Imperial China, The Tangtze River & Tibet
May, 2007

updated: 30 Aug 2015

Jump Station:

[Index of All Web Pages]
[Maps of China]
[Imperial Beijing - Tian'an Men Square]
[Imperial Beijing - The Forbidden City]
[Imperial Beijing - The Great Wall of China]
[Imperial Beijing - the Summer Palace]

Imperial Beijing
Tian'an Men Square


Twice, in 2002 and in 2005, we booked trips to China with Overseas Adventure Traval (OAT). Both times we had to cancel the trips because of illness - the first time China was sick with SARS and second time I needed surgery for a torn rotator cuff. It was unfortunate these earlier trips had to be cancelled because they were our last chance to see the Yangtze River before it was flooded. With the flooding China buried forever much of ancient China's culture and treasures which I had longed to see. The jewel of the Adventure was Tibet which is still the land of the Dahli Lama and Shangrila. (see photo above)

Finally, in May, 2007, we left Minneapolis for China via San Francisco and Tokyo. China is a big country with lots of sights and we were only able to see a tiny bit it. I took many more pictures than is possible to show here but it will give you some an idea of what we saw and did.

I will start with a few maps of China so you can become oriented and then take you to a tour of Imperial Beijing - just use the jump station to go to any area which you are interested in viewing. There is an index at the bottom of each page to take you anywhere you may wish to visit on our trip.

Maps of China

From these maps you can see how much of this huge country we visited.

Political map of Asia

Topographical map with location of cities we visited
Topographical map with the cities we visited:
Beijing, Xi'an, Wuhan, Chongqing, Chengdu, Lhasa, and Hong Kong.

geological map of China - only 10% of land is tillable
Geological map of China - only 10 of the land is tillable

Imperial China - Tian'an Men Square

group photo in front of Tian'an Men
A group photo in front of Tian'an Men. Notice how the group has been arranged
so the large photograph of Mao is visible. I don't think this is an accident.

At one time Beijing was surrounded by three walls. First came the wall to the Forbidden City where the Emperor and his Court lived which included what is now Tian'an Men Square. The wall around the square has been removed and all that remains are several of the ancient gates. The square gets its name from Tian'an Men, "The Gate of Heavenly Peace which was the main entrance to the Forbidden City. Tian'an Men Square is probably the second most famous site we visited in China. The Tian'an Men is the location where Mao proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949 and is therefore a national icon. This gate, the entrance to the Forbidden City, is located on the north end of the square. Tian'an Men Square is flanked on the west by the Great Hall of the People, on the east by the China National Museum, on the south by Mao's Mausoleum and the Qian Men (south gate). Just as you would see in Washington, D.C., or any other major capital of the world, the people are proud of this location and show it off to their children. We were lucky because there were relatively few people present on the day we were there. On national holidays the square can be filled with thousands of Chinese.

Our bus arrives and we see Jian Lou (Arrow) Tower Jian Lou, Arrow Tower built in the Ming dynasty

Qian Men, the South Gate to Tian'an Men Square Qian Men

National Museum with clock counting down to the Olympics Monument to the People's Heroes in the center of the square

Olympic 2009 caps for sale everywhere Sophie, our Beijing guide

Soldiers are positioned everywhere Keeping a watchful eye on the crowd

Fran with Sophie in front of Tian'an Men Lots of small children

Mao's Mausoleum flanked by revolutionary statues An old soldier eating lunch

Guard in front of Mao's Mausoleum Mao's Mausoleum contains refrigerated body of Chairman Mao

Guards at the Mausoleum get some shade. The square

People everywhere enjoy a day in the warm sun Tian'an Men

Tian'an Men Diana, our Program Director. Just look for the purple umbrella

Kite salesman

Great Hall of the People Mao's Mausoleum

Soldiers always stood at a ridged attention China National Museum
We are told, Its OK to take pictures, but do it fast.

Proud parent showing his child the great sites Many different security forces

Changing the guard. Soldiers on a mission

Mao's Mausoleum Soldier

Monument to the People's Heroes

Teenage girls dress alike around the world Soldiers facing opposite direction so they can see everything

Index to all China 2007 Adventures:

The following pages are still under construction
so be patient and come back to watch its growth.

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This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

Bob at Grand Tetons, 2015
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015

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