The below set of galleries are a compilation of pictures from my first to last trip to China spanning 2001 to 2008.


HUANGHUACHENG : IN 2001 IT WAS CONSIDERED THE GENUINE WILD WALL HIKE OF THE GREAT WALL 

On my first business trip to China when, the St. Regis was only $150/nt with butler, I hired a driver to take me out to the Huánghuāchéng section of the Great Wall, in the Huairou District, of Beijing.  Per the Lonely Planet Guide this section of the wall was still accessible.  The driver arrived and it was a kid, about 16 years of age, in his economy sedan and off we went.  It became apparent on this trip, that the young people were learning English.  It was in the middle of January and the lakes were frozen and the wind was howling. After about a  The driver wouldn't even get out of the car.  In some casual loafers and my long think wool business coat I headed off  across a damn that was frozen over, hiked up a hillside to where there was a ladder to climb up on to The Wall.  An amazing feeling to be all alone, no one in sight, standing on top of this massive historical wall.  During the hike, the only person I saw was a lone farmer in his peach orchard raking rocks.  In the 2004, I brought John, my now husband, to the same area (2004 pics follow this photo gallery) and you can see the significant transformation with all the refurbishment of the wall and during the summer.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)


THE STREETS OF BEIJING 2001

Street scenes from the early trips ... fyi, the haziness in the pictures are from smog.  We would have days that were so smoggy that the building next door was just a shadow.


CHINESE OPERA 2002

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Forbidden city 2001 - 2003

These pics are from business trips that first started in February 2001                           (Click on pictures to enlarge)


JINGSHAW PARK

A park that is accessed from behind The Forbidden City.


MOA'S UNDERGROUND CITY

These pics are most likely 2002, there used to be an old hutong (original Chinese neighborhood) that had an entry into a portion of Mao's underground tunnels. His administration could leave the Forbidden City through underground tunnels to the Summer Palace and a military base.


2004 PERSONAL TRIP THROUGH CHINA

In 2004, John joined me in China for a personal trip through China.  In about 2.5 weeks we tried to see what we thought would be the most interesting for John's first trip to China.  

RE-VISITED THE REMOTE SECTION OF THE GREAT WALL 3 TO 4 YEARS AFTER MY FIRST TRIP TO CHINA

Since my first visit the government had started to restore this section of the wall.  At the end of this section of the wall, there is a small village where our driver met us.  We had a beer at the local restaurant and the owner was very social.  She showed us the section of the wall we had climbed was in the Lonely Planet guide and that her restaurant was listed.  She was so cute, she escorted us to the car and waived good bye.  We couldn't speak each other's language but sign language and lots of smiles seemed to make her very happy.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

HEAVENLY TEMPLE

The heaven temple:  The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jia ging also built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun (日壇) in the east, the Temple of Earth (地壇) in the north, and the Temple of Moon (月壇) in the west.

FORBIDDEN CITY 2004


JINGSHAW PARK


THE SUMMER PALACE


XI'AN - THE TERRACOTA WARRIORS


PARK IN XI'AN