This video is of the entrance to the Forbidden city with the Gold knobs, which people believe gives them good luck if they rub while passing by. Next in the video, I show the courtyard of Supreme Harmony where I include the intricate handmade artwork surrounding the complex, the vast stonework of the railings and walkways, and metalwork of the huge cauldrons placed around the exterior which were used to burn oil at night and/or in the winter for light and/or warmth.
The following journal entry includes pictures and videos as I and the rest of the international students present at my host university traveled through the mountainous terrain north of Chengdu to visit the beautiful scenic areas of Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong Scenic Area. Our trip began by loading ourselves and luggage onto pre-determined buses awaiting us outside the east gate of our university, which would be our home until reaching the town of Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan, China, 13 hours later. For the majority of us, including myself, this was the first time to experience China’s scenery outside the metropolis of Chengdu, from lush, beautiful landscape to the underprivileged citizens that grace its rural countryside who live a much simpler life than that of the more prosperous metropolitan areas. Jiuzhaigou and its neighboring towns were made up of an eccentric population of mostly Tibetans whose ancestors migrated to the area for a better life due to its close proximity and likeness to their home country of Tibet. As a result, I was able to gain first-hand experience of multiple Tibetan villages, including a village that was ravaged by the 2008 earthquake that caused an abundance of casualties in and around the Sichuan province. The Tibetans are quite marvelous people who allowed us to not only learn about the customs and rituals in which they, these mountain dwelling people, hold dear, but were also able to see picturesque scenery unmatched in areas I have traveled within China prior to this unique trip. I hope with the pictures and videos presented here I can convey even a minute part of the beauty I witnessed before me.