2016 World Tour
Beijing, China


October 3rd to 13th, 2016

Beijing dazzled us! Just walking down the street filled our senses. We loved seeing traditional Chinese artwork and architecture and we loved the fact that we could get around fairly easy without a tour guide. Beijing is modern, vibrant, packed with people and slightly out-of-control. We describe the streets of Beijing as 'organized chaos.' The food was delicious (albeit mysterious) and we really enjoyed our time here.

Below: Summer Palace.

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Below: The 'Long Corridor' is a covered walking path with hand-painted scenes from around China on the ceiling and canopy. The corridor is 1/2-mile long and contains 14,000 paintings.

Beijing, China

Below: Incense offering at a Buddhist Temple (Yonghe Temple, built 1694).

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Below: It was a treat to see the giant pandas at the Beijing Zoo. These animals are cherished here.

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Below: We went to an acrobat show and were amazed with their jaw-dropping performance. The 'ballerinas' stunned us with their talent.

Beijing, China

Below: Strolling on the Great Wall of China was a dream come true.

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Below: It is no longer forbidden to enter the Forbidden City (built in 1420) but they do restrict it to 80,000 visitors per day. The museum is huge with 980 buildings and 8,800 rooms. Our favorite was the 'Royal Jewels' room which had some serious bling.

To fully appreciate the '60 Golden Scepters' display you had to get up close and see the detail in these golden gadgets. They were made in 1770 from 112 pounds of gold.

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Below: Apparently, seeing the emperor's throne is on everyone's bucket list and watching people clamor for a glimpse made a better picture than the chair itself.

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Below: Tiananmen Square.

Beijing, China

Below: Olympic National Stadium (Bird's Nest) by day and by night.

Beijing, China

Below: No, this is not a pet store. It's the supermarket!

Beijing, China

Below: Our hotel in Beijing was the nicest hotel we've ever stayed at and we were treated like royalty. The breakfast 'buffet' was an elaborate affair with ten chefs freshly preparing cuisine at international stations. The 'noodle magician' entertained us by taking a ball of dough and hand-stretching it into a bowl of Lo Mein noodles in less than 20 seconds. At the juice bar you selected your own fruits and vegetables and they juiced them for you, and you could get serenaded by a violinist at your table. And that was just breakfast.

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

Visiting Beijing was an eyes-wide-open experience. We saw so many new and interesting things. Most people were kind to us, helped us, and smiled a lot. We felt welcome. Next stop: Xi'an, China.