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

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
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.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Alaskan Lumberjack Show Competition, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
Architecture & Design
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Conflicted Way
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
San Pedro Atacama Street, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

São Pedro de Atacama: an Adobe Life in the Most Arid of Deserts

The Spanish conquerors had departed and the convoy diverted the cattle and nitrate caravans. San Pedro regained peace but a horde of outsiders discovering South America invaded the pueblo.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, New Caledonia, Greater Calhau, South Pacific
Grande Terre, New Caledonia

South Pacific Great Boulder

James Cook thus named distant New Caledonia because it reminded him of his father's Scotland, whereas the French settlers were less romantic. Endowed with one of the largest nickel reserves in the world, they named Le Caillou the mother island of the archipelago. Not even its mining prevents it from being one of the most dazzling patches of Earth in Oceania.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

little subject

Hampi, India

Voyage to the Ancient Kingdom of Bisnaga

In 1565, the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar succumbed to enemy attacks. 45 years before, he had already been the victim of the Portugueseization of his name by two Portuguese adventurers who revealed him to the West.

Blue Hole, Gozo Island, Malta
Gozo, Malta

Mediterranean Days of Utter Joy

The island of Gozo is a third the size of Malta but only thirty of the small nation's three hundred thousand inhabitants. In duo with Comino's beach recreation, it houses a more down-to-earth and serene version of the always peculiar Maltese life.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Levada do Caldeirão Verde, Madeira, Portugal, highlands
Levada do Caldeirão Verde, Madeira, Portugal

Upstream, Downstream

It is just one of over a hundred prodigious canal systems that Madeirans built to irrigate crops. Its verdant, steep and dramatic scenery makes visitors to the island flow continuously along the Levada of Caldeirão Verde.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
travelers contemplate, monte fitz roy, argentina
Natural Parks
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands
UNESCO World Heritage
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

A mere year into the first millennium, a Viking missionary named Sigmundur Brestisson brought the Christian faith to the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubour became the shelter and episcopal seat of the new religion.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
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.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica, public boat
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.