Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beijing Part Two: We Get Jaded

After our trip to The Forbidden City, tour guide Tony and our driver took us to one of the world’s biggest tourist traps…Dragon Land Superior Jade Gallery.  Dragon Land has over 20,000 square meters of restaurants, knick-knacks, and jade jewelry. 

Chris was SO excited to learn all about jade.
This is jade in its raw form.
While at the gallery we learned how Jade sculptures are created, we learned how to spot counterfeit jade, and shopped for souvenirs.  

Workers use a diamond cutter to create family balls.  Workers spend 8 hours per day creating intricate masterpieces. 
The gallery sold thousands of little jade animals like the one above.
This jade dragon boat, complete with a Mao picture, can be yours for the bargain price of $1,000,000.
While at the Forbidden City, Tony told us according to Chinese folklore, every woman should have three jade bracelets: one from her parents, one from her husband, and one from her child.  Chris bought me this bracelet, so I have one out of three.  I have a gut hunch that Tony gets a kickback from all of the purchases made on his tour.  Well played, Tony. :)
After grabbing a quick lunch and picking up a bangle for myself, it was time for the main attraction…the Great Wall of China.