As the title suggests, Lacey and I plan to go back to Beijing multiple times, but here are some pictures from our first trip last month. We arrived right when spring did!

A flag at the edge of Tiananmen Square, on an unusually crystal-clear day in Beijing.

A flag at the edge of Tiananmen Square, on an unusually crystal-clear day.

 

A friend we met along the way relaxes in front of our bamboo hut. Evening temperatures in the sixties proved we were a long way from Northern China.

The south-facing front gate of the Forbidden City, complete with Mao’s most famous likeness.

 

It's hard to capture the staggering size of the Forbidden City in a photograph (or even many photographs), but that's what I was trying to do with this shot of an inner gate, one of many in the ancient palace complex.

It’s hard to capture the staggering size of the Forbidden City in a photograph (or even many photographs), but that’s what I was trying to do with this shot of an inner gate, one of many in the ancient palace complex.

 

A more intimate view? The menacing handle of a giant urn.

A more intimate view? The menacing handle of a giant Forbidden City urn.

 

Rooftops of the Forbidden City.

 

The Emperor's staircase.

 

I imagined these tourist groups were ancient invaders, pouring through an inner gate.

I imagined these tourist groups were ancient invaders, pouring through an inner gate.

 

The gardens at the back of the city show a softer side; this one was reportedly the strolling-ground of countless concubines.

The gardens at the back of the city show a softer side; this one was reportedly the strolling-ground of countless concubines.

 

But I still tried somehow to capture its size.

But I kept trying to capture the complex’s overwhelming dimensions.

 

From all kinds of angles!

From all kinds of angles!

 

Traditional houses in Xishuangbanna are built on stilts, with this unusual shape up top.

North of the Forbidden City, we relaxed in Beihai Park while Chinese tourists took pictures of us taking pictures of flowers.

 

Gardens outside a traditional Xishuangbanna town.

The next day, in a more modern venue, we admired an enormous selection of art in Beijing’s avant-garde art district, known simply as “798.”

 

A different breed of dragons than those at the Forbidden City.

A different breed of dragons than those at the Forbidden City.

 

Lacey with art.

Lacey with art.

 

Gallery window.

 

Art district doors.

 

Giant exposed outdoor ducts.

 

Our friends Henrik and Hedda enjoy their coffee.

Our friends Henrik and Hedda enjoy their coffee.

 

Another feature of modern Beijing.

 

We rounded out the day at Club Mao, where a screaming punk band and its delirious fans proved that modern China is anything but simple or easy to define.

We rounded out the day at Club Mao, where a screaming punk band and its delirious fans proved that life in modern China is anything but simple.

 

One thought on “First Beijing Trip: The Old and the New

  • May 14, 2008 at 11:43 am
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    Ethan — It all looks amazing and interesting. Keep these photos coming and have fun with your visitors!

    Reply

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