I found myself getting more and more comfortable as days of vacation at China seemed to progress. Right from taking buses and subway lines I was really getting the feel of the local culture here. And my family seemed to enjoy themselves in all the arrangements I seemed to be making.
This day we all decided that we will take a bus to Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai. To our delight there was lot of buses plying that dropped one at Lishui station, from there the garden is walking distance. Also one could take the city sightseeing bus. Another option which was available to us was taking the subway line 10.
Yuyuan Garden Shanghai | Image Resource : wikimedia.org
It felt we were spoilt for choices but we decided to take the city sight-seeing bus that would drop us at Yuyuan Garden. The opening hours were 8:30 and so we felt grateful that we were there by 9:00.We read up all the information about the changes this garden, had undergone in the 400 years of its existence. My wife was very impressed, and said it is very important that the government takes keen interest in keeping the green spaces up to the mark.
Spread among five acres this garden, comprises of pavilions, halls and ponds, all with unique characters. I simply loved the scenic areas and my children seemed to rush around, every time exclaiming aloud about the lovely scenery they caught sight of. The various halls within the garden seemed to have caught their fancy.
Suddenly I heard a shout of delight. Looking up I saw both my children atop the rockery. I rushed up to them and noticed that it was nearly 50 meter’s high. Asking them why they shouted, they excitedly pointed at the bird’s eye view this place gave of the entire garden.
Later we strolled in the Yule Pavilion and Wanhua chambers that led us to many corridors, streams courtyards and many natural scenes. This was a place where the spring bamboos grew, in clusters that was a beautiful sight. Near here I saw two trees out of which one was maidenhair tree. The belief is it is nearly 400 years, planted by the host of the garden. As it was time for us to leave, I took one last look and marveled at the beauty of this garden.
For me the word forbid never exists as I believe that every single place should be explored while on holiday. So here I was with my family ready to take on the Forbidden City which was basically the Chinese imperial palace of the Ming dynasty to the end of Qing dynasty. The most fascinating aspect of this place I felt was the long years of the rule of dynasties, right from the years 1420 to 1912.
After a hearty breakfast we all decided to hire a cab but then instead took the subway line 1 for the sake of travelling locally, to soak in the beautiful culture of this ancient country. We got off at the Meridian gate from where the entry is. Basically the tour commences in a unidirectional south to north itinerary.
The Forbidden City viewed from Jingshan Hill |Image Resource : wikipedia.org
We thanked our lucky stars that we reached the place by 9:30 as the visiting timings are from 8:30 to 17:00 hours only. Also I had found out the museum issues only 30,000 tickets while the other 50,000 are available online. Luckily I had booked the tickets online which saved us the trouble of standing in queue at the ticket counter.
The Northwest Corner Tower View of Forbidden City | Image Resource : wikimedia.org
We stood in Gu Gong, meaning the city Centre admiring the imperial palace of twenty-four emperors. We read up the ancient story that was connected to it, according to which the ancient Chinese philosophers said the Purple star was the center of heaven and the heavenly emperor lived in the palace. The palace on earth for the emperor was called the Purple City. It was forbidden to enter here without the permission of the emperor, so it took the name, the Forbidden City.
Going around the 52 –meter moat which surrounded the palace museum, we caught sight of the wall that was 10 meters high. And then from the gates of the wall which were there on both sides we read that there were 8,700 rooms within this palace. How hugely, inspiring it appeared to us. My wife and I posed under the delicate carved towers on the four corners of the curtain wall. From here we also enjoyed uninterrupted view of the city as well as the palace. At the end of the day, I thought to myself, no wonder it is declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
As our holiday at Vancouver came to an end the last destination that we visited there was the Lynn canyon park of Vancouver. Located at the district of North Vancouver in British Columbia this municipal park is stretched over an area of 612 acres of land. This famous tourist destination of Vancouver was established in the year 1912. At the time of its inauguration the Lynn Canyon Park of Vancouver comprised of only 12 acres of land which was later extended to its current status.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge | Image Resource : lynnvalleycentre.ca
The park is most suitable for those who are interested in active tourism pursuits such as hiking and camping. There are a number of hiking trails in the park that vary according to their lengths and difficulties. The trail named Baden –Powell passes through this park. The Lynn canyon suspension bridge is the most exciting to cross through. The natural landscape of this park is very thrilling. Due to its lush environs many television series such as the Stargate SG – 1 and the Stargate Atlantis have used this area for shooting purposes.
Lynn Canyon Park Vancouver | Image Resource : mrussellphotography.com
Within the Lynn canyon park located at the Northern part of Vancouver lays the Lynn canyon ecology centre. This building houses exhibits related to the natural history of British Columbia. The exhibits of this ecology centre aim at generating awareness about the local and global environmental problems.
Both my kids were very keen to explore the park and the articles kept on display drew their interest towards them. The Lynn canyon Ecology centre was opened for public in the year 1971. The building in itself is a masterpiece as it resembles a Pacific Dogwood blossom which is the official flower of the British Columbian province.
Swimming Hole at Lynn Canyon Park | Image Resource : vtourist.com
The North Vancouver parks facility looks after the management of the Ecology centre. The centre is designed to create environmental awareness about local and global ecosystems in a very interactive and fun way. Admittance to the Lynn canyon Ecological garden is free but a donation of $2 is required. There is also a gift shop in the vicinity of the park that serves tourists during the peak seasons.