Old China Trip Section

of Gregory Melle's

Year 2000 World Travel Guide

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I was struck with the contrasts between the old and new aspects of modern China.
My impressions of New China are at my China New 2000 page.
My impresions of a more historic Old China are shown here.
Shanghai is a good place to see the old Chinese culture. The new Shanghai Museum is the best that I have visited in Asia. I took many photos but today only show this ancient pottery dog. His animation face looks quite alive.
museum dog
After my visit to the museum, I spent an afternoon with the Shanghai Peking Opera. The action was easy to follow, the music interesting and the costumes were colourful. (Unfortunately, this one illustrates the limitations of my simple digital camera).
traditional opera
Large parts of Nanjing's city wall system still exist. Visiting that is the closest that I will get to being on the Great Wall of China during this trip.
The couple in the next view was enjoying the spring weather under one of the old city gates.
On the city walls - Nanjing Under the city walls - Nanjing

I was in Beijing during the last day of March. I was quite impressed with the sights in the Forbidden City royal palace. I expected the magnificence but not the subtle beauty.
I took the requisite photos of Tiananmen square but will leave them for later. This is a lovely garden in the Forbidden City complex.
Imperial Palace Museum
These three pictures are from the Beijing Summer Palace. Some of the views there were subtle and beautiful. Not what I expected in modern northern China.
Autocratic rulers really could create lovely places, but it sends a chill when one considers that such places where made for the exclusive amusement of a small handful of people.
The cost of this Palace bankrupted the Manchu dynasty and removed any hope that the Chinese could repel foreign invaders in the 19th century.
Summer Palace stairways Summer Palace roofs Summer Palace garden
China travel eventually became a chore. It is amazing how a group of people can seem so utterly crass and commercial; when individually they can come across as such nice people. Mao did a great job of removing the past but not such a great job of inserting a viable future.

On April 1st I left Beijing, China on Train 19 to Moscow.

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