Snorre Moen

© Snorre Moen

01 | 2015

Week ONE

Met this guy close to the Forbidden City - and just had to take his picture. Really a character - but smiling and thumbs up when I asked him to take his picture.

Sunset | The North East Corner of the Forbidden City | Beijing

Close to the exit of the Forbidden City and the entrance to Jingshan Park you find the walls of the Forbidden City with watchtowers behind a water moat. At sunset you will find quite a few people geared up with the latest camera equipment trying to capture the sunset. When you finish I recommend a visit to a coffee shop just across the street (north side) where the owner is quite a photo aficionado and they have decent coffee.

Temple life | China

Temple door, ShangiLaFrom the Songzanlin Temple in ShangriLa (Zhongdian) in Yunnan.

Buddhist ideas and practices have shaped Chinese culture in a wide variety of areas, including art, politics, literature, philosophy, medicine, and material culture. Tibetan Buddhism is one of the three major schools of Chinese Buddhist religion along with Southern Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism. The term "Tibetan Buddhism" either refers to the Buddhism formed in Tibetan areas and spread to other regions, causing an impact or to the Buddhism spread in the Tibetan spoken and written language. Tibetan Buddhism originated in the middle of the 7th century, when Songtsen Gampo, the King of Tibet, was converted to Buddhism and built the Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Temple after marrying Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti and Chinese Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty. In the middle of the 8th century, Buddhism was directly introduced to Tibet from India. Tibetan Buddhism officially formed in the latter half of the 10th century. 

“If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism.” ― Albert Einstein

Lijiang | Shuhe | Yunnan | China

Lijiang is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of Yunnan province, China. Lijiang was the political, commercial and cultural center for the local Naxi people and other ethnic groups for 400 years from the year 658 AD to 1107 AD. In ancient times, the Baisha Old Town used to be the center of silk embroidery in the southwest of China and the most important place of the Ancient Southern Silk Road, which started from Burma, crossed Lijiang, Shangri-La County, Tibet, journeyed through Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea. A nice place for a couple of days, and I recommend the Bivou Hotel in the old town of Shuhe (www.bivou.com) - great place and location and wonderful staff.

Yangzhou | Jiangsu | China

Yangzhou is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu province. Sitting on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the Southwest. Historically it is one of the wealthiest of China's cities, known at various periods for its great merchant families, poets, painters, and scholars. Its name (lit. "Rising Prefecture") refers to its former position as the capital of Yangzhou prefecture in imperial China. Marco Polo claimed to have served in Yangzhou under the Mongol emperor Kubilai Khan in the period around 1282–1287. Although some versions of Polo's memoirs imply that he was the governor of Yangzhou, it is more likely that he was an official in the salt industry, if indeed he was employed there at all. Chinese texts offer no supporting evidence for his claim. The discovery of the 1342 tomb of Katarina Vilioni, member of an Italian trading family in Yangzhou, does, however, suggest the existence of a thriving Italian community in the city in the 14th century. Yangzhou has a lot of factories specialized for outdoor products, that that is why I have spend much time in Yangzhou.