Wonders of China  
北京  
Beijing  
After a late afternoon departure from Heathrow the British Airways Boeing 777 flew out along the Dutch coast towards Denmark and across Russia and the Gobi Desert for a late morning arrival in Beijing - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
On arrival Beijing, unfortunately, was not looking its best enveloped in mist and smog- VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is one of the world’s largest cities with a population of over 20 million - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Like the city, the sprawling grounds of the Summer Palace were also blanketed in smog with the iconic seventeen arch bridge on the Kumming Lake barely visible - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
From the entrance at the East Palace Gate the Long Corridor leads along the lake’s north shore to the Boat Pier - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Entrance to the Imperial Boat Yard - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The Marble Boat - this extravagant folly was built in the 1800s for Empress Cixi and its superstructure painted white to resemble marble   - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Despite the poor visibility many people were taking to a variety of craft on the Lake - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

  The Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha, guarded by the inevitable lions, dominates the grounds - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

Traffic the following morning was relatively light as we headed for the Chang Ling Tomb which is the resting place of the Yongle Emperor who lived from 1360 to 1424 - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The Tablet Pavillion houses and enormous stone tortoise housing a huge upright stone column known as a stele - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Beyond this pavilion is a long spirit path or sacred way adorned with statues of animals, people and mythical beasts each of which was carved from a single piece of white marble more than five hundred and forty years ago - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Marble camels and elephants along the Sacred Way - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The sacred way leads to the Lattice Gate beyond which is the entrance to the Tomb complex - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
There are two silk burners in front of the Hall of Eminent Favour which were used to despatch the emperor’s robes to the after-life - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The larger than life statue of the Yongle Emperor in the Hall  where the ornate ceiling is supported by columns of fragrant cedar - a wood so dense that it does not float on water - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
One of the ornate crowns and a pair of shoes designed to ensure that aristocratic wives and daughters did not stray far - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

 The car park at Badaling is quite some distance from the entrance to the Great Wall, and it is a good walk even from the nearer official coach park - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

The smog in the city was replaced by mist at Badaling and viewing conditions were far from ideal - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Despite impressive battlements the wall ultimately proved ineffective;  it was breached in the 13th Century by the Mongols and then again in the 17th Century by the Manchu - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

A Rickshaw ride is not for the faint hearted as there is great competition between the pedal-powered rickshaw drivers as they vie for position and weave in and out of the traffic in hutongs - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

Hutongs are a type of narrow street or alley, commonly associated with northern Chinese cities, most prominently Beijing - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Shops and stalls among the hutongs - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
An Imperial post box decorated with a dragon and and lettered in English with "Letters - I P O - No 73".  It outside what is reputed to be Beijing's oldest, albeit closed, post office - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Trolley bus and road sweeper.  Generally the streets are kept very clean - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Located on the north-south meridian which bisects the Forbidden City and Tian’en Men Square, the grey Bell Tower was built in 1745 to replace the earlier edifice which was burnt down.  It is possible to climb the Bell Tower and look back over the square to the red Drum Tower constructed in 1420 - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The enormous 15 foot high 42 ton bell cast in 1420 which visitors can, for a fee, ring - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The National Flag with the large star representing the People's Republic and the four smaller stars representing the soldiers, farmers, students and workers.  Chairman Mao's portrait overlooking Tian'en Men Square - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

Mao Zedong's Mausoleum is flanked by revolutionary statues - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

The Great Hall of the People is the seat of the Chinese Legislature which is opposite the China National Museum - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The Monument to the People’s Heroes in the middle of the Square - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
To celebrate National Day on 9th September, this huge  flower basket was placed in the Square along with 22 National Day flower beds - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The entrance to the Forbidden City where two placards proclaim "Long Live the People's Republic of China" and "Long Live the Great Unity of the World's Peoples" - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Entry to the Outer Court of the Forbidden City is through the Meridian Gate and thence across one of five marble bridges spanning the Golden Water which flows west to east in a course designed to resemble the jade belt worn by officials - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The Hall of Supreme Harmony with its odd number of Roof Guardians all associated with water and supposed to protect the building from fire - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The Roof Guardians were supplemented with large cauldrons filled with water as perhaps a slightly more practical form of insurance - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is surrounded with ornate incense burners such as this crane and the tortoise behind. Beyond is the Gate of Preserving Harmony and beyond that the Hall of Preserving Harmony - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
The small courtyard and the Gate of Heavenly Purity was decorated with flowers for National Day - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow
Beyond the Gate of Heavenly Purity are the twin Pavilions of a Thousand Autumns and of aThousand Springs as well as a large rock garden - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

China Eastern flight from Beijing (left) to Xi'an (right) - VIDEO CAPTURE Malcolm McCrow

China

Xi'an