An interesting add by Nikon
When we got off the Express Train into Hong Kong, we saw this add by Nikon showing Tam Loc.
Lori at Tam Loc, Vietnam...no Nikon used.
Some I like more than others....
A couple pictures that I liked from the China trip...
My sweet wife has a Disney Jones that can't be cured...only treated.
Lori at Disneyland Hong Kong
China in 72 Hours
China gives everyone the opportunity to fill your bucket list with their 72 hour tourist transit visa. If you are outside of your home country travelling and decide you want to visit China, it is your only option as they won't allow you to get a long stay visa from a third country. We would have to fly home to the USA and process our visa from there...or we can plan a rapid transit through a single city in which we arrive and depart from the same airport within 72 hours...starting at midnight the day of arrival. Did you get all that?
So, we had 72 hours to see the "Great Wall" and the Forbidden City...which turned out to be plenty! We even took an entire day for a road trip to the less visited sections of the Great Wall in which we were nearly the only people for as far as the eye could see. Better yet, the weather was perfect.
A brief history of the wall...
Although Emperor Qinshihuang claimed credit for building the Great Wall of China, the construction of the Great Wall actually began in Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC) as a military fortification against raids by tribes on the northern borders. However, it was not known as the Great Wall of China back then. After Emperor Qinshihuang united China in 221 BC, major construction effort began to join all parts of the wall to form the Qin Great wall, later known as the Great Wall of China. Constructing the Qin Great Wall took about ten years to complete, and it stretched from Linzhao (in the eastern part of today's Gansu Province) in the west to Liaodong (in today's Jilin Province) in the east. After Emperor Qin Shi Huang, several emperor made efforts to extend and enhance the structures of the walls. As the northern tribes became more powerful, more labor was spent to extend the size and structure of the Great Wall. However the amount of resources put in to construct the Great Wall were quite different; in general dynasties suffering from tribal raiding and intrusions put in more resources, while peaceful dynasities such as Tang dynasty almost made no extension to the Great Wall.
The main wall is around 2,145 miles (3,460 km) long with an extra 1,770 miles (2,860 km) of branches and spurs. It is the longest man made structure in the world. The length of all Chinese defense walls built over the last 2,000 years is approximately 31,070 miles (50,000 km). Earth's circumference is 24,854 miles (40,000 km).
Historian Arthur Walden established that the popular concept of one Great Wall, and even the name itself, entered Chinese consciousness not directly from the Chinese tradition, but rather through European sources who idealized the Wall. In fact, the Wall rarely appeared in Chinese art before the twentieth century.
During its construction, the Great Wall was called "the longest cemetery on earth" because so many people died building it. Reportedly, it cost the lives of more than one million people.
A Brief History of the Forbidden City...
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the third Ming emperor, YungLe, initiated the building of the Forbidden City. Located in the center of China's capital, Beijing, it displays an extraordinarily harmonious balance between buildings and open space within a more or less symmetrical layout. His three architects, Hsu Tai, Yuan An and Feng Chiao, were given the brief to build an extravagant set of palaces to serve as the emperor's metropolis. Audience halls were needed for receiving delegations, together with temples for ritual purification and processional paths. Also required were large domestic quarters with gardens for himself and his family as well as administrative accommodation, a shrine for ancestral rites and, as patron of three types of religion, temples of Buddhism, Lamaism and Taoism.
Construction of the Forbidden City started in 1406, the 5th year of YongLo's reign. The construction took 14 years - and an estimated one million workers, including 100,000 artisans, were involved.
The Forbidden City was constructed in accordance with ancient rules of spatial design, first used during the Han dynasty in building the city of Chang'An (modern XiAn), between 206 BC and AD 220 . Among other things, these rules specified that the principal buildings should be aligned along a straight axis from south to north, flanked by a symmetrical arrangement of minor structures on parallel axes. This architectural convention was favourable to YungLo's claim that his city had symbolic importance. He believed that a centralized configuration of buildings would also serve as a reflection of the ordered heavens.