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Ben- 5th & 6Th Time in China Foto's:
Taken on my 5th and 6th China visits from May 12 through June 18th , 2005 and Oktober/ November to 2 December 2005
As I sort of instinctively expected, Caroline turned out to be a small Lady with quite a few surprising skills, so I am proud to
work with her'on The China Report and more.
Caroline now often, if not
always, travels along with me. Such as in may of 2005 to the Fleeing the Heat Mountain Villa - The Imperial Resort at beautiful Chengde. A World Heritage site.
The Year 2005 turned out to be especially good, because ?
Yup, Caroline joined The China Report! She is And charming and amazingly skilled. And wait untill you find out more....
Praying with the Buddha or to the Buddha - check out this site just on the edge of Chengde City.
Pule Temple - or mini-potala at the northern side of Chengde Valley is one of the most magnificient Temples to be seen in Northern-China. A clear remnant of the last bloom of the Ching Dynasty and its integration of various ethnic groups from around the newly conquered and solidified territories, it was a gesture towards the Tibetan Minority.
The view from the Temple Roof back to the south and the City are also magnificent. See the entire City and Valley
plus surrounding mountain
high plane bathing in
sunlight. The roof itself is
literally golden !
Ben at the GuiXing Lou, a not often mentioned but important Taoist Temple on a granite rock overlooking Chengde's southern entry. It was quite a climb, but both the view and the not so small temple complex were well worth the effort. Chengde is just a great place to go hiking around with your girl. Make sure she wears the right shoes, and .. off you go. The Buddha Wall atop the adjacent mountain even has a little bobsled system to carry visitors up and down, so you could get some extra kicks too. Mainly though - Chengde is a place away
in nature and not necessarily a thrill park.
Pack your photo-equipment and go bicycle around the City of Xian. How?? Over the 16 kilometer city walls, of course ! Doctor Ben did this twice meanwhile, his last time covering half the way around the City. Now nearing completion of his mapping of the City, he took a spin around the city on this bicycle expecting not to return in the near Future. Unfortunatly later the Xian photos of this 2004 trip were lost and may not be recovered! Send Doc Ben back to Xian and buy from the Online Store !
What can I say ? The Girls in China are charming ... Especially Caroline !
She's quite energetic and smiley.
And the Hotels in Beijing are Great ! As you can find inside The Beijing Report, the Capital Hotel of Beijing is almost our 2nd Home. If it weren't for Caroline's Beijing Office and travels in China.
And Doc Ben and the exciting All Girl Band "Beautiful Note" from Beijing ! As you may find - The China Report is more than just an exceptionally detailed tourguide to exclusive places in China, there is much more. What about our Cultural Section ? Not seeking to be all-enveloping, we do cover amazing subjects. Such as the history of the Zheng Yici Theatre, the
Wansheng Acrobatics in Beijing and More as we go...
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The Palace at Chengde and its surrounding Temples are truely a fine example of late China architecture. Caroline and I also found it a great place to get away from Beijing's asphyxiating
smog and summer heat. So far I would say it was one
of the nicest places i have been to in China. Although,
nothing beats Beijing for World City Athmopshere
mixed with Anient Chinese Culture and Heritage.
Beijing is our base by 2005 and the most visited City
so far. China has a surprising variety of which
more to follow in 2006, 2007 and 2008 !
Chengde is a rather small and quiet place when compared with Beijing. The clear mountain air is a true treat. With fine summery weather the
temples and palace do draw a lot of tourists and local
visitors. Luckily there is a lot of ground to find space in.
The entire city is centered around the Palace and there
are even a few other tourist attractions around the
small city. But of course you can find out by browsing
our photos and reports on the city of Chengde.
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And The Peoples own China Report, as brought to you from real life experience by Comrade Caroline, minister of Style, and Doc Ben - a modern-revolutionary of sorts and internet-publisher, writer and fan of China and fun chinese things...
Turns out I didn't even need a visa for a short trip from Beijing to Bangkok in Thailand. However, oddly one does need a photo to get in. Anyways- this makes for a passport photo of myself, taken in Beijing in November 2005. I didn't dress up, no. The army stuff is my "Image" as feautured on this website.
This is a small collection of pictures of Myself , Dr.Ben , in China in 2005. Let's start out with Caroline and Doc Ben, who are very happy to be together since November 2004. Jeaiijjj.. Caroline has now filled the gap for a skilled manager with good english-language skills to handle our business for the whole of China. That is mainly in and around Beijing at the moment. I - Ben, am very pleased - too much to describe- to have met Caroline, very suddenly in November of 2004 at Wanfujing Beijing. Isn't she cute?
I am very happy with her, and she with me. Together we run the China Report, with the help of our friend Daisy, who is currently in Shanghai, more to the South.
Here you see some photos of a happy dinner together, at a place now closed. Unfortunatly - the view from this diner at Qianmen was fabulous...
A overview of TiananMen Square from the South. Now the buildings are condemned and will soon be replaced. But by what? No one knows , yet.
Well anyways, we have some very happy memories..
Another favored place, surely is still around. Currently they are even expanding their number of rooms. This of course are Caroline and I at the Capital Hotel. Caroline in a charming flowery dress (she loves them, i do too) and I, DrBen in a flashy chinese retro style, all chosen for the celebration of a succesful business deal in Beijing.
To be honest, in the end another problem arose which rather turned the whole deal away, but anyway.. Good Memories and heartwarming times together. With Caroline, chinese adventures become even better and nicer experiences. She is my expert guide, charming travel companion, harsh and unbending critic if need be, and.. well ??
We sure have fun together. Wouldn't miss eachother for the world, especially not my Times with Zhi Hong. I met her in Beijing, we enjoyed the Hutong together and she's my enthousiastic help in trying and tasting Chinese Cuisine.
What more cana Guy ask for ?
But .. yes, often we have to Miss eachother or have had to.
We cherish times together and sometimes book some unique successes.
Sometimes we disagree, quite a bit... But we always make up.
This way the China Report keeps going strong.
As explained below-->
DrBen Posing at the giant Palace like with several interesting wooden structures and the like. Below, the proud sign of Fleeing the Heat Mountain Villa - world heritage and national park resort site. Nice Day!
Chengde City can be overviewed from a taoist mountain-temple placed on the southern entry to the City-Valley. You can see it when you enter the City by train just before arriving at the station. Get up the steep rock-cliff and find the taoist temple complex open to the public all at the end of quite a winding road which includes a small tunnel. Overview the River and a greater part of the valley from here and enjoy the interesting wooden architecture of this active taoist shrine complex. There are some pretty old relics inside and the teracces are intruiging. The whole place is quite restive and gives a unique view of the city and surrounding mountain highlands. One can look out in pretty much all directions and inspect the landscape and Chengde City below. Caroline took all these photos and we had a great day climbing this pagoda-mountain.
Caroline loves shopping, but sure she finally agreed to go see the Imperial Mountain Retreat at Chengde, only a small city.... but the photos I showed and explanation I offered with my lonely planet book turned her around. Besides, Caroline loves to travel, she just also likes to be boss a bit.
Of course we had a great time as we always did, but Chengde turned out to be one of our best adventures. Its a great place in early summer to get away from heat. We had a swell Hotel. We had fresh fruit! And .. just about any aspect of the city is positive and interesting. Lower prices, always something to see around town. The train-ride to the mountain-valley and .. last but not least the amazing amount of splendid temples, all centered on an low key but pleasant wooden palace with a huge chinese garden.-->
Chengde is a great place with plenty of sun and clean(er) air and is a perfect surrounding for doing an awful lot of photography. So that is what we did. In fact- we did not find enough time in one week to see and scout out all the different interesting sites, so we will certainly return for an extra tour and enjoyment of this special resort place.
Meanwhile, we hope to bring you some Chengde Reports and Impression inside our website , now mainly on Northern China. -If you would like to support us in our quest for special photography from China ->
the search for new sources and knowledge, and of course the happiness of DrBen and Caroline, please order something from our Online Store.
Surely we guarantee you will find some unique source-books and dvd's, among the unique photo-rich full report book on the Pule Temple of Chengde (University of Leiden, Netherlands et al.). Later we will bring you more and different products
Chengde will certainly be on our list again in order to completely cover all sites in the city and capture them in photos.-->
So far only 1/3 of the truely worthwhile historic Temples from the Ching Dynasty have been photographed for China Report. There still is the surrounding mountains with scenery and wildlife, and ofcourse - The Palace & Palace Gardens are always good for another visit.
It usually takes 3 times to cover a subject - and in this case - perfect satisfaction will likely require more than 3 visits.
Meanwhile we have visited another small out of the way place - Datong. Located in North-Shanxi Province Datong is a small dusty City home to some of the oldest Silk (and Tea) Road Statues the World is rich. Comparable to the former Statue at Bamian, Afghanistan - the Yungang Grottoes (Cloud Ridge Caves) are truely a wonder to see and find. Especially in such a still remote place. In the coming year we hope to cover more of China, with your support.
Visit Beautiful Note website !!
Beautiful Note - 6 or more artistic chinese girls set the stage afire with modern-classical music at the Old Station Theatre. Locally renowned from China Central TV, many Beijing newspapers and magazines, these girls were entering the international stage at the Time. However, as with many Bands, so far
Always on the look-out for something special and news-worthy doc Ben got a special invitation when he spotted the girlband "Beautiful Note" -Their exclusive concert at The Old Station Theatre at QianMen was a splash. Photos from this super-preview event, to which we, I & Caroline, were invited may follow Later.
Always fun with Caroline. These few photos were taken in our deluxe suite at The Capital after a fun evening shopping in a new shopping street I have so far not named or reported on. In 1999 true shopping was still done at Dashilan and Hong Qiao for those staying at The Capital Hotel. Thereafter Wanfujing and Oriental Plaza came around (again), mainly for expensive shopping and not always for the charming true chinese stuff. Anyways- with shopping styles between the above mentioned, this new place is quite cute. As you can tell we raided an army-store and had us some fun buying comfortable army-style wear (some of my favorite) plus some fun and silly hats.
Hehehe, as mentioned Caroline loves shopping, so this evening we really had a blast ! Can you Tell ? Posing with newly bought clothes is also fun, so this is why we made some photos.
To be honest - I really love making Caroline happy with these sorts of little outings.
See her smile, its just great to make her this happy.
She is childishly delighted with her new red hat, hehehe..
It is said that photographing the or a Buddha brings bad luck, not only to the photographer but to the Temple Wardens. For this reason alledgedly 1 cannot photograph many shrines in Chengde and other buddhist places. China Report on and Doc Ben work with Buddha to bring you the best nevertheless.
Therefor we do photograph the Buddha's if
What can I (we) Say ??
Not only is it our Job as The China Report, also .. it is quite unthinkable to travel so far around the globe, then .. not take photos out of piety. Just think of it.
In my case it would be almost disrespectful to NOT take the photos. Alas, whichever way it may be - We come to make a serious Report on anything. Historic Relics must be our subjects and are therefor on our Photos.
The China Report not only is my personal memory book of chinese historic sites, we truely sorely miss sharing our great travels and finds with you through the Internet.
The China Report is a uniquely large collection of photos, comprising tours of famed tourist sites and other historical landmarks in and around North-China. So far we covered the Cities of Beijing, Xian, Chengde and Datong. When complemented with historically correct texts we hope to give you an un-comparible inside to our travels and the beauties of exploration and luxury leisure travel in China. The China Report - Doc Ben travels in style and takes the time to visit small and bigger places, and documents them all in as much detailed photography as is practical and possible (not allowed to photograph everywhere in China). Stay tuned and support us !
Contribute in your own way to the completion of this giant experiment in exploration - enjoy the many beautiful photos, sceneries and stories. Support China Report and for sure we will keep surprising you !
No obstacle is too wild for us, in fact - we enjoy a challenge. Order from our Online Store and help Finance us. Then we can report to you on more !
Use our Reports and Advice to benifit your own Travels in China. We intend to give you all essentials to find the greatest places! Find out more from our unique collection of source books on all subjects, books we import into the European Union but are also available for you, the internet reader via our Online Store. I guarantee some that you will not find anywhere else !
We may seem to be kidding with the communist revolutionary facts , but .. in fact I am a fan in many unexpected ways. Caroline likewise is a goodhearted girl who would never cheat anyone. She's a socialist girl.
One thing about our trip to Chengde is how we found out once more how the Lonely Planet travel books do not really cover everything in China. In their book there are only short notes on the impressive Chengde city. True, this city is small, but there is much more to see than Lonely Planet let on to. The good thing about this is that it gives us at the China Report the chance to fill in all the gaps, check out everything, show you photos and  thus utterly outdo Lonely Planet and other travel sites.
If you want to find out more, and do it in another way than touring China in a tourbus, then stay with Doc Ben and his crew and get the chance to enjoy China in detail , in the most elaborate way. Digital Photos take you to and through all the different sites we visited around China and give you inside info to the history up to today. Find out where to stay and what to see !
Click to Enlarge !
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The Yungang Grottoes at Yungang Village just outside Datong. This most well-known of the Yungang Buddha's is truely remarkable. The whole site makes you wonder back to the ancient days of the Silk- and Tea-Road.
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The Summer Palace scenery was as always terrific. It wasn't the Imperial Families favored spot for just any reason.
Today it is still one of the finer scenic area's in Beijing and a grandiose place to browse Chinese Culture.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage site the huge and ancient Park stays popular with many Beijingers and all Tourists. The sundown on this remarkably warm aftersummer day was one of the best I have ever witnessed in China. Being together with Caroline helped too, of course. We had a happy time shooting these photos.
Another day we went out all the way to the Summer Palace for a China Report photo-shoot. You may have noticed how unfinished our current report is.
Turns out this was a warm and summery day perfect for a visit.
When we arrived plenty of Beijingers and hundreds of chinese tourgroup-members were crowding in through the main gate. In effect the whole photo-opportunity was wasted but at least part of the afternoon Caroline and I had the most joyous time together. Yes, I had had to miss her for months, but this truely makes up for such...
The Summer Palace is a very romantic place and Caroline is excellent company.
After our romantic day at the Summer Palace and finishing up our business with publishers in Beijing we flew out to Thailand on Caroline's specific request. Being a bit disappointed about some events in China (not all, luckily..) i was inclined to agree to a week away.
The Cloud Ridge Caves (Yungang) are another world heritage site of UNESCO, and we - Caroline and I- are both proud and blessed to have visited there. I was most pleased to be back in China and discover another amazing historical site. Yungang is such a site. I didn't even mind the cold in Datong very much. North-Shanxi was a dry and barren wake up from first Thailand, then Beijing, but it sure was an interesting landscape. Very near the Great Wall and its Gateway to Inner Mongolia, Datong could be seen as part of the Gobi desert. Yellow dust abounds, dry brownish soils with little produce are the main scene interrupted by nearby high Mountains. One can feel the isolation of the entire area. This is the rough country, the same rough country that once upon a long time ago provided a stop-over, just one outpost on the long silk road. It must have been an amazing place in those ancient times. The Old City wall is now crumbling, but part of it was recorded by Me for China Report and History. Then there are the Lower- and Upper HuaYan Monasteries, with relics from the Liao Dynasty. Other highlights such as the 9 Dragon Screen (the only one outside Beijing), a third monastery and the cities Drum Tower make for a small but interesting scenic city.
After our Thai trip and some more business, we just found enough time to go out to Northern Shanxi Province and visit the Yungang Grottoes aka Cloud Ridge Caves and the nearby rail-junction city of Datong. This was quite the change from the city landscape of Beijing. North-Shanxi's landscape is barren and dry in winter, resembling the Moon or the surface of Mars somewhat. Outthere we found a small and rather isolated industrial city, the rough beauty of North Shanxi and some true treasures of ancient Chinese Culture and History. A visit to the Yungang Statues is a walk back into time to the Great Wall that safeguarded the ancient Silk Road and the culture that traveled along both of them.
Doc Ben at Yungang's most renowned Cave-statue. Created after the early blossoming of the Silk Road ( 0 AD - 500 AD ) these are relics from China's most early years as a unified country and its first true dynasties. Yungang has some of the largest man-made statues in world history.
Doc Ben posing at the summer palaces' Kunming Lake. Photo by Caroline.   Even today one of the most romantic scenic spots in Beijing, one can only wonder what it was like to have the Summer Palace as a personal pleasure Garden. The Emperor was blessed with this Palace Garden Park !
We enjoyed
everything ,
including this
great sundown
untill we left.
The Tea-Road - China and Russia meet across the Steppes, by Martha Avery - source book on the history of Silk- and Tea Road and routes.
Click to Enlarge !
Apart from having a lot of Fun and being silly sometimes, we do get a lot of "art" and work done.
I take photo's of monuments, sights and scenes at just about every chinese destination I visit, creating "China Reports" along the way. Caroline is my personal secretary and Guide on our Trips.
It is quite handy to have such a charming and handy personal translator + guide as my chinese still does not go too far. In return I am Caroline's china obscure history expert. It helps with my business-relations too. This, among things, is why when we are not traveling Caroline is the Boss over DrBen Business in China. Caroline "man's" our Headquarters in Beijing and handles Daily Operations and contacts with Partners, suppliers and the like. Caroline is most essential to China Report operations now..
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This is me photographing in front of the former French Post Office, behind the Capital Hotel of Beijing on East Legation Street.
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