Sometimes I compare myself (a bit) to our Famous painter Rembrandt (van Rijn) who was an obvious dreamer who loved collecting exotic props and parafernilia. He scavenged the Amsterdam Harbor dock-sides for new exotic items, then used them as inspiration for his day-dreaming and his magnificent art-works. Rembrandt died poor, spending all his fortune in the effort, but became immortal in his beauty of art and in history.
I may compare to that in some aspects. That is - perhaps sometimes I too am spending a little too much time, effort and money on this China Project of mine, threatening me with bankruptcy in the Future. Also like Rembrandt I aspire to a higher goal, in my case the wish to bring you the best photography and information on worthwhile historic sites in China, preserving them in a snapshot of history.
There are so many historic and scenic spots in the enormous country of China, it is a worthwhile journey and a life-time to spend.
So - You guessed it right. As any righteous artist and creator I just cannot help continuing. I Love China, my photo-trips and my website project ! So I will go on until I feel we have finished a Journey, covered significant monuments and parts of china and completed a work of Art to stand apart from all others.
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Foto: Ben at the Tianan Men , 4-11-2002
My earliest Travels / Developping in International Taste
Foto: Ben at the Tian an Men Square , Beijing , 7-11-2002 (digital)
Some of my Biggest Interests and Hobbies combine in this Web-ring and Web-Site. As you can see Photography plays a Very Important part in this. True - The Basis of anything I do starts with Knowledge, or Curiosity. And then tries to go beneath the Surface, take you to a better understanding. So- Texts and backgrounds are at least Equally important.
However , since there is no good subsitute for having pictures, I generally enjoy bringing You, the reader/viewer the Best I can Muster. The photos somehow always come 1st at www.drben.net. And we are interested in anything historic, remote as it may be. Popular is only a minor factor, although - it is safe to say that Dr.Ben and his website have played their minor role in boosting Tourism in China, which was virtually non-existant 5 - 8 years ago (in 2000 AD).
All kinds of information about my Hobbies and Interests relating to this Web-ring. View my Collections of China and other Souvenirs and get an idea what lives in me when I am in that huge country. And more...
I am a Proud member of these Societies, Associations & Clubs. Living in the North of The Netherlands it is not always easy to follow and even visit IIAS and Netherlands Society for International Affairs lectures and Events, but I am a warm Fan and Member of both.
This Guest Book --> is for Personal Messages to Doc Ben
(not China Report).
Hi ! My Name is Ben , -often called
" Doctor Ben" by my friends & acquaintances. I , Doc Ben, am the owner-creator , the main Internet Editor, and energetic engine of this internet-project and webring. In fact, this whole website revolves around my travels and experiences in China, making them and the digital photos the main story line. It is therefor also known as -WWW.DRBEN.NET. As in - my personal internet Channel.
I am a person with many different sides and significant passions. Among my hobbies and interests, too many to mention. Travel, history, space & other new inventions , the internet and my website, International Relations , politics even, and/or news and discoveries from other parts of the world. And lets not forget about my photography. There are more, but then you should meet me and ask..
Apart from having all these interest I am someone who loves to Travel and who has always wanted an International Career so I could see the wonderful accomplishments of other Civilizations, and also to escape the narrow view of the Home. Having succeeded in traveling large
parts of China at least, this website
aims to establish my international
career by sharing my unique
experiences, knowledge and
sensational China photos with you
the world internet public. On the side
we may contribute something to the
photographic preservation of chinese
Still an unwritten Chapter ? I always find i have something more important to write about or do. Bussines with China, new additions to this website, the import of another batch of books, my sweet Chinese Girlfriend... Someday I will write this, but not yet !
About My Home City !!
The City of Groningen, home to our Headquarters and the City of my Birth and Education. Groningen is still a charming and small city in the North of The Netherlands, where one can enjoy the better Dutch Life. With only 250.000 citizens, many of whom are University Students its a modest but easy place to live. My City is historic one !
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I am the proud owner of some other collections, my film collection for instance, but a special place in my heart and all my travels is reserved for Pins. In China sometimes hard to find, I always do my best, in any country I travel to. In China there is another special activity - not buying as much as I can but trying to find noteworthy souvenirs of chinese communism. The rest ? At the moment I am afraid I am too busy
putting all of these online, after this you may return and find out more about my chinese books collection and others jewels i gathered. Find my many photos around this site (China Report ) and our Extensive Photo-Galleries !
For privacy reasons one can't display all the photos of ones friends on a website just like that. Besides, it is murder to keep updated. Now that both my best Chinese friends - Wendy & Daisy have both moved out of my City, the number of photos is rather modest. See early photos of Wendy & Daisy. See my other friend Caroline featured around this site. She is extra special !
The growing collection of DrBen Photos inside www.drben.net. Mainly taken on travels in and around China, but also earlier in the Netherlands and other countries, these photos are doc Ben's personal touch to this website and also follow him and describe his journeys and adventures in China and in Life. Last updated in January 2007 , we do try to keep this section regularly expanding with fun news.
For an easy impression of how the China Report came about and what Doc Ben experienced building his website and bridge to China, follow the story line in the Photos taken throughout the years. Starting in December 1999 with a wonderful Christmas for Doc Ben in Hong Kong, the new millennium began with his first snowy experiences in Beijing on January 2nd of 2000, Since, Beijing, China's northern and much colder Capital has become the 2nd home of Dr.Ben.
Immediately hooked on this spectacular and extra-ordinary country, a country then still emerging from isolation, from there on Doc Ben started planning on his return to see more of China and of history.
In 2002 the first return followed after a deep crisis in Doc Ben's life. With photography as his therapy and Chinese Culture as his inspiration, Dr Ben arrived in Beijing again. He had his visit perfectly timed to coincide with the 16Th Communist Party Congress held in November. Although there was no Grand Military Review, as Dr.Ben had hoped to capture it on camera, the November 2002 tour layed the basis for The China Report with a true spree of 20.000 photos taken by Doc Ben on his discoveries around the Hutong, Temples and Palaces of the City. In 2003 Doc Ben returned much more at ease with himself to continue where he left off in his quest to photograph Beijing and Report on Chinese cultural treasures and heritage. The wonderful city of Xian was also on Doc Ben's list and was photographed extensively for the first time.
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In the International Relations Field and now also in Business China is my Main Country of study, but ..apart from this I also have a fascination with the entire 5000 years of Chinese History, Culture and Civilization. It is quite hard for me to explain, but China is a country that makes my imagination come alive. Probably influenced by early exposures to a mythical china
Doc Ben in China
such as "TinTin and the Blue Lotus", and other comic-books named "Suske & Wiske" and "Eric De Noorman", I now dream away behind my camera, snap photos of the great sites and wonder about scenes from history. Traveling in China is always a remarkable adventure and experience, photographing the great scenery is my Therapy. This website is my way of sharing my unique experiences and the photographic and intellectual results in full color with you, my Friends and my Family.
Such a long and complicated story... It may be written down some time soon, but we haven't so far.
DrBen returns to TiananMen Square in Snow in November 2003.
DrBen at remote JiaYuGuan Fortress, Gansu, West China.
For National Sentiments and direct service convenience DrBen used to fly KLM to China.
Dr.Ben at Bai Ma Si (White Horse Temple) on the outskirts of LuoYang in Henan Province, scouting out the Temple for further Photography at a later Date.
DrBen returns to The Beijing Summer Palace & Park in November 2005.
Which-ever way it may be, making photography is a pleasurable way of discovering new places. It forces you to take time and take in your surroundings... and then appreciate the Best. In this extensive and growing website Dr.Ben takes you on a Tour of China, discovering your way through the lens of his camera and showing, as well as possible
DrBen at the Longmen Grottoes World Cultural Heritage Site, LuoYang, Henan Province, in May 2006.
things as they really are. Dr.Ben never emphasizes only the Great Magazine Shot, but is insistant on including the rest - the truth, if you will - as well.
Please read more notes on my Photography on the dedicated subject page. The page about Photo-Equipment is outdated, since I not only upgraded to the new 8.2 megapixel sony dsc-f 818 in November 2005. for the 2007 Tour I went even further and I now operate the NEW Sony DSLR 700 Alpha Camera. This latest Camera adds further improvements of which the most notheworthy is the 12.2 Mega-Pixel Picture Size it can catch. Needless to Say, I had a blast with my new DSLR 700, and although I am still working to effectively use the GPS technology now available from Sony, I am quite satisfied so far. Please enjoy the coming pictures of Beijing and Gansu Province, which are the First DSLR 700 Image Results !
As mentioned , the Photography Subject page needs more information and a lot of updating.
Meanwhile however, it still gives a good idea how, and with what materials the main parts of this website were captured for you and Me. Browse through my experiences and notes on Sony Digital Camera's or
Sponsor China Report the Project - Click the Links and Buy the Items in Our Online Store !!
Support the website by linking your Blog, Facebook Page and any other online media to any of the DrBen.Net pages of your Interest !!
In the good year of 2005 Caroline welcomed DrBen back to Beijing, after which
The next year, 2004, saw yet another return to
Beijing for more follow-up photography, The City of Beijing with its near 16 million citizens and 1000 year history is so huge and has so much historic architecture that covering it all is a "monks job". To have at least some variation for myself i also booked a renewed visit to Xian in Shaanxi Province, where yet again I was going to walk through and photograph all worthwhile sights, locations and monuments of the City.
After that, it was quickly back to my photography walks of the Old City of Beijing where meanwhile I had also come across another small Chinese Treasure.A Small and talented Girl by the Name of Wang... As we met up, Caroline quickly became involved as my interesting and charming companion, as well as China Report Guide, Translator, etc. November of 2004 saw a warm Welcome to the China Report for Caroline Wang !!
DrBen at the Bai Shu Hutong, adjacent Wanfujing Cathedral in Beijing. Location of the China Report Headquarters in Beijing, in April 2006.
Dr.Ben only returned to the Netherlands in time for Christmas and the turn into the Year 2006. In that year in April already Dr.Ben was back in Beijing to see Caroline, visit the China Report HQ and from there on get on with the Books & DVDs Business and Photography. Armed with a new Camera and enjoying great weather much more of Beijing was covered and later,inspired by glorious stories and film materials on the Silk Road we flew to LuoYang in Henan Province to see the LongMen Caves and Statues.
Henan and Luoyang are places we shall return to at a Later Time, possibly in 2008.
After the spring 2006 Tour however, it was back to The Netherlands for a Long Time.
As Caroline was enrolled to The Netherlands for further International Studies, it was Time for Dr.Ben to stand by his (Tiny) Woman. Therefor no November-December return but work-time for Dr.Ben in support of his Lady and on the creation of The China Report. Up to that point there had been a lot of photography, of which we uploaded many. However, in spite of Dr.Ben's biggest efforts, up to that point there wasn't much
DrBen on the Road, as usual with Camera and Driver, heading out to capture more Images and travel knowledge for The China Report.
Thus, only Late 2007, in November Dr.Ben was able to come back to Beijing and carry on his task of documenting all of Beijing in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games held in that City. Lured by stories of the Silk Road and electrified by the Yungang and LongMen Experiences the Tour then went on to Dunhuang Oasis famed from Marco Polo's accounts, Not only a visit to the Mogao Caves of the Silk Road but a Trip to the Western End of the Great Wall of China ! From Dunhuang Dr.Ben traveled by train to JiaYuGuan, the location of the Ming Dynasty Last Fortress, then by plane to Lanzhou on the Yellow River in Western China's Gansu Province. Lanzhou was a resting point only to scout out the City and return at a Later Date. On December 2nd, I was back in Amsterdam with my Photos. Took me over a year to upload all of it and we are still finding out new facts on Dunhuang, The Silk Road, etc !!
and China's number 1 landmark even today, The Great Wall of China. Other New additions in 2008 AD; Scores of new maps + part of JiayuGuan as a Virtual City at DrBen.Net. Browse around to have a Look at the Results !!
text to go with any of that. Thus, the summer and fall of 2006 saw many online publications and lots of work behind a computer. All Dr.Ben saw of China was on
DrBen awaiting an upload to the China Report website at his Home & Netherlands HQ in Groningen.
As a Result of the many Text Additions and New Maps 2007 was a very succesful year for The China Report, seeing the commitments of multiple and renowned international busines-partners (Kuoni, Suzy Guides, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Marriot Hotel Club), In the End we clocked a 107.735 visitors and 329,945 page-views. An impressive 51% increase !
This Puts us well on the Road for a Breakthrough in 2008 !!! Or so we thought at that Time......
Little did I know that there was a deep economic recession coming and that promises on internet revenue are cheap, way cheap.
DrBen , old Photo from the year 1999/2000 when he studied at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague.
So far there is more than enough of China left to explore. Now again supported by a Headquarters (HQ BJ) in Beijing, some chinese friends and you the loyal internet fan buying items from the newly expanded inventory of our Online Store, in 2008 the China Report enters a new thrilling year of development and will bring an even better website and new china photos. Please enjoy our Webring, China Reports, Store Products and many many Photos from in and around China. Thank you for your Support !
The Year 2008 AD brought a lot of website work and Little Travel. After uploads of nearly all worthwhile photos taken on DrBen's Travels in China so far, it was Time of writing and focus on the Hard Work. The result- many reports and countless new additions to The China Report at www.ChinaReport.com and a doubling of the number of vistors and
And that was certainly not all that changed at DrBen.Net in 2009.
Meanwhile, our previous work was rewarded and recognized by a request for the use of some of our many Photos of Beijing from Janus Multi-Media in Zagreb. Janus Media is the inventor, patent holder and producer of the Multi-Media Postcard, also known as the Inter-Active Destination Guide. Formats so far available are the City of Vienna, Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Dublin, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Istra, New York (View All Titles Here) and soon the Multi-Media Poscard on the City of Beijing, with the inclusion of DrBen's Photos of TianNing Temple, Jingshan Park and some other spots. We are awaiting the official presentation of this product, which will also become available from our Online Store.
Hook Up now and Don't Miss Out on the Coming Adventures of DrBen and his China Report Staff !!
Hook Up now !
page views. The Olympic Year was quite succesful from that point of view, not only for Beijing itself but also for Beijing Virtual City and the China Report. Apart from a focus on the Beijing in 2008 AD DrBen also turned his writers attention to other subjects, such as The Ancient Silk Road,
Not much After DrBen.Net experienced yet another Growth Stint in the exhausting process of keeping up with web-technology and internet development. Just recently, completely new Technology was included to upgrade the website to 2009 AD requirements. The First technology introduced into what is essentially a historical Guide + a practical Travel Guide at this Time were Google Earth & Maps.
ENOUGH SAID, CHECK THROUGH THE PHOTO-FILES, FOLLOW DRBEN ON TWITTER OR VIA STREAMING VIDEO ON YouTube and DISCOVER MORE ON DR.BEN'S ACTIVITIES AND WHAT HAPPENED PREVIOUSLY ON DR.BEN.NET AND THE CHINA REPORT ! Somewhere before the End of 2009 AD, another update and Review of what DrBen has been up to (again) !
Browse around our website today and find Google Maps included in each (almost) report, aiding the reader/visitor significantly in Navigation and thus understanding.
Next Up and immediatly after came the Twitter Hype, a Time when DrBen (realizing the powerful potential of this new phenomenon) had just joined up for this Service himself.
From now on Twitter will a included in all our activities Online, and not only that - we will go and do even more ! For now, follow the Twitter Line via the Front Page (at www.DrBen.Net) or any Main Menu Page of a provincial Capital in China. Join in the Twit Line and get or give information on China. make new Friends who share the same interest, or .. find new hobbies and expand your horizon. At any rate, DrBen.Net will be followable LIVE via Twitter, on any internet connected device you can think of.
In the near Future DrBen and China Report will be transmitting LIVE from a Mobile Device while on Report somewhere in China or Asia. Go find the Large Button on the Right Hand Side of this Text and go even further. Yes, another new technology brings DrBen via the Google Latitude System. From now on DrBen can be followed by GPS signal. See him Travel around on your Google Map while receiving TWIT's from that location.
Choose the High Road with DrBen!
THE YEAR 2009 IS ALMOST UP!! a SUMMARY OF WHAT DID AND DID NOT HAPPEN IN 2009 AND WHAT WE WILL BE DOING IN 2010 SOON !
Motto: Play this Message to get a Feel for what being DrBen is about !
On July the 7Th of 2010 DrBen was declared one of the 10 Most Influential Twitterers on the subject of China (Peoples Republic of) by www.WeirdChina.com. Naturally DrBen feels quite flattered by this Award. Reaching the Top 10 Most Influential Twits on China affirms us in our Goal to further In-Depth knowledge
on the Peoples Republic of China: Peoples, Culture Government and everything else worldwide. Our tool the Internet & soon more ! Many thanks to WeirdChina.com for their support and recognition.