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China 2011

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China 2011 - Page Text Content

S: China 2011

BC: The End

FC: By: Rohan Roy | CHINA 2011

1: Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. -Confucius

2: The Forbidden City was an awe-inspiring site. I'm glad I chose it as my first location to visit in China. Located in the heart of the capital, the front entrance was crowded with tourists and vendors. However, it was easy to find peace and solitude within the vast grounds, and I would have been easily lost if not for my map. The impressive architecture and colors are what stuck out the most during the trip. It was quite humbling to be before such a massive ground. -May 2nd 2011 | Forbidden City, Beijing | Entrance to the Forbidden City

3: Brilliant architecture-taken from the rooftops

4: Just one of the many cave paintings | The main temple entrance | An outside shot of some of the caves

5: After staying in Beijing, I moved to Dunhuang, and visited the Magao Caves southeast of the city. I took a guided tour of the many caves carved into the bedrock. The tour guide showed our group the beautiful ancient Buddhist paintings inside the temples. The whole experience was like going back in time. It is amazing that these wall paintings had survived for hundreds of years. It was a cloudy, gloomy day, but that didn't matter. I was inside for most of the time. I even bought a Buddha statue from one of the side vendors outside! -May 7th 2011 | Magao Caves, Dansu Province

6: A tree where the monks practiced their finger-punching technique. | The Pagoda Forest where I ate my lunch | The Shaolin Temple entrance gate

7: Shaolin Temple, Dengfeng | The next stop was the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of many Shaolin martial arts techniques. I spent the day wandering around the temples as well as the Pagoda Forest. The Pagoda Forest consists of many pagodas arranged inside the temple walls. It was the perfect spot to relax and enjoy my picnic lunch. Unfortunately, I was not able to see any of the famed Shaolin monks, as they were shutout from all the tourists. I did however see some of their training grounds and practice facilities. It was very serene and peaceful that afternoon up in the mountains. -May 13th 2011

8: I decided I wanted to see the modern side of China and head over to the port city of Shanghai. The Bund is an area lining the Huangpu River which runs through the heart of the urban city. I went out at night, where things really light up. The skyline of Shanghai and some of the best examples of modern Chinese architecture lit up the night sky. I did most of my major shopping here, buying everything from clothes, trinkets, and street food. The Bund was full of life, with street performers and lots of shops everywhere.The Bund was definitely one of my favorite places during the entire trip. -May 17th 2011 | The Bund, Shanghai

9: The Bund was full of life and color | The spectacular Shanghai skyline as viewed from The Bund

10: Shot taken from the edge of the lake, right before sunset

11: West Lake, Hangzhou | I can tell why they call the West Lake 'Paradise on Earth'. The lake itself is a thing of beauty. It was surrounded by ancient temples and gardens. I rented a small boat and went out into the lake to visit the numerous islands. Pagodas and sanctuaries lined the water's edge. I could see my own reflection in the pristine water. Everything was very quiet, as if any noise made would disturb the natural beauty of the lake. -May 20th 2011

12: Potala Palace, Lhasa | I journeyed into the mountainous region of Tibet to see the home of the Dalai Lama. It was a very crowded site, and I couldn't escape the thousands of tourists at the base. I was able to ascend the huge staircases to reach the White Palace at the top, which was the living quarters of the Dalai Lama. I also toured the Red Palace, and witnessed a Buddhist prayer session. Multiple murals and stone sculptures lined the halls and outside walls. The highlight of my journey was seeing the tomb of the 13th Dalai Lama, which stood over 40 feet high. May 24, 2011

13: The massive building is the highest palace in the world

14: The Yangtze pouring through the Three Gorges Dam

15: Three Gorges Dam, Sandouping | I ventured to see one of the greatest engineering feats of the modern world, the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. The most startling aspect was its size. This Dam was massive, its length well over a mile long. There was even a guided tour to go inside the Dam and see one of the 32 turbines. The noise was almost unbearable, and it was hard to hear anything the guide said over the rushing water. Also included in the tour was a visit to the locks located to the side. Our group saw the locks in actions, as a cargo boat was passing through at the time. I learned that the Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. -May 27, 2011

16: Mount Lushan, Jiujiang | I trekked to southeastern China to see the elegant and mysterious beauty of Mount Lushan. I decided to go hiking on my own on one of the numerous nature trails. I was lucky to come across one of the waterfalls that dot the mountainside. The sounds of nature such as the moving water, and the unique wildlife created a sense of tranquility. Mount Lushan is one of the most famed and revered landmarks in all of China. The best part was the lack of crowds and tourists. -May 31st 2011

17: The waterfall I cam across during my hike

18: Hong Kong, as seen from Victoria Bay during the day and night

19: Victoria Bay, Hong Kong | I returned to the eastern coast of China to visit the city of Hong Kong. Specifically, I went to Victoria Bay, China's largest harbor. During the day, I took a cruise in the harbor to do a little sightseeing. Later on, I witnessed the Symphony of Lights, a dazzling light show exhibiting the Honk Kong skyline at night. Combined with music and fireworks, the entire show left me speechless. There was so much light that is might as well have been daytime! Visiting the urban centers of China was my favorite part of the whole journey. -June 3rd 2011

20: The Great Wall, Jinshaling | No trip to China would be complete without visiting the Great Wall. As China's most famous landmark, it was packed with tourists from all over the world. I put on my walking shoes and trekked along the wall for a good 2 miles and back. Not only do you get a sense of history, but the scenery and view from atop the wall was breathtaking. The multiple forts and watchtowers were particularly intriguing, and you could see time's toll on the stone structure. Multiple areas were reduced to rubble, and were well-avoided. I bought many souvenirs from multiple vendors. It was a perfect end to the perfect trip! -June 6th 2011

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