Beijing, China

The Heart of the Great Dragon

Mao's Traffic Light
The supervisory image of Mao Tse-Tung in the center of the Tianamen Portal and facing the homonymous square.
in sense
Detached soldier for the formation that carries out the complex choreography of collecting the Chinese flag.
Transit in the Heart of Beijing
Taxis and other vehicles pass in front of the Tianamen gate, under the supervision of Mao Tse-Tung.
Patriotic Souvenir
Beijing visitor is photographed with his daughter in Chinese historical costumes.
Soldiers march during the flag-gathering ceremony.
people's reflection
A child of a Chinese family examines the reflection of a puddle in front of the Tianamen Gate.
Sleep on duty
Soldier yawns during his turn right in front of the image of the great leader Mao Tse-Tung.
Chinese people's army soldiers raise the flag from the center of Tianamen Square.
communist glory
Communist motifs decorate the top of one of the buildings that delimit Tianamen Square.
hot group
Chinese visitors stroll under the haughty gaze of the former great leader.
historic solitude
The portrait of Mao Tse-Tung stands out, elevated and in the absolute center of the Tianamen Portal.
for later recall
Spectators photograph and film every step of the flag-gathering ceremony.
in sense
At the end of the day, soldiers perform the ceremony to collect the Chinese flag.
the light of china
Night falls and enhances the resplendent illumination of the Portal of Tianamen.
Soldiers guard the plinth on which others carry out a ceremony to collect the Chinese flag.
It is the incoherent historic center of Maoist-Communist ideology and almost all Chinese aspire to visit it, but Tianamen Square will always be remembered as a macabre epitaph of the nation's aspirations.

It's the height of summer. Beijing remains stuffy and shrouded in a fog that its heavy traffic and less and less tricycle thickens.

Even so, the multitude of passersby walking along the promenade along the southern wall of the Forbidden City is clearly visible.

Taxis, Vehicles, Mao Tse Tung, Dragao Heart, Tianamen Square, Beijing, China

Taxis and other vehicles pass in front of the Tianamen gate, under the supervision of Mao Tse-Tung.

In the middle of the vacation period – even for millions of the ever-busy servants and new Chinese entrepreneurs – curious and enthusiastic citizens from almost every province arrive in the capital.

They are joined by expatriates and outsiders who, like us, are more intrigued than ever by the success and global power newly gained by the Han ethnic group.

child, water reflection, dragon heart, tianamen square, Beijing, China

A child of a Chinese family examines the reflection of a puddle in front of the Tianamen Gate.

The common destination of this pilgrimage is the front of the Portal of Heavenly Peace. There, for several decades now, the paternalistic image of former President Mao Tse-Tung seems to oversee the events around and the destinies of the nation, protected by a small army organized geometrically around it.

Tianamen Square: Monumental Work, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

It was Mao who had the vision of building the largest and most spectacular square in the world, with a capacity to accommodate at least 500.000 subjects. To this end, in 1950, the Portal of China was demolished, like many other buildings, largely residential.

Portrait Mao Tse Tung Portal Dragon Heart Tianamen Square Beijing China

The portrait of Mao Tse-Tung stands out, elevated and in the absolute center of the Tianamen Portal.

Eleven months after its start, the works were completed. The new square gave the people a vast space of stone and concrete in the symbolic heart of the Sino-Universe.

The founder of China Popular Republic he had also expressed a desire to be cremated after his death. But the successor leaders found the whim compromising the greatness of the leader.

In late 1976, they disrespected him. Zedong's body – the untransliterated version of his name – was mummified and placed for eternal rest in a mausoleum purposely erected in the middle of the square, in place of the ancient Portal of China.

The authorities took the opportunity to widen the square a little more. It now measures 880 by 550 meters and can accommodate 600.000 people.

soldiers guard pedestal dragon heart Tianamen square Beijing China

Soldiers guard the plinth on which others carry out a ceremony to collect the Chinese flag.

Chinese Patience That Some Consider Frustrated

Similar to what happens during the summer to enter the Forbidden City and so many other attractions in the center of the capital, endless lines of suitors form to contemplate the mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

And even if history has taken it upon itself to prove the atrocities inspired by the Great Leader in terms of red ideology and his Great Leap Forward, not all Chinese are aware of the reality or are willing to accept it.

Many spend a few yuan on a flower that will offer their controversial memory.

After the long wait, some suspicious visitors feel cheated. Despite the exhaustive security procedures and the obligation to remove the hat, accusations that what is on display is nothing more than a wax doll are common.

The body appears in a kind of crystal capsule, covered by an old communist flag. We are protected by national army guards who harass the beholders as they hurry to the next room.

soldier, sleep, yawn, mao tse tung, dragon heart, tianamen square, Beijing, China

Soldier yawns during his turn right in front of the image of the great leader Mao Tse-Tung.

Wanderings on the Sunset of the Dragon's Heart

We continue to explore the corners of Tianamen Square. We pass through the underground passages under the road that separates it from the wall of the Forbidden City and the Portal of Heavenly Peace.

Underneath, dozens of sellers of souvenirs and street drinks, several illegals, protagonists of a game of cat and mouse to which the police seem to have gotten used to, have settled down there.

The end of the afternoon is marked by a diffuse sunset that oranges the western slope. And for the agglomeration of yet another patient international crowd, now around a delimited area around the pole on which the Chinese flag is soaringly fluttering.

And the Bell-Banner Military Ceremony

At the right time, soldiers stationed in front of the Portal of Heavenly Peace invade the road and stop traffic. A small battalion of soldiers with swords and rifles at the top appears on the other side of the walls, crossing one of the bridges and the wide road that separates it from the homonymous square.

spectators, flag ceremony, dragon heart, tianamen square, Beijing, China

Spectators photograph and film every step of the flag-gathering ceremony.

Soon, they enter the restricted area and are distributed in an organized way. Some of them face the noisy public that points them to hundreds of mobile phones so that they can film and photograph the ceremony.

Others climb the red carpet covered pedestal. They salute towards the portal and the figure of Mao already artificially lit.

Two of these soldiers, raised at the base of the pole, lower the flag and roll it up using sudden gestures and tugs, provided for in the protocol.

Flag Down Soldiers Dragon Heart Tianamen Square Beijing China

Chinese people's army soldiers raise the flag from the center of Tianamen Square.

When they are done, the battalion regroups. It re-crosses the return road on the other side of the portal, a resting place for the flag that will only be raised again after a similar ceremony, in the following dawn.

However, night had fallen. The crowd dispersed across the square but, engrossed in conversation and photographing and filming the surrounding illuminated panoramas, insisted on not disbanding.

This permanence goes against the precepts of the authorities. Accordingly, several vehicles driven by agents coming from the road come into action. Supported by a deafening message in Mandarin, they force people, like cattle, to move towards the side exit stairs.

A few minutes later, the last resisters who continue to ignore or bully authority surrender to the power of authority and evidence. The Tiananmen Square, built for the people, is once again emptied of people, by force.

These tourist clashes do not claim victims.

Visitors, Mao Tse Tung, Dragon Heart, Tianamen Square, Beijing, China

Chinese visitors stroll under the haughty gaze of the former great leader.

Tianamen: The Macabre Days of 1989

From 15 April to 4 June 1989, Tianamen was the scene of successive political protests involving its occupation mainly by students and hunger strikes.

On the last day of the contest, Chinese Communist Party Chairman Deng Xiaoping and Prime Minister li peng responded with the declaration of Martial Law. When they were unable to expel the demonstrators for good, they ordered a massacre believed to have caused between 300 and 800 deaths and many thousands injured.

Instead of tanks, the crowd, unhappy with the lack of political openness and rampant corruption within the CCP, was confronted with reinforced military forces. Most of the victimized protesters were shot dead. Some were crushed by tank caterpillars.

Who watched the images that arrived at the rest of the world, hardly forgets the most emblematic moment of events: a casual Protestant, in particular, displayed supreme courage.

soldier collecting flag, dragon heart, Tianamen square, Beijing, China

Detached soldier for the formation that carries out the complex choreography of collecting the Chinese flag.

He remained in front of a column of WZ-120 armored vehicles with two shopping bags, one in each hand, to the point of forcing the tank in front – shortly after, also others – to change direction to avoid him.

The unknown man even climbed into the tank and yelled into the turret. Shortly afterwards, unidentified people, dressed in blue suits, rushed from the surrounding crowd and led him away from the tank.

To date, little is known for sure about the identity of these actors and their fate.

It is known and felt, however, that Tianamen is anything but a Peace Square.

Dali, China

The Surrealist China of Dali

Embedded in a magical lakeside setting, the ancient capital of the Bai people has remained, until some time ago, a refuge for the backpacker community of travelers. The social and economic changes of China they fomented the invasion of Chinese to discover the southwest corner of the nation.
Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

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Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Alone, South Korea

A Glimpse of Medieval Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace stands guarded by guardians in silken robes. Together they form a symbol of South Korean identity. Without waiting for it, we ended up finding ourselves in the imperial era of these Asian places.

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.


Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
Huang Shan, China

Huang Shan: The Yellow Mountains of the Floating Peaks

The granitic peaks of the floating yellow mountains of Huang Shan, from which acrobat pines sprout, appear in artistic illustrations from China without count. The real scenery, in addition to being remote, remains hidden above the clouds for over 200 days.
Badaling, China

The Sino Invasion of the Great Wall of China

With the arrival of the hot days, hordes of Han visitors take over the Great Wall of China, the largest man-made structure. They go back to the era of imperial dynasties and celebrate the nation's newfound prominence.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Architecture & Design
Luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

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Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Vittoriosa, Birgu, Malta, Waterfront, Marina
Birgu, Malta

To the Conquest of the Victorious City

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young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Tabatô, Guinea Bissau, tabanca Mandingo musicians. Baidi
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

The Tabanca of Mandinga Poets Musicians

In 1870, a community of traveling Mandingo musicians settled next to the current city of Bafatá. From the Tabatô they founded, their culture and, in particular, their prodigious balaphonists, dazzle the world.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Motorcyclist in Sela Gorge, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Guwahati a Saddle Pass, India

A Worldly Journey to the Sacred Canyon of Sela

For 25 hours, we traveled the NH13, one of the highest and most dangerous roads in India. We traveled from the Brahmaputra river basin to the disputed Himalayas of the province of Arunachal Pradesh. In this article, we describe the stretch up to 4170 m of altitude of the Sela Pass that pointed us to the Tibetan Buddhist city of Tawang.
Drums and Tattoos
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

Neighbors Bora Bora and Maupiti have superior scenery but Tahiti has long been known as paradise and there is more life on the largest and most populous island of French Polynesia, its ancient cultural heart.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
DMZ, South Korea, Line of no return
DMZ, Dora - South Korea

The Line of No Return

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Seeding, Lombok, Sea Bali, Sonda Island, Indonesia
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Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

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silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
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Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

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Cable car connecting Puerto Plata to the top of PN Isabel de Torres
Natural Parks
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands
UNESCO World Heritage
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

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Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

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Vietnamese queue

Nha Trang-Doc Let, Vietnam

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Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo, Buddhism, Myanmar, Burma
Mount Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar

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Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

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the last address

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Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

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Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

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Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

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