After 3 years in Asia, we finally made it to Mainland China, Beijing, to be exact.  We went to visit my old college friend and his family.  He was kind enough to arrange housing for us in the same complex.  We hit the big 3 touristy spots - Great Wall, Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City - and ate A LOT!  (Beijing food will have to be another post)

We took a local, very cheap train to the Badaling section of the Great Wall.  And while it was a more touristy section, it wasn't that crowded and it was convenient to get there.  Apparently, they wash the trains between trips.

It's amazing how far the Wall stretches.  It was quite impressive.

There were many Chinese tourists, too.  And many, shall we say "local" sights.

The Temple of Heaven was also beautiful but we're not sure if the Echo Wall really works.

Finally, we walked to the Forbidden City which was massive!  So many alleys and courtyards.  There was also nice gardens as well.