DrBen Photos of 2007 and new Text Uploaded

Meanwhile, for about 2 or more months we have been so occupied with site-building, photo-sorting, source study and not the least important,   the gathering of funds, that you viewers/visitors didnt hear of DrBen in this blog for a long Time. Lets have a look at some of the latest additions to our site.
As is customary, a tradition even by now, DrBen begun with uploading his latest self-portraits in China to this website. Find them via the the DrBen in China Photos Page, or – as of today – just have a look at the photo-albums in this Blog and see the dramatic and beautiful sceneries of November 2007 buzz by.
As is also customary, DrBen did not write any text to go with his photos, yet, because it usually takes some time for his travels to sink in. A few months later, and after some extra reading, moments are usually much better for reflections upon the past.
But !  This does not mean that there isn’t anything new for you to find out about and have fun  with. Please check the new and revised text with the Years 2006 Photos of DrBen in China and if you like – read the summaries of all years in China , via the DrBen in China Main menu Page or the general introduction to DrBen and his China Report.
Unfortunatly the years 2004 photos and before are still missing after a faulty systems upgrade, and remain to be repaired in some future.  As it is not a very big priority of ours to tell you about DrBen, this is expected to take some time. Possibly a lot of time .
Next Blog Item we will be having a look at the Latest Information we Published on China in the past few weeks !
We will give you a hint already ! Keywords will be Silk Road and Legations Quarter ! And that is certanly not all.
Posted in DrBen.net / China Report News | Leave a comment

Belated Spring Festival, on Valentines Day !

My, the 14Th of Februari and Valentine’s Day are here already. High Time for DrBen to get back on the Blog and belatedly wish all of our DrBen.Net and www.ChinaReport.com visitors and Fans are very Happy Chinese New Year ! A Warm welcome to the Year of the Rat from DrBen and of course, our greatest wishes for your success and more importantly, we wish you health and good spirits in the Chinese Year of 2008 !
Hmm, yes people – it is just one of the fun benifits of adopting China as my country of interest and Chinese Culture as my try out and leisure time hobby. Eversince I did that – at least I have been getting to celebrate the New years TWICE very year !
Now, that can’t be all bad. Certainly not if you are a bit familiar with the liveliness of Chinese New Year, aka the Spring Festival. 
Although this year our TV’s only saw terrible snows, traffic delays, electricity outages and even food shortages on a Nationwide Basis, normally, the Spring Festival for Chinese is the Koziest time of the year. And it is not like in the West and in The Netherlands !! Not at all. In China, stores and markets are at their busiest times humming with activity. Decorations are abundant and everyone is relaxed and having a good time. The best snacks are produced, and enjoyed – whilefamilies and old friends come together, and yet for the best – opening hours seem to be near infinite. If you don’t mind the crowds, shopping in Beijing in these days is a Buzzz. Make sure you make good reservations, for everything will be booked full well in advance, and you will share in a great cultural experience. Probably as much fun as the coming Olympics which will be spectacular, but also massive and exhausting. A great idea as an alternative to those crowds !
 Music of the Day: Ching Ming festival at BiangLiang River.
That said – this year it was a lonely Chinese New Year for DrBen since his very own Chinese Little Lady is on study-exchange, and therefor been relocated once more – to a little rural place in Cold Canada. Talk about a Cold Case ! In this regard the two of us shared in the faith of many many Chinese this Years. Poor Her !  Poor DrBen !  So, it was a meager celebration to say the least. Still, it made me a bit cheery to have a 2nd new year.
It is not in DrBen’s caracter to go any further into this suffering that recently occured, however, and so- he and therefor China Report are already looking to the Future again.
For one – If you are in sympathy with us and , ofcourse, would like to see MORE of the China Report …. Please Please Please support us and buy the DVDs, Books and services offered through our website. Quality and satisfaction guaranteed. !! In Return, you will send DrBen on yet another discovering Tour of Cina, and will bring a Chinese Girl back to her homeland for recovery.  Now, isn’t that donating to a good cause ? We will surely use your funding to extend this website as much as we can. We plan to make it a place of entertainment and leisure, as well as a place of knowledge and learning. Have Fun, see the documentaries, read the books, and share your experiences on our new Forum !!!
(More on the China Report Forum and other technical upgrades + addtions in a later Blog Item).
Secondly, as for looking to the future instead of sobbing at missed chances,  DrBen has more or less vowed (to himself) to witness the next Spring Festival in no other Place than Pingyao. This destination has long been on our list of must-visits, however twice already we have missed opportunities to go there and see, experience and photograph it all. Mind You – Pingyao is about a 16 or 18 hour train Journey from Beijing Western Station to Begin with. Although traveling options have improved remarkably in the last two years, Pingyao is still remote. Furthermore, in the area of South Shanxi Province, there is so much to see and document, that a proper preparation for the travels and planning of locations to visit is a must. Especially if you are into creating a website on the subjects. The City of Pingyao complete is a World Heritage Site comparable to the Forbidden City in Beijing ! It is a real challenge. But .. it would also be a great experience, a super-holiday, – well deserved- and an ambitious project with possible magnificent results.
Hmm, if you would help out DrBen right now he would the direct Plane to TaiYuan and do a first round of scouting and photography in the area.
Probably the next Blog Item would come from Pingyao !
  Cover of the DVD Documentary Box "Shanxi BusinessMen".
On his latest tour through China DrBen discovered a jewel of a Documentary (the "Shanxi BusinessMen"), which was very inspriring. This 6 DVD Documentary highlights the entire history of the Shanxi Traders that founded a home of commercial Dynasties, Not only Pingyao was their treasure, nearby towns are equally rich in culture, with altogether over a 1000 preserved Family Estates in South Shanxi Province alone.
The Shanxi Bussinesmen Documentary will be highlighted in another Blog Item, but as far as inspirations go. The Wu Tai Shan of Shanxi, and the City of Pingyao were already near top of the list.  Missing out on it last November/December for lack of available finance, next opportunity we get, DrBen, Caroline and China Report will descend on Shanxi Province !!
Coming month is a great time for good photography, and some healthy chinese food would be a good thing for DrBen as well.
The longer he spends behind his computer uploading, adding text and even doing some graphics design, all this while running a second business and overseeing the development of www.ChinaReport.com and now www.AsiaReport.com. The More his Health declines !!
DrBen is a workaholic when it comes to Chinese Affairs. His only rescue is his stash of fresh Chinese Tea. And ofcourse the thought of the next tour of China…..
Help DrBen on his way and participate in the creation of a great and entertaining China Community !!
Why Not ?
More on that and on the Latest Tour, involving Gansu province and the Taklamakan Desert, in the next Blog Item
Posted in DrBen.net / China Report News | Leave a comment

Hidden Treasure in Beijing – First Film in China Memorial Cinema

While, as mentioned in our previous Blog Item, the QianMen Area of Beijing and QianMen Dajie’ – part of the ancient entrance into the (former) Imperial City – are under reconstruction to be modernized into a pleasant car free shopping whalhalla, Dashilar – Beijing’s Number 2 Old Shopping Street is still operating as usual, vibrant, alive and well !
After our disastrous attempt to Fly out to the far West, and start the China Report’s Full coverage of the ancient silk road path in China, not all of the day was lost. On the contrary ! Stay with this Blog and find out some of the lesser known details on this ancient area of Beijing. While still not every arriving tourist is familiar with Dashilar – Big Railings Street in the Xuanwu District, below a small Report on our Visit to the Birthplace of Chinese Cinema.
Yes, it was just about here, in the year 1905 AD, that the First Ever Chinese Film was created !
Dashilar for 600 years already has been among the Top Places to do your shopping in Beijing (See – China Report – Beijing – Xuanwu District Introduction & Menu). Next to Wanfujing, now once again the Most Exclusive Shopping Street in the City of Beijing, Dashilar has always been the other choice. Although recently somewhat lost to the eye of the many visitors to Beijing, due to the modernity and the Glitter and Glamour of revived Wanfujing, Dashilar had it all, and still does ! Especially when one is looking for a good bargain !
Among the better known establishments of Dashilar Street, first of all the TongRenTang Medical Store, established by one of Beijing’s first succesful commercial Families – the TongRenTang’s. The store must be one of the most famous addresses to get your herbal medicines and/or engage in an on the spot lesson in Chinese Traditional Medicines (TCM). Looking for Ginseng ? Get it fresh and in abundant varieties at the TongRenTang Store !
Other stores include the Beijing Silk Store, with a longstanding reputation in quality silks, the large Ten Fu Tea House, not an original item in the street, but certainly for years now a welcome addition, and lately – the Da Guan Lou Cinema.
Although the original Da Guan Lou Cinema was lost in history, recently – it has been reopened at Dashilar East Street !
In 1905 AD …. -incomplete, more follows
Da Guan Lou Cinema, No. 36 Da za lan Street, QianMen Area of Xuanwu District in Beijing. HomePage / URL: http://www.zhdyy.com.cn
Posted in Beijing Updates + News | 2 Comments

Walk Beijing or Blog? – New Photo Additions on New Beijing

When one is thoroughly on the Prowl in Beijing as Doc Ben was the last week, it is not always easy to return to base and still have enough energy to keep a Blog and describe the wonders of the Day. Surely not! As Doc Ben has a habit of browsing through every nook and cranny of Beijing’s Palaces and Many Temples, his adventures are many, exciting and yes- rather exhausting. At the moment Ben has two fine blisters on his feet just to prove it !
Luckily, after 7 days of long walks, fabulous sites and -hopefully- magnificient photos, Doc Ben was supposed to Fly out to the West, but .. did not. He missed his Flight due to a variety of reasons and factors conspiring against him.
But – there is an up-side to everything, or at least – a true explorer always tries to find it. Today, belatedly, instead of Photos from Gansu Province, instead an overview of the passed week and some updates of what has changed in Beijing in the last year. I think you could say – we have good news on the New Beijing !
First of All – An update on what will be coming to your computer in the period leading up to the Beijing Olympics in August of 2008.
As the hard work progresses, Doctor Ben once again moved swiftly but accuratly passed and through a number of Beijing Landmarks & Monuments on his way to the "completion" of the Virtual City of Beijing. The results were many. Here a quick list of what is new and now recorded in 12.2 megapixel photo:
The Chongwen District – as you may have noted on our Website in the last few months, although neighboring Xuanwu District and most of the (Huge!) Imperial Palace (aka Forbidden City) have been introduced and described for you , the Chongwen District, as yet is incomplete and without proper description.
On reason for this was the fact that Dr. Ben works near 70 hours and more a week, and therefor sometimes lacks the Time to do some proper writing. The other reason, much more practical and logical, was that the Chongwen District – when we left in Summer 2005- has just started on it’s huge overhaul, pulling the District into Modernity. As a direct result of this, anything we might have written and uploaded for you, would have been outdated severely by this Time.
The good news on the Chongwen District – plans and construction of the changes to Chongwen District are now reaching their final stages and shape, enabling us to to give you directions for years to come.
Recorded in November 2007 in the Chongwen District were – the Yong Ding Men, former South Gate of the Qing Dynasty wall surrounding both Chongwen- and Xuanwu Districts. Next up – the nearby (walking distance) former Altar of Agriculture, which is the Place where the Emperor symbollically tilled a piece of Land, and performed Rituals for an auspicious season and abundant harvest.
Also among the Treasures of the District, a revisit of the World Cultural Heritage Site, the most sacred Shrine in China, The Tiantan – or Temple of Heaven. In the past, due to hardware failure, some of the photos of this magnificent Park had been lost to The China Report, however – in the past week we returned to one of the lesser wonders of the Park, the double-eaved Pavilion, and recorded it once again for you and History. This Time in 12.2 Mega-Pixels !!
Last but not least in our listing for Chongwen, a return to the Chongwen Fire God Temple on West Flower Market Street, including the Old Mosque, the Center of Worship in what was once a Muslim Hutong Area in Beijing. Both holy shrines have recently been fully restored, as we hope to show you as soon as is humanly possible.
Next – the Haidian District of which so far we have been unable to show you much.
This will change soon ! Among the Monuments and Landmarks of the Haidian District recently covered, first of all – a Return to Beijing Zoo, home of the Panda’s!
Although this Time we did not enter the Zoo, we did make an effort to show you more of the surrounding area which includes Xizhimen Subway Station and the still new western starting point of recently opened Subway Line 13, which can be dubbed the Olympic Line. From the West, line 13 arches through Haidian District to pass by all the Olympic Venues and newly built Stadiums for the Beijing 2008 Olympics and there-after.
After seeing this, we returned to our more traditional subjects and made our way up to the Great Bell Temple. The Great Bell Temple is the Home of the 6.75 meter solid bronze Yongle Bell – the largest and heaviest ancient Bronze Bell in China. Go have a look for yourself if you are in the area, as the Great Bell Temple offers much more than what one would expect upon entry ! If you are Fan / Enthousiast for Ancient Bronze Bells and Chinese Achievements in Bronze Casting – you mUst visit this Temple ! Many of the finest Bells in China have been brought together and are on display at this Fine Place.
Other future photo-laced Haidian Reports will further include – the Altar of the Earth, located just outside the 2nd Ring Road across from YongHeGong – Lama Temple (Part of Dongcheng District).
And there is More ! Next – The Palace Museum aka the Forbidden City which can easily be counted as a District all in itself !
Here China Report already covered an unprecendented percentage of the Palace, making the first Virtual Palace Museum on the World Wide Web (See China Report – Beijing). However, even we did not cover all, yet, as we are speaking about the largest preserved group of wooden buildings in the World. Therefor we had a return to the Palace in the Hope to Score yet more magnificent photos of this Timeless Palace and Wonder. And we succeeded !!
Coming soon to your Computer ! Unique Photos of the Palace of Peaceful Old Age, better known as the retirement Palace of Great Qing Emperor Qianlong.
Photos will later be available through our automated Photo Galleries and prints – even in wall size or larger, can be purchased (then) through www.chinaphoto.eu, our Future Stock Photography Pile on China.
And still there is more ! Before partially incomplete, Doc Ben further made hard efforts to complete the Full Introduction to the Dongcheng District of Beijing. The Dongcheng District, already much photographed beforehand, will be enriched with even more photos !
Additions in the coming months will involve the Confucius Temple, shrine to the world renowned and fabled wise-man from the far Past. Other important visits in Dongcheng – the Dr. Sun Yat Sen memorial Park. Once part of the outer Imperial Palace during much of the Ching Dynasty, Sun Yat Sen Park, now is a large shrine to the Father of the Chinese Revolution, the unsurpassed Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, and ofcourse his equally unique wife and later widow – Madame Soong Ching Ling.
The park is a large and pleasurable garden and is usually good for a great getaway from the Tourist Crowds and traffic noise of the North End of TiananMen Square. Go there and be surpised, or … wait around and have a virtual visit through your computer and our website !
Last Up in this week’s Photo-Coverage of the Wonders of Beijing – the beforehand nearly undescribed and un-photographed Business District of Beijing – ChaoYang.
In ChaoYang one can find one of the Last Imperial Altars of the far past, the Altar of the Sun.
The Sun Altar and Temple are located at Ritan Park in Central ChaoYang District. Although now counted as one of the lesser wonders and smaller Parks of Beijing, naturally the Virtual City of Beijing would not be complete without it. Furthermore, covering this Park gave us an excellent chance to browse through Beijing’s Embassy District, scout out the fenced off but large North Korean Embassy in Beijing and from there move on to DongYue Temple.
You may not have heard of the latter at all, but we can inform you that DongYue is once more, a splendid Temple in Beijing. And not only that, it is one of the most popular and most active Taoist Temples in Beijing. Find the Father of all Taoist God’s in control of his many many subjects at the DongYue Temple, also known as the Place of the Beijing Folklore and Folk Art Museum. It is both a worthy place to offer your prayers (Father God is the Home God of Tai Shan Holy Mountain in Liaoning Province) and a great place to discover more and marvel about the interesting Folk Arts of Beijing. Toys abound, paper-cuttings, ofcourse the un-missable Beijing Kite and more joyous items await.
More of the ChaoYang District will be covered tomorrow, on what will hopefully this Time be our last shooting day in Beijing.
That is- for the coming two weeks !!
As always – Doc Ben shall return to Beijing to complete his Gargantuan Volunteer Task !
A monks Job ???
Posted in Beijing Updates + News | Leave a comment

A New Beijing

Finally, a return to the City that has become almost like a second home to Dr. Ben. As always, as the ending to a lenghty flight directly from Amsterdam in Europe, my airliner emerged from a dark and far horizon to descend into clear blue skies, steadily dropping down to  the clear and crisp morning of Beijing. Welcome back Dr. Ben ! A new City of Beijing has been awaiting you !
Happy days are here again !!
Yes certainly, a return to Beijing for me is one of the best treats possible. This great City, this barren, dusty and dry land… China, Beijing, the Chongwen- and Xuanwu District Hutong, it has become home-soil to Doc Ben.
The First announcement of good times always comes at dawn. Then, after hours in the tin can surrounded by darkness,  when the blackness lifts and one looks outside the big boeings porthole, suddenly – to be confronted with such a vastness.
This Time, that first look outside was somewhere on the far North-Western Borders of the country. There, from 11.000 Meters high,  looking down through a frosted window, one can make out a landscape to always remember.  Passing fast overhead, down below lie dusty mountains, high plains and a eery emptyness, or so it seems.  There are few lights, if any. Road are only small very thin lines pointing somewhere.  What most impresses are the snow capped mountain peaks and seemingly endless and empty landscape covered by veil of blueish mist. This is the (former) Silk Road !
Soon, flying far North but with an excellent view, the route passes by the Tarim Basin, home of the southern and northern routes of the far western silk road in China. The Tarim, China’s third largest river is nowhere to be found. Only traces remain after a dry and hot summer season and the aircraft is too high and too far north to pick up the details. From 11.000 meters one only sees but a vast dust- and mist-shrouded valley stretching due west. Due West untill the magnificient Qilian Shan range closes the gap, meeting up with the Tibetan Plateau more to the South. 
Qilian Shan, the snowcovered and gleaming high peaks, used to be the loyal Northern Guards of the "Mouth of China".
Somewhere down below behind those magnificient snow covered tops must be the small town of Dunhuang, once an oasis announcing the safety of Chinese controlled lands. Soon, Doc Ben will be on the ground out-there, making the distances to try and cover it all i just 7 days !
Dunhuang is nowhere to be found in the vastness far off.  Quickly, the aircraft passes on to Mongolia – heading due west-south-west. More wilderness and brown dust covered lands enclosed by endless roughness of hills, mountains, salty ponds and … nothing so it seems.
The monotonous landscape is only broken by the huge Lake Baikal, on the order of Russia and Mongolia. Then ??
A little bit of patience will bring everyone down into the inviting morning sun of Beijing. The still rapidly changing,  and always magnificient Capital City of this vast land.
Beijing – The New Face of an Old City …
More coming in the next Blog Item !!
Posted in DrBen.net / China Report News | Leave a comment

Latest News: Doc Ben on the Fly

The Year keeps on rolling in with more spectacularly good news !  Finally, after a lenghty absence of now over a year Dr.Ben is returning to China for another grand tour of the most spectacular historic sites !
In the coming month – we will return to Beijing, the Capital of China and in the coming year the Host to the No Doubt impressing Olympic Games.
Tickets have just gone on sale and already the system is warped into overload ! Mind you .. this promises all kinds of things ..
In Beijing we will be covering some of the Corners we have not yet seen, as well as focus on the newly completed Beijing Subway Transportation System and ofcourse .. the New Olympic Architecture and New Capital Airport Terminal. We shall have to see where to go exactly, but no doubt a lot of hiking will be done and many a new treasure will be found.
After trying to "complete" (impossible!) our Coverage of the City of Beijing, take to the air and follow DrBen to the Far West on his partial tour of the Silk Road.
First destination on the Silk Road will be another location of ancient Buddhist Statues, the small and mythical city of Dunhuang with it’s World Heritage 4Th Century Mochao Caves. Dunhuang is located in Gansu Province, and lies at the top of the Hexi Corridor, once the pathway to safety withing the Inner Lands of China.
A sudden lush oasis in between the barren mountains and deadly sands of the Gobi Desert, Dunhuang was noted in the Marco Polo Book as a location of Caves with 1000’s of Buddha Statues and many other wonders. It was the home of watermelon , fresh fisheries and abundant crop.
There were and  are many other wonders to explore too. We expect to make a lenghty visit of the famed romantic crescent shaped pool and nearby towering sand-dunes. Then there is the Sanwei Holy Mountain Range with it’s Guanyin Well, the Yangguan Pass and South Lake in the South and another Pass, this one on the outer layer of the Great Wall of China, in the North. We wil sure have plenty of adventuring and photography to do !
(Click for –> Drawn Map of Dunhuang City & Area, for a better idea of the plans !)
After a week-long stay in this very remote place, Dr.Ben shall head of to the South-East, to discover more of Gansu Province and document the Fortress of JiaYuGuan, in history known as the "Mouth of China" and the end of Civilization. Here lies the last Fortress Stronghold to Garrisson and protect the Great Wall of China, naturally a must visit for the China Report.
After JiayuGuan, there is no further plans and Doc Ben may end up anywhere. Lanzhou, Xi’An, Luoyang, or ?? There is really too much to see and photograph in China, so there is always a return necessary !!
We will send our last Blog Item from Beijing when we finish up our Tour with some serious china business there, and reorganize the delivery of our Online Store Items (There have been some small problems, which shall be resolved).
So, after the Buddhist Statues of Datong in Shanxi (Yungang) and LuoYang in Henan (LongMen), we will now go and visit the Famous Mochao Caves !
Stay tuned and revisit this Blog in the coming month and get a small taste what life on the road, in this case the Silk Road, is with Dr. Ben in China.
Posted in DrBen.net / China Report News | Leave a comment

Website Alert – Temporarily Unavailable due to Over-amount of Visitors

Just as we were about to reach a new Daily Viewers Record and are nearing the point where we can welcome our quarter-millionth visitor (in Total), we have to interrupt our website work to issue a Website Alert & Warning.
Please note that due to a rapid expansion of traffic volume, in normal words- an explosion in the number of daily visitors, our website www.drben.net and (the) www.China Report.com can be temporarily unavailable to your browser.
As we are writing this Notice, the China Report should be back online and available, however in the period up to November 2nd you may unable to acces information on our website for short periods.
Our apologies for the inconvenience !
Support the China Report ?
If you make regular use of our website and/or simply like it very much and would therefor like to keep it online and see more –> please support us in our efforts !
Doing this is easy and does not have to cost you a lot ! 
Simply use the links to the products offered on and around our many China Pages, and if they are of your interest, buy them using the link from our website.
Please note – all suppliers of products are western based. Delivery is speady & trusted.
Products ? 
Clickable Products on our webpages include: superb Poster-size Photo-Prints of various Monuments, Landmarks and landscapes in China.  Among them too many too mention, but including the Great Wall at various locations, TiananMen Square  and the Forbidden City in Beijing. The South and the West are also well represented with the Three Pagoda’s of Dali, landscapes of Guilin, the Silk Road Oasis and other chinese treasure-spots.
Professional Photographers and Publishers can find high-grade photography through our links to Photo.com, the (commercial) stock photography library. Coming 2008 we expect to offer our own collection of prints and products through wwww.ChinaPhoto.Eu and ofcourse our very own DrBen.Net Online Store. The Store is now also avaible under the URL – www.AsiaTravelDVD.com.
Furthermore there are plenty of interesting videos to buy and enjoy at home.  Order the renowned Video Documentary on Chairman Mao based on the Jonathan Spence Book, find out about the cultural revolution,  find out about chinese culture or simply enjoy chinese cinema by clicking the link and ordering dvd for sometimes as little as under 10 US dollars !!
The next category includes many books and historic DVDS written and produced in China. These we mainly offer through our Online Store.
For travelers there is a choice of many Hotels in China, including Hotels in remote places. Book them directly Online through our China Hotel Search Engine or go for the Luxury and Trusted option through our Marriot Hotels direct Booking Links.
In the Future we intend to bring more reviews of the most interesting, historic, best located or simply most luxurious hotels in China.
If you are in need of airline Tickets, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (combined with Air France) can serve you as well. And last but not least we offer the option for car rental bookings, travel insurance and a number of other handy services.
Please use our Links and keep our website on air and growing.
Thank you very much for the Support !
Posted in DrBen.net / China Report News | Leave a comment

Order out of Chaos – The Beijing Public Transportation System

Time Flies! Especially when you are having fun, or just like us, are very hard at work to achieve ambitious goals.
Even when one is succesful, there still is no time to chill out, lay back and enjoy the Fruits of Labour. In our case that is – Yet !!
Let’s have a look at the new additions to the China Report website.
We had promised to take you on a wild Tour of the City of Beijing, while we get our site (more or less) ready for next years Olympics in that city. As you may have infered from our Beijing Report and other pages in our website, we had great urges to inform you on several places of interest we still need to cover. However, the abundance of such historic places and sites in Beijing made us bog down in indecision   on what to write on first.
How to create order out of Chaos ?
After some careful deliberation, browsing around the web for info and a spark of inspiration & insight, we then decided to take you on an entirely different course. Afterall, how take you – the reader/viewer properly on a Tour of the City of Beijing, without having some insight into the City Lay-out and ofcourse, the best and most handy ways to get around the City ?!
We needed to get you on your way around the City first !
As a result, last weeks stint of writing produced a long overdue but very comprehensive and complete introduction to the Beijing City Public Transportation System.  As our more loyal visitors may know, we had already written an introduction to Beijing Busses and an Introduction to Beijing Taxi’s much earlier, the latest additions include information Beijing Western Railway Station, and, as mentioned, a comphrensive overall explanation of the Beijing City Transportation System.
As the planned Transportation System of the larger Beijing Mega-Metropolis is nearing the completion of it’s current stage (yes, there will be more .. ), you guessed it – in preparations for the August 2008 Olympic Summer Games of Beijing, it was finally possible to give you a good overview the current travel options within the City of Beijing. Before, changes went too fast to keep up with !
In short the new know-hows on city travel in Beijing: The Beijing International Airport (Capital) will open a brandnew terminal on a new location, including a suway station and line connecting directly to the Olympic Park and Venues as well as and additional directly into ChaoYang Business District. The new Terminal itself will be an architectural masterpiece of sorts, a grandiose piece to show-off the new Beijing.
Next additions to the city transport system are the opening of several new metro/subway lines and a multitude of new stations. We will bring you a more detailed guide to the new system, after the latest line No. 10 opens (partially) in September. For now the main travel tips remain that the yellow line has been connected via XizhiMen Station to connect to the Summer Palaces. In the past one needed to take a taxi there, an organized tour or the bus line. Now one can reach near the Summer Palace by subway. A much more attractive outing. Further line extensions include the subway to ChaoYang in the East and Fengtai in the West. In Both directions lines have extended to reach the outermost districts, among things to make it possible for commuters to reach the city by car, then travel around the city by subway/metro.
Other news on the subway follows.
Next up the Trains and Train Stations of Beijing. Loyal viewers have long been waiting for that and finally we can give you some decent and useful information which is up to our standards. With these tips you can reach destination, no doubt. Check out the overall Introduction to the Beijing City Public Transportation System for the most basic information, including the correct station to reach the Great Wall of China at Badaling. It is XizhiMen, The North Station. Go to our report page on the Beijing Western Railway Station for very detailed information on how to get tickets for the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Beijing is the First Station on this very interesting train-ride to the City of Lhasa in Tibet and the roof of the world !
The information on Beijing’s Main Station, Beijing Zhan, in south-east corner of the Dongcheng District has not been added yet, but will follow in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile there have been many more additions on and around our website. Perhaps you have already found some. If not : Have a look at our Introduction to Hebei Province, which is the Province of China that Beijing City Province is part of.  For some good first information on the province, read the story on this page and browse around the many maps. This general information page gives a good idea and backgrounds to the Great Wall of China of the Ming Dynasty and includes a map of it’s shematic path.  And .. if that is not enough for now.
In those seven months of absence before the last Blog Item, we also added the same on Shanxi Province. Find an Introduction Page to this Province now available inside www.chinareport.com too ! For even more information and the best details on Shanxi Province, turn the page and read through our Full Historic Introduction to Shanxi Province. Shanxi’s most famous landmark, 4Th Century Statue remnants from the Silk Road known as the Yungang Caves and the nearby City of Datong have also been partially covered by us.
Enjoy the many photos and growing texts! We provided some easy listening music here and there to make your reading a more comfortable and fun experience. More Beijing Additions in the next Blog Item !
Photo 1: Schematic of the Beijing Subway in November 2004. A Northern Ring connects to Summer Palace than back Via Olympic Park to the City Center. More has been added since !
Photo 2: Doc Ben at Shen Wu Men, the Forbidden City North Gate. Drive and Park your bicycle anywhere and go photograph and see Beijing !
Posted in Beijing Updates + News | 3 Comments

Further & Further on a chaotic trip through the City of Beijing and beyond !

By now it has been no less than 7 more Months since we’ve updated our China Report-Blog  with a New Years Item in which we intended to give you the latest in our Huge List of uploads to the Virtual City of Beijing and other segments of our China Report-website. We were further supposed to explain to you about another wave of additions, completely transforming our website in another huge and even more ambitious blow, which was to include a total systems upgrade.
We were also planning to make this blog once more an interesting and Fun Journey through China, and a way to find your way to our latest presentations, while leaning back in your armchair to enjoy the views.
However –
Sadly – again we failed in this. It is fair to say we were all overwhelmed by the pace in which both our sources and our technical-options keep expanding, exponentionally it seems.
Today, another attempt to update you on the latest additions to our website, plus ! step-by-step, in following Blog Items a good introduction to our Projected Plans for the period between Right-Now, and the Date of Januari 1, 2008, which will open the Olympic Year for the City of Beijing.
But First below – a message from our combined China Report Staff.
Dear Viewers – Please don’t ever think the China Program has not been in progress every day, in one way or another.
It certainly was – as a matter of fact we have found so many new sources, and had so many new opportunities to think about and deal with, that our entire Team was flooded for a very long Time.
After the Storm was over, it had already turned into Summer and Doc Ben, our Mission Leader, had to be sent away for a desperatly needed Holiday and break from his endless writing, uploading, sorting and directing.
But nevermind that. We love the "work", and the China Mission is a sacred one to Us. In this respect we Dare say: "You ain’t seen Nothin’ , yet". So yes, you are once more invited to join us regularly and find out what we will do to amaze you. We PROMISE – it will be quite a bit, and it will be considerably better and even more interesting than anything we have shown to you so far !!
X – and Greetings from The China Report Staff !
As mentioned in the earlier "New Years Blog-Item", we wanted to inform you on the many additions and uploads to the Beijing Segment of our website – we start again in the Next Blog-Item. The Journey will start in Beijing, but it will expand into a mission through North-China !!
Posted in DrBen.net / China Report News | Leave a comment

Back on the Blog – China Report Ends the Year with a Sprint

With the End of the Year coming in sight this Blog has finally returned to Full Function, sounding in our China Report End-Sprint to the New Year of 2007 ! We welcome all our past viewers back as we return from lenghty absence during the summer and remainder of the year 2006. During this long period you may have not heard a single word from us through this blog, but mind you – behind the screens The China Report has doing some hard work in an all out effort to complete our site, especially our information on the City of Beijing. To make navigation and understanding easier we been undergoing some major changes and many new photos, and even texts have been added. Work on more texts is ongoing. Our Online Store has gained some unique products only offered through this website and company. Next for 2007, completely new and upgraded Photo-Galleries at www.ChinaPhoto.Eu offering you photo- and even poster prints of all our best Photos, and more.
Read this Blog Item to find out what has been added the last 6 months, to hear about some of travels and our sufferings, and most of all, what will be coming these last few days of the Year, before we truely blast off in 2007.
Let’s see what we have created for you so far.
Starting you out with todays latest photo upload – The Chairman Mao Zedong Former Residence in Beijing nearby the City Bell-Tower, and some late additions to Dashilan Street and nearby hutong we lead you …
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