall

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Another sunset pic

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And another…

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The Llama Temple in Central Beijing, home to the largest Buddha statue created out of a single piece of Sandalwood – 27 meters! Worth a visit to see how awesome the temples are!

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A roof- pic from the Llama Temple. Check out the number of ‘beasts’ – clearly an important site!

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