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One of the most interesting places in Beijing and also most visited ones is the Forbidden City. It was no surprise that this is where our group went on the first day of sightseeing in China. It was obviously very busy with visitors scouring all around the massive compound and I kept looking for one or two quieter spots where people were not prominent in the scene.
I found one such spot on the side of one of the main squares inside the palace grounds. It looks empty but one had to be quick to
China, Horses at Lashi Lake, near Lijiang, Yunnan Province. This lake, which sits on the southern slope of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, at an altitude of 7,995 feet (2,437 meters), is part of the Lijiang – Lashihai Plateau Wetland Nature Reserve (established in 1998). This is the place to be if you’re a bird watcher; many thousands of birds migrate here each year, an estimated 57 species, including 9 endangered species, call this their winter home.
Wu Hua Tower at night, Dali Ancient City, Yunnan Province, China. This gorgeous tower stands proudly in the center of Dali Old Town. Built in 1382, Dali was the capital of Yunnan. In ancient times this tower was used for entertaining royal and imperial groups.
Black Dragon Pool Park in Lijiang, China, is an amazing place to relax and enjoy. Pictured is Deyue Pavilion, originally built in 1876, with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background.
The Miao people celebrate the Sisters' Meal Festival over five days annually in April. Villagers dress in their distrinctive finery and masses participate in a singing and dancing ceremony in Taijiang. This festival is an opportunity for young people to mingle and find love. These photos were taken on the day of the grand parade where thousands of villagers danced and jingled through the streets dressed up in their spectacular costumes.
“Have you ever seen the dawn? Not a dawn groggy with lack of sleep or hectic with mindless obligations and you about to rush off on an early adventure or business, but full of deep silence and absolute clarity of perception? A dawning which you truly observe, degree by degree. It is the most amazing moment of birth. And more than anything it can spur you to action. Have a burning day.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
Last year has been amazing, yet challenging. The joy of sharing your life with someone you selflessly care for, and unconditionally love. But at the same time spending your life with someone who doesn't think like you or may or may not be motivated by the same reasons as you. There are bound to be differences but the strength lies in positively turning those differences into exciting moments that both learn from, and can be complementary.
A Zen Buddhist hall in Haicang district of Xiamen, about 10kms away from the island. Monks and believers recite incantations at dusk, smoke floating in the air coming from the lit incense in front of the temple, making for an ethereal atmosphere.
This place is totally ‘chill’ and beautiful; it’s another beautiful morning! I wish my photo could show half the beauty of what I see, but it doesn’t even come close. I hope you enjoy this view through my eyes and lens. Erhai Lake, near Dali, Yunnan Province, China.
During a visit to Huangshan we met a group of students practising yoga on a small open space on the mountain trail. One of the students demonstrated his ability to "fly". On hind sight, whether one calls this yoga or kungfu, it was really not a very good idea. One misjudgment, and he would have flown over the low retaining wall and landed at the bottom of the mountain.
An old man at the Gubeikou village, near the Great Wall box house where we had stayed.
“There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.”
Smelly tofu is a favourite snack in China and Taiwan. It is a fermented beancurd that is fried and sold by food stalls and itinerant hawkers. The smell is so strong that when sold at one end of a street you can smell it at the other end. Those who like it claim it is very delicious.
At the end of a eight year process, my grandmother finally accomplished her life-long dream of building a hotel. Most of my family went to Yixing to congratulate my grandmother during the official opening.
At the time of this photo, my grandmother was 83 years old. Despite the financial setbacks, despite her health problems, despite breaking both of her knees in an accident, my grandmother was determined to accomplish her dream.
The terraced rice fields in Yuan Yang County, Yunnan Province, China, were built by the Hani ethnic minority people more than a thousand years ago. Yunnan is mountainous and the only way to grow rice is to cut steps or terraces on the mountain sides. These terraces are filled with water in spring and the pools of water reflect the various colours of the sky.
The terraces have been declared a World Heritage Site and are a popular destination for photographers despite their remoteness.
We’re now in Lijiang Old Town, Yunnan Province, China. Walking along these traditional Chinese streets at dawn makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time. I’m loving it! Lijiang Old Town was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1997; Lijiang Old Town dates back to China’s Warring States Period (476 BC – 221 BC) and is home to the Naxi ethnic minority people, one of China’s recognized 56 minority ethnic cultures.
Lantern Flies are fairly large insects. The wings are generally brightly patterned in contrasting colors, and they are popular among collectors.
The head of some Fulgorid species is produced into a hollow process, resembling a snout, which is sometimes inflated and nearly as large as the body of the insect, sometimes elongated, narrow and apically upturned. It was falsely believed, that this process, the so-called lantern, was luminous at night.
Zhang Yimou, the well known film director and director of the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics, has several shows in various tourist spots in China. "Impression West Lake" is his production at West Lake. With a cast of hundreds, the show is presented on water at West Lake. This photograph was taken at the show. With West Lake for backdrop, clever lighting, and water as the stage. The spectacular performance is well worth seeing should you visit Hangzhou.
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