The Forbidden City from Jingshan Hill.
Cass and Zak at Jingshan park, north of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Cass and Zak at Jingshan Hill overlooking the Forbidden City.
Decorative trees and bushes along the western edge of Tiananmen Square.
Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square.
Tiananmen Gate, separating the Forbidden City from the Imperial City.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony within the Outer Court of the Forbidden City.
Imperial roof decorations indicate how important a building is. The Hall of Supreme Harmony, shown, is considered the most important, with a phoenix, followed by nine beasts, an immortal, and finally a dragon.
The Nine Dragon screen within the Forbidden City.
So this is how the Forbidden City stays so well groomed.
Some of the many clocks within the Imperial Palace Museum.
Another clock - a personal favorite - within the Imperial Palace Museum.
Drums, for music and later for signifying time in ancient China.
Bells, for music and later for signifying time in ancient China.
Cass in the Forbidden City.
Seriously - they have to rate toilets?
A sun dial within the Forbidden City. They often had the newest technology within the Imperial city.
A Shi, or Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lion, sits in front of a building within the Forbidden City.
A dragon holding a pearl, symbolizing "potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricanes, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it."
Roof tiles on ancient Imperial buildings.
Roof tiles in ancient Imperial buildings.
Yuhuayuan, the imperial garden inside the Forbidden City.
A cypress tree twisted and warped over time, inside the Forbidden City gardens.
One of many rock sculptures within the gardens of the Forbidden City.
Jingshan Hill, the highest point in Beijing. The hill was made from the land removed to make the moat around the Forbidden City.
Flying a kite just outside the Forbidden City. This seemed to be a very common activity, especially into the evenings.
Great Leap Brewing, which catered to westerners.
A temple along Houhai Lake.
A bridge over the creek leading to Qianhai Lake.
In the evenings, we saw lots of people flying kites. Here you can see all the glowing dots, or kites with lights, flying high above the Deshengmen Watchtower, near our hotel.
A nice walking area between the subway and hotel along the Nanchang River.
One of the signs within Beijing's metro showing you what not to bring: rocket launchers? No. Bows? Nope.
Cass and I at the Great Wall.
The Jinshanling section of the great wall, 130km north of Beijing.
The Jinshanling section of the great wall, leading to the Simatai gate.
The Jinshanling section of the great wall, leading away from the Simatai gate.
The difference between restored, and untouched (but still preserved). Our hike included both, to show how the wall how it has become, as well as what it once looked like.
Here you can see how steep the stairs and walkways are at the Great Wall.
Cass and Zak at the Great Wall's Simatai gate.
Who said you can't hand-stand at the Great Wall?
Buddhist incense tower at the Summer Palace in Beijing.
Steps leading to the Temple of Dispelling Clouds.
New and old from the top of the Buddhist incense tower at the Summer Palace.
Kunming Lake viewed from the Summer Palace.
The Marble Boat, or Boat of Purity and Ease, in the Summer Palace.