100s of Photos Documenting a 6-week tour of
Malaysia ~ Singapore ~ Thailand ~ China
Section II: China
Photos by Bill and Sue-On
Captions by Sue-On (expanded from our FaceBook pages)
Gallery 6:
Pearls and Pandas
Upon leaving the Summer Palace grounds, 
we were met by our driver to take us to 
the obligatory shopping at a pearl factory. 
Tourist bureaus must get a cut when their guides 
take their clients to these facilities.
All of the "factories" have impressive entrances. 
These are just mini factories and show rooms
to show how their cultured pearls are produced. . .
and to sell the product 
to those brought in by tourist buses.
This young lady showed us that in pearl oyster farming,
the number of pearls produced by one oyster is
determined by the number of "seeds" placed in an oyster. 
The numbers can go up to as high as 30, 
but that will affect the size of the pearls.
This is the showroom where 
MANY salewomen attend to every visitor.
Our guide - on left with backpack - 
has been through this routine many times before : )
Our demo girl told us how to test for real pearls: 
the surface is not smooth, and if two are rubbed together
they will produce a fine white powder. 
They also grind up some pearls to make facial products. 
How many of you remember the commercial by 
Chinese actress Nancy Kwong of World of Susi Wong fame? 
I can still hear her rolling her tongue around the words 
"Oriental Pearl" with a Chinese accent ;-) 
BTW, I didn`t spend $185.00 for the 6 jars and get 2 free!
Leaving the factory, 
we headed to our next destination. 
The following are examples of some of the highrises. 
The building construction is on-going, 
with old buildings and some of the farm land 
being replaced with modern high rises,
while many farmers are being moved 
into nearby condos to free even more farmland.
There are countless BLOCKS of identical highrises,
all the buildings placed like dominoes in a row, 
all identical in colour and size. 
The next block would be of different colour and design.
There are building cranes on every horizon.
Talk about close living quarters. 
Really makes you understand why inhabitants 
escape to parks such as the Summer Palace 
whenever possible, and makes us appreciate 
the spaciousness of the open prairie.
An office building, 
small in comparison to some of the newer facilities.
We walked past this temple 
on our way to the Beijing Zoo.
The Great View Temple.
One of the posters on the exterior wall of the temple
near the zoo entrance.
Bill`s found a new guitar hero!
The Giant Panda enclosure.
Even though China is the home of the giant pandas, 
many would never get to see them in the wild and 
must visit the zoo to see these fuzzy "teddy bears".
I tried to blend in, 
but ended up sticking out like a sore thumb. 
Was it my hat? ;-)
One of the panda houses.
An indoor enclosure.
It was too soon after lunch and the zoo stars
weren't utilizing the play structures.
An outdoor play area.
Lazy bear!
Oh...but I am SO comfortable in this position!
Just a few more minutes
before I have to entertain...
Meanwhile, buy some souvenirs! 
Gotta pay for my fresh bamboo somehow!
Panda fashion, anyone?
The public washrooms... 


Hundreds of Photos with Captions
Singapore ~ Malaysia



Web Design:  Bill Hillman
Bill and Sue-On Hillman Eclectic Studio
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada