China, October 2016

I’ve been quiet on this blog for a few weeks, mostly due to travel. I recently completed a wonderful trip to China, a tour we’ve been planning for the better part of several years. I’m sure I’ll get back to technical topics but for now I wanted to put up some of the photos from our amazing trip.

Between Karen, my mother, and myself, we took nearly 1500 photos. Picking the iconic or even relevant photos from that set of memories… well, just wow. That’s tough. Fair warning, this will be almost all photos…

IMG_0019.jpgObligatory selfie with my love, at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing

I’ve had a side interest in the art of stone carving for a long time, and I got to definitely enjoy some exquisite examples while I was at the Temple of Heaven



That extends into architectural details and ornamentation.


The details that we saw are innumerable. Just as representative, perhaps better representative, of the trip was the sense of vastness and scale. Texan’s may think they “build big”, but really – they’re pretty weak punks when it comes to China.

IMG_0147.jpgPanorama from the Great Wall of China


IMG_2901.jpgPanorama from the Forbidden City

IMG_3085.jpgPanorama from Xi’an and the archeological dig where they are unearthing the terra cotta warriors.

But of all the places, I think the most visually stunning wasn’t built. IMG_3299.jpgPanorama from Guangxi, China on the Lichiang river. What’s often called “The gumdrop mountains” in english.

One blog post would never do it justice. 12 days in a whirlwind tour, touching down in quite a few different parts of a hugely diverse country.Screen Shot 2016-11-19 at 10.50.42 AM.png

We had some goofy fun times, such as riding the maglev in Shanghai, and my oh-so-authentic terror of being on a train moving at 431km/hr (it was really cool!)


Traveling with our fellow tour mates and getting to know other people with interest in China as well.

IMG_0688.jpgThis is Karen and I with David – youngest member of our tour – at the dig in Xi’ian.

IMG_0859.jpgBeing with family to have this experience (Karen, myself, and mom)


Meeting new people who were willing and interested to chat with curious tourists.

IMG_0255.JPGIncluding quite a number of school children who were all very excited to practice a little english and pleasantries.

Quite an amazing trip, walking through that 大門 to see China.


Published by heckj

Developer, author, and life-long student. Writes online at

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