Ming Tombs, Jade Factory, and the Wall

Our final day in China, we took a bus tour out of town. Our tour group included people from all over the world. After stopping at a number of hotels to pick up other tourists, we headed northwest out of Beijing. Once we left the highway, we drove along farmlands and orchards.

Ming Tombs

The Ming Tombs are in the foothills of the Yanshan Mountains. The tomb areas contain courtyards, sculptures, and grand halls. A museum is found in of the halls.






Jade Factory

After leaving the tombs, we stopped in a small town to visit the jade factory. We watched people creating jade figures in a small factory, then visited their shop. Having spent time shopping in some of the back road shops in Beijing, we found the prices at the jade shop very high.




At the jade factory they demonstrated how to distinguish between real and fake jade jewelry. Jade has been valued throughout Chinese history, but it became popular in the 18th century. Although yellow, lavender, and red jade can be found, clear emerald green stone is the most valued.

According to our tour guide, jade always feels cool. It can't be scratched with a knife or glass. They showed us that a piece of hair will not burn if it's placed next to real jade.

After exploring the shop we walked outside to the street vendor area. We were disappointed to find that most of the street vendors sold the same commercial products found in the city.

We piled back into the bus and headed to the Friendship Store.


Friendship Store

The Friendship Store contained a cloisonne art factory. Cloisonne is a technique used to create metal objects with enamel decorations. Pieces of metal are soldered to a metal object such as a vase, box, or picture. The metal rods form outlines of images. The spaces are filled with enamel paste. The art is then placed in a kiln. Finally, empty areas are gilded.

People were working on different steps in the process. Pictures of different people and their work are shown below.



After exploring the shop, we stopped for lunch. Can you find Flat Stanley on the table? A big round lazy susan was in the middle of the table. We could spin the table around to try all the different kinds of Chinese food. Flat thought it was fun to ride around on the table.

The picture on the right also shows two of the other tourists in our group. They were from Japan.

After lunch, we jumped back into the bus and headed back to the highway. The next stop was the Great Wall of China.

Use the arrows to go forward or backward through the story.
Click on Flat Stanley to return to Flat's Main Page.

Developed by Annette Lamb, 2/03.