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China 2009: Mathia - Matthia Family Organization
 
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 China 2009


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1
A close-up of the guard beast at the Summer Palace.
A close-up of the guard beast at the Summer Palace.
 
 
2
A complete set of exercise equipment is available to the public near the Temple of Heaven.
A complete set of exercise equipment is available to the public near the Temple of Heaven.
 
 
3
A Giant Panda.
A Giant Panda.
The Chinese word for "panda" means "bear cat." However, they are neither bears nor cats, but more closely related to the raccoon. Seeing the pandas was a special treat for everyone. The videos we took are more fun to see than the stills. 
 
4
A visit to a pre-school/kindergarten school in Guilin.
A visit to a pre-school/kindergarten school in Guilin.
 
 
5
A visit to a silk factory.
A visit to a silk factory.
We also had lunch at the factory site. 
 
6
At the Beijing Zoo to see the Giant Pandas.
At the Beijing Zoo to see the Giant Pandas.
Liz and her friend Chloe who is also on the tour with us. 
 
7
Bicycle-powered rickshaw ride through a Hutong.
Bicycle-powered rickshaw ride through a Hutong.
Our last adventure in Beijing was to take a rickshaw ride through a Hutong, or residential housing area in the old city of Beijing. The alleys are so narrow that there one has to walk or take very light transportation. 
 
8
Boat tour on the Li River, a water buffalo.
Boat tour on the Li River, a water buffalo.
 
 
9
Boat tour on the Li River.
Boat tour on the Li River.
 
 
10
Boat tour on the Li River.
Boat tour on the Li River.
 
 
11
Buddhist temple across the lake from the Summer Palace.
Buddhist temple across the lake from the Summer Palace.
The hill the temple is on was created by excavating for the lake in the 1700s -- all by hand. 
 
12
Coolie laboring on a tea plantation.
Coolie laboring on a tea plantation.
 
 
13
Distant hilltop Buddhist temple on the way to the Summer Palace.
Distant hilltop Buddhist temple on the way to the Summer Palace.
This picture was taken with full optical zoom and then cropped. After that, the colors were optimized in Photoshop. This shows the degree of smog that is in the air in Beijing, but it also a beautiful building. 
 
14
Elephant Hill Scenic Area.
Elephant Hill Scenic Area.
 
 
15
Elizabeth at the Great Wall.
Elizabeth at the Great Wall.
Liz's celebrity status continued today with many more people asking to have their pictures taken with her. 
 
16
Exercise onlookers at the Temple of Heaven.
Exercise onlookers at the Temple of Heaven.
 
 
17
Explanation of pearl culture at the pearl factory.
Explanation of pearl culture at the pearl factory.
After going to church in the morning at one of the two expatriate LDS branches in Beijing, we went for lunch, an explanation of pearl culture, and shopping at a pearl factory. That's a fresh water oyster that just gave its all for the lecture. There were 33 pearls in the oyster. We didn't even know there were fresh water oysters until now. 
 
18
First lunch in Beijing.
First lunch in Beijing.
Becky and Liz met us the morning we arrived in Beijing. Our lunches have all been served family style. 
 
19
Grandma in mortal danger.
Grandma in mortal danger.
 
 
20
In the evening we went to the Flying Acrobats Show.
In the evening we went to the Flying Acrobats Show.
The feats of this troupe of acrobats were phenominal! 
 
21
Little girl with the artificial lake at the Summer Palace in the background.
Little girl with the artificial lake at the Summer Palace in the background.
As our Chinese guide has pointed out, each child in China today is the sole descendant of six people and gets a lot of attention. This girl in traditional dress was being carried by her grandfather as we walked around the lake to the summer palace. 
 
22
Liz is also a celebrity at the Summer Palace grounds.
Liz is also a celebrity at the Summer Palace grounds.
This beast is standing guard in front of the throne room. 
 
23
Nighttime cormorant fishing on the Li River.
Nighttime cormorant fishing on the Li River.
 
 
24
Nighttime cormorant fishing on the Li River.
Nighttime cormorant fishing on the Li River.
These birds are called cormorants and they do the fishing for their owner. They cannot swallow the fish they catch because of a string tied around their necks. 
 
25
Nighttime cormorant fishing on the Li River.
Nighttime cormorant fishing on the Li River.
Cormorants are hams at heart. They love to spread their wings for the camera. However, it's the fisherman that gets the Yuan. The cormorants only get thrown a couple of scraps of fish. 
 
26
On the overnight sleeper train.
On the overnight sleeper train.
We travelled four to the compartment from Xi'an to Beijing. The ride took about 11 hours and we arrived at about 7:30 in the morning. 
 
27
One of the terra cotta warriors excavation pits.
One of the terra cotta warriors excavation pits.
 
 
28
Passing out gifts we brought for the children.
Passing out gifts we brought for the children.
 
 
29
Riding out of the Hutong on the rickshaw.
Riding out of the Hutong on the rickshaw.
On the right side of the alleyway is the back outer wall of a house that faces into the Hutong. 
 
30
Shopping, shopping, shopping!
Shopping, shopping, shopping!
Between all of our sightseeing, we had plenty of time to shop. One has to bargain for everything. Often it is possible to pay much less than half of the original asking price. Besides souveniers and gifts to take home, Liz was able to get some school clothes. 
 
31
Tai Chi and other exercises on the way to the Temple of Heaven.
Tai Chi and other exercises on the way to the Temple of Heaven.
 
 
32
Terra Cotta Warriors.
Terra Cotta Warriors.
 
 
33
The 2008 Olympics venue.
The 2008 Olympics venue.
We got to walk around the grounds and take pictures. 
 
34
The Forbidden City where 'The Last Emperor' was filmed.
The Forbidden City where "The Last Emperor" was filmed.
 
 
35
The Gold and Silver Pagodas in Xi'an.
The Gold and Silver Pagodas in Xi'an.
 
 
36
The Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall of China.
Today is Saturday and there are 1000s of people here. The traffic in Beijing was bumper to bumper for the whole trip. 
 
37
The Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall of China.
Someone volunteered to take a picture of us all together. The antique cannon is displayed at the base of the wall. 
 
38
The rice paddies of Long Ji.
The rice paddies of Long Ji.
 
 
39
The Temple of Heaven.
The Temple of Heaven.
 
 
40
The throne at the Summer Palace.
The throne at the Summer Palace.
 
 
41
The villiage of Long Ji on the mountain.
The villiage of Long Ji on the mountain.
 
 
42
Tiananmen Square.
Tiananmen Square.
Liz has become an instant celebrity. As we walked across the huge square, Liz was asked at least five times by Chinese people of all ages to let them take a picture with her. 
 
43
Traditional dress of the women in Long Ji.
Traditional dress of the women in Long Ji.
Long Ji is on the top of a mountain covered with terraced rice paddies. 
 
44
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin.
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin.
 
 
45
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin.
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin.
The farmer. 
 
46
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin. The kitchen.
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin. The kitchen.
 
 
47
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin. The woman of the house.
Visit to a country farmhouse on the outskirts of Guilin. The woman of the house.
 
 
48
Visit to a home in the Hutong.
Visit to a home in the Hutong.
This house in the Hutong surrounds a mini-courtyard and is over 200 years old. It has been in the family five generations. A house like this sells for well over $100,000. 
 
49
Visit to an orphanage in Xi'an.
Visit to an orphanage in Xi'an.
 
 
50
Wencheng Tower, a gate fort at the Summer Palace.
Wencheng Tower, a gate fort at the Summer Palace.
Built in 1750. Burned down by Anglo-French forces in 1860, and rebuilt by Emperor Guangxu. 
 

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