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China is FREAKING AWESOME. Highlights: the Forbidden City (999,999 intricately wrought rooms for the Ming and Qing emperors, empresses, and concubines) and the Temple of Heavenly Peace. The Temple of Heavenly Peace encompasses both breathtaking architecture and a lovely (and huge) park where many local people do Tai Chi, play “feather-ball” (the Chinese version of hackeysack), dancing, and calligraphy painting on the ground using water and huge brushes (or normal sized mops). We also successfully climbed the Great Wall at Badaling (harrowing). There is a palpable weight of history, never before experienced by me, that suffuses all. More details later.

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