Tangshan is located in the central section of circum-Bohai Sea Gulf region, facing the Bohai Sea in the south, depends on Yanshan mountain in the north, border Luanhe with Qinhuangdao city in the east, the west adjoin with Beijing, Tianjin. It is a throat strategic area and corridor linking two major regions of North China and Northeast China.
Tangshan is part of North China Plain, with Yanshan Mountain lying its north. The greatest river in Tangshan is Luanhe, which ranks No.2 in North China.
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian calendar), a date that parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar. This is the ideal time, when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year), and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:
- Eating moon cakes outside under the moon
- Putting pomelo rinds on one's head
- Carrying brightly lit lanterns
- Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e
- Planting Mid-Autumn trees
- Collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members
- Lighting lanterns on towers
- Fire Dragon Dances
One World, One Dream...
Hotel restaurant... here, fish were lived inside the ship.... truly amazing,...
Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 square metres. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Since 1924, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the largest, and rises some 30 metres above the level of the surrounding square. It is the ceremonial centre of imperial power, and the largest surviving wooden structure in China. It is nine bays wide and five bays deep, the numbers 13 and 20 being symbolically connected to the majesty of the Emperor. Set into the ceiling at the centre of the hall is an intricate caisson decorated with a coiled dragon, from the mouth of which issues a chandelier-like set of metal balls, called the "Xuanyuan Mirror". In the Ming Dynasty, the Emperor held court here to discuss affairs of state. During the Qing Dynasty, as Emperors held court far more frequently, the Hall of Supreme Harmony was only used for ceremonial purposes, such as coronations, investitures, and imperial weddings.
Behind the Hall of Preserved Harmony, in the centre of the stairway, is a huge marble relief of nine dragons playing with pearls. It is the largest stone sculpture in the Forbidden City. Sculpted originally in the Ming dynasty, it was re-sculpted in the Qing dynasty. During these dynasties, anyone who was caught touching this holy stone would receive the death penalty! The huge stone was hauled into the palace all the way from Fangshan, a distance of some 70 kilometers from Beijing. This difficult task took about a month employing twenty thousand men and thousands of mules and horses. Weighing about 250 tons, the marble slab is 16.57 meters long, 3.07 meters wide and 1.7 meters thick. It had to be dragged along the ground and it is said that a well was dug every 500 meters so that water could be pumped onto the road to facilitate transportation!
Throne of the Emperor.
Imperial Garden in Forbidden City. Outside of the Gate of Terrestrial Tranquility is Yuhuayuan, the Imperial Garden. Constructed during the Ming dynasty in 1417, it is rectangular in shape and covers approximately 12,000 square meters. This was a private retreat for the imperial family and is the most typical of the Chinese imperial garden design. There are some twenty structures, each of a different style, and the ways in which they harmonise with the trees, rockeries, flower beds and sculptural objects such as the bronze incense burners both delight and astonish visitors. It is a worthy tribute to the art of the designers that so much can be achieved in so small a space.
Tree in Imperial Garden.
Main Entrance of Ming Dynasty Emperor's Tombs. The Ming Dynasty Tombs (Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty) are located some 50 kilometers due north of urban Beijing at a specially selected site. The site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402 - 1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to the present location of northwest Beijing. The Ming tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty were located on the southern slope of Mount Taishou (originally Mount Huangtu). He is credited with envisioning the layout of the ancient city of Beijing as well as a number of landmarks and monuments located therein. After the construction of the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and creating his own mausoleum.
From the Yongle Emperor onwards, 13 Ming Dynasty Emperors were buried in this area. The tombs of the first two Ming Emperors are located near Nanjing (the capital city during their reigns). Emperor Jingtai was also not buried here as the Emperor Tianshun had denied Jingtai an imperial burial but was instead buried west of Beijing. The last Chongzhen Emperor who hanged himself in April, 1644 was the last to be buried here, named Si Ling by the Qing emperor but on a much smaller scale than his predecessors.
During the Ming dynasty, the tombs were off limits to commoners but in 1644 Li Zicheng's army ransacked and set many of the tombs on fire before advancing and capturing Beijing in April of that year.
Gate to the Afterlife...
Way leading to the entrance of Ming's Tomb. Me wearing the ID of an Olympic Volunteer who happened to be our tour guide.
Various Chamber inside Ming's Tomb.
Me at Badaling Section of Great Wall of China. The Great Wall is a symbol of Chinese civilization, and one of the wonders that the Chinese people have created. Badaling Great Wall, the most representative part, was promoted as a key national cultural relic, protected under the approval of the State Council in 1961. In 1988, it was enlisted in the World Cultural Heritage Directory by UNESCO. July 7, 2007 has once again witnessed the worldwide reputation that the Great Wall gained: it was listed among the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Badaling Great Wall is situated in Yanqing County, over 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of Beijing. It is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This section with an average altitude of over 1,000 meters (3,282 feet) is the outpost of the Juyongguan Pass. The mountain slope is very steep and the roads are tortuous. These features made it a military stronghold. Badaling Great Wall is like a strong dragon winding its way along the mountain ranges.
The Great wall originally functioned as a fortification. As early as the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), Qinshihuang, the first emperor of Qin Dynasty unified the whole nation and began to build the Great Wall to protect China's borders from the intrusion of the northern nomadic tribes. Most parts of the preserved Badaling Great Wall were built and reinforced during the Ming Dynasty to defend the capital against the intrusion of these Mongolian people. The structure of the wall consists of huge bar-stones and bricks. The inside of the wall has been formed by tampering earth and small stones, which makes the wall very firm and strong. Internally, the wall is about six meters (20 feet) wide, which would allow horses to gallop five abreast. A number of small holes have been drilled on the wall to allow archers to shoot arrows. There is a barrel-drain and a moat both inside and outside the wall. In a word, military fortification has been paramount in the consideration of every wall detail.
The signal fire platforms were an important part of the whole fortification of ancient China. A signal fire platform is actually a blockhouse that was built on the top of the wall. It was used to send warning signals. Since the Ming Dynasty, the amount of smoke and gunfire released conveyed specific military information about the enemy. One release of smoke with one shot of gunfire signified 100 enemies; two smoke releases with two shots of gunfire meant 500 enemies; three smoke releases with three shots of gunfire indicated more than 1,000 enemies. Once one signal platform fired a beacon, the others would follow likewise so as to alert the command as to the strength of the enemy.
As a landmark erected at the top of a group of mountain ranges, Badaling Great Wall has also witnessed many significant historic events. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty toured there, Yuan Taizu, the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) passed the Badaling Great Wall and took control over the whole of China. Empress Cixi fled from there to the western part of China in 1900 when an alliance of eight western countries invaded Beijing. At present, Badaling Great Wall stands still there recording the hardship and bitterness that Chinese people have endured in the past 2000 years. It is a priceless cultural heritage of humanity.
Badaling Great Wall was the earliest part of the great Wall opened to tourists. It has drawn tens of millions of tourists both from home and abroad. More than 370 foreign leaders and celebrities have visited there.
Section of Great Wall I experienced to climb.
The Bird's Nest, Main Venue of the 29th Olympiad. Beijing National Stadium , also known as the National Stadium or colloquially as the "Bird's Nest" is a stadium in Beijing, China. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics
Located in the Olympic Green, the US$423 million stadium is the world's largest steel structure. The design was awarded to a submission from the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron in April 2003, after a bidding process that included 13 final submissions. The design, which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a "Bird's nest". Ironically, the retractable roof was later removed from the design after inspiring the stadium's most recognizable aspect. Ground was broken in December 2003 and the stadium officially opened in June 2008. A shopping mall and a hotel are planned to be constructed to increase use of the stadium, which will host football events after the Olympics.
Olympic Village in Beijing. The apartments, which have been built specially for these Olympics, with 9,000 rooms in 42 buildings spread over a 66-hectare site and capable of housing 17,000 guests.
Christian Church in Beijing.
Experience shopping in Wangpujing Street.
One of the official store for Olympic souvenier items.
Evening experience at Wangpujing Street. See my Cap, Olympic souveneir...
In the background is a 2008-shaped Dragon.