Welcome to my online home for 2003

The year started at the World Jamboree in Thailand, however I was just a little busy and so didn't have time to take any pictures.

I then made a quick trip to Chile for an Interamerican summit.  Here are some photos from Santiago.

I'm now in Beijing.  I've started getting settled before starting classes this week.

Here is where I'll be living.

Here are a couple shots from my first trip downtown. (A trip that involves a half-hour walk to the light-rail station, that thankfully opened two weeks ago, and taking it to the subway and then going underground into the city.)

Today I walked down to the summer palace, which is quite a change from the concrete and cars that prevail through most of the city.  

April 11, 2003:
Time certainly does fly when you're having fun.  I've finished with my Chinese classes, so whatever I've learnt so far will have to do to get me by.  (I've managed buying train tickets, eating in restaurants and taking taxis all in my new tongue, so at least some of the essentials are there.)  My father arrives next week and we'll head out for some cross-country travels and then I'm back home at the beginning of May.

I have a bit of a backlog of pics to put up, so here you go:

The Forbidden City on a rather foggy day.

A similar trip to the old summer palace .

A snowy day in Beijing and warming up over some Mongolian hot-pot .

And a short trip to Tianjin that was very enjoyable.

April 19, 2003:

Greetings from Chengdu.  I've begun my travels with my father and we are enjoying the country, as well as the impact of all the SARS paranoia - the tourist sites are all empty.

Last weekend I went camping on the great wall with Kelly, a former-rover from back home, and some of her friends here.  Many national Scout meetings at the Embassy West has done little to prepare me for several hours of hiking straight up with a heavy loaded pack (the morning wake-up screwdrivers didn't help either).  So much for a relaxing weekend.  However, the wall was extremely impressive, except the photos don't do it justice - so you'll have to go see it for yourself (just don't let Kelly convince you to camp out in a tower on top of some mountain!)  Anyways, here are those photos.

This morning we went to the Panda conservation research center .

And had lunch at the interesting Buddhist Wenshu Temple, a monastery dating back over a millennium.

That's all for today.  Zaijian!

You can check out last year's photos from Australia here.