I spent a whirlwind couple of weeks in China. We flew into Beijing, checking into the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel before heading out to explore temples, landmark attractions, and some wonderful restaurants.  I love the Peking duck: moist, succulent meat that almost falls off the bone.  The service in Beijing was five star all the way and everything we needed was within walking distance or just a short cab ride away.  While in the north, we visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Royal Summer Palace, and a number of religious temples.  Nights were dedicated to fine dining and musicals; we never ran out of things to do in this town.

Tiananmen Square

The Forbidden City

Visiting the outer gates of the palace, one can truly understand how important security was during the period of history when this fortress was first constructed.  The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty–spanning 492 years between 1420 and 1912.

The architecture and attention to detail is astonishing; every surface is covered with ornate, colorful artwork.

Below: Open courtyard just entering the city through the gate at Tiananmen Square

Mabel terraces in the courtyard.

Yonghe Temple

Summer Palace

 Xi’an & The Terra-Cotta Warriors

David Loughlin

Emperor Qin’s Tomb:  The Terra-Cotta Army protects the tomb of China’s first emperor.  One can see the restoration project behind the scenes.
I love this archeological site because of the backstage view you have into the restoration side of the dig.
David Loughlin

Rows of soldiers were created to stand guard over the tomb.
David Loughlin

The Great Wall

David Loughlin

Yangtze River Cruise – Chongqing to Shanghai & The Gorges

After driving from Xian, we arrived in Chongqing around sunset.  From here we began our cruise to Shanghai, floating past numerous small towns, cities, and the three gorges before traversing the locks of the Three Gorges Dam.

Chongqing Grand Theater

Waterfront old town at night.

Colors of Sunset on the Yangtze River

Three Gorges Dam

David Loughlin


The floral wall, on the waterfront in Shanghai.
David Loughlin

This photo was taken from boardwalk, above the floral wall in Shanghai.

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