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Useful resources for learning about contemporary China:

 English language Sinica Podcast

James Fallows - not always China-related, but always interesting

What's going on in Beijing:

TimeOut Beijing

The Beijinger

China Daily's Beijing Weekend 

Beijing Weather - Weather Underground

 

Useful language learning tools

Chinesepod podcast - free beginners' podcasts

Popup Chinese podcast - another very good podcast series

Hacking Chinese - interesting ideas on learning Chinese efficiently

Skritter character-learning tool for iPad/iPhone - really fun app

Sinosplice - John Pasden's site on many interesting aspects of China and the Chinese language

 

 

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Friday
May082015

A Trip to The Forbidden City

Our adventures in Beijing continued yesterday, as the group traveled to The Forbidden City. To get there, we took the subway into the heart of the city. There was a sense of excitement, not only among the group but in everyone around us, as thousands of shuffled through the gate into the city. The gate itself was a spectacle to behold, spreading quite wide and rising far above the ground. Once inside the first gate, we were greeted by a vast open square that lay before the second gate. Once our tickets were purchased, we proceeded through the second gate. Many of us found the space and vastness of the city baffling as it stretched far and wide with ancient structures preserved throughout the centuries. Some of the structures included the emperor’s green room, changing room, and political strategy room. One common feature of many of the buildings was elegantly an designed throne on which the emperor would sit. One of the last features of the city that we visited was the imperial garden. Situated towards the center of the city, the garden provided an intimate and green space in a city characterized by relatively open courtyards. It was dotted with multiple gazebos and several unique rock and tree structures. Although we were able to witness much of the beauty of this iconic point of interest, there were still many features that we were unable to visit due to time constraints. This will most definitely be one of the most memorable days of our trip!

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