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Tag Archives: China

Beijing’s Forbidden City & Hidden Hostel

Beijing’s Forbidden City is so grand, it has 9,999 rooms filled with ancient artifacts for locals and tourists to see.

 

Credit: Jabari Bell

Credit: Jabari Bell

The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s crown jewels – along with The Great Wall of ChinaThe Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven. The ancient capital is a vibrant city dripping in rich history. There are plenty of gems scattered everywhere. If I had the time, I would have explored every single one of them.

The Forbidden City is a must. It would be a shame to fly half way around the world and not step foot in those gated walls. History is preserved for the present to see, but whether or not it will be there tomorrow is another story. That’s a pretty good excuse to pack your bags and travel the world, right?

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The Coldest Winter Day At The Summer Palace

I learned the hard way that The Summer Palace is meant to be visited during the summertime. Winter visits will be almost unbearable because all the beauty is outdoors.

 

Credit: Jabari Bell

Credit: Jabari Bell

The day I visited The Summer Palace was Beijing’s coldest day in the past ten years. The wind cut through my bones like butter. It made my arms flap and threw my head back. And my lungs? It was like someone shoved a fire extinguisher down my throat. I wasn’t climbing a mountain or trekking up The Great Wall but I was gasping for air just walking against the wind.

I was being such a big baby. Locals were fishing in the frozen water with bare hands. A grandpa was jogging in shorts and a T-shirt like it was a spring morning in Central Park. That shut me up for a few minutes, but then the wind picked up and I went back to crying like a baby.

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Riding With A Criminal At The Temple of Heaven

A visit to The Temple of Heaven perfectly captures what life is like in China – line between legal and illegal isn’t always so clear.

 

Credit: Jabari Bell

Credit: Jabari Bell

The Temple of Heaven is one of the largest complexes in China. Chinese emperors considered themselves sons of the Heaven. As a sign of respect, the Temple of Heaven was built larger than The Forbidden City.

Many visitors crowd in and around the Circular Altar, where sacrifices were made every Winter Solstice in hopes of bringing good fortune and prosperity for the coming year.

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