Need A Rain Umbrella? What You Need To Know Before Your Next Purchase

In the good old days, if you needed an umbrella, you would wind up with a long stick umbrella. And it would be black. But in recent years there have been several recent innovations and amazing feats of engineering applied to the age old rain umbrella.

Perhaps the most dramatic option for an umbrella is the method of opening. Manual umbrellas are opened and closed by sliding the ring up and down the shaft, at the whim of the user. There have been, for several years now, automatic umbrellas which would pop open at the push of a button, located on the handle. These spring-loaded umbrellas are really handy and can usually open faster than a traditional manual umbrella. Even more recently some ingenious engineers have discovered how to manufacture umbrellas which automatically open and close. These are the ultimate in convenience. A word of caution, being complex mechanical machines, automated umbrellas occasionally will break and become either stuck open or stuck closed. If you wish to take advantage of an automatic umbrella, I recommend getting a higher quality umbrella with a lifetime warranty.

The next amazing innovation for the modern umbrella is the double canopy. This design features overlapping slits in the canopy, the theory being that wind can flow through these slits rather than being captured by the canopy and forcing the umbrella to invert. (Inverting is usually the best sign that you need a new umbrella.) There are many different variations to the double canopy, but in essence they all work the same, and can mitigate damage to this valuable accessory. Most umbrellas with double canopies have been found to withstand winds up to 50 mph (80 kph.) Indeed, if your double canopy umbrella becomes inverted, it’s time to seek immediate shelter and get indoors!

Another option to consider is whether to get a traditional stick umbrella or a folding umbrella. Folding umbrellas are also marketed as compact or ultra compact. The shaft of these umbrellas telescopes out when opened and can provide adequate coverage for individuals, while collapsing down to less than a foot in length for convenient carrying. Traditional stick umbrellas, though certainly bulkier, are also going to be more durable.

The material used for the canopy for an umbrella is worth mentioning. Most umbrellas are manufactured from nylon because of its durability as well as being freely available and cost effective. Pongee (pronounced „Ponj“) is a type of silk cloth. It is rare to find umbrellas made exclusively from Pongee, but you are likely to find Poly-Pongee. This polyester and silk combination is more widely used, and due to the silk content is a little more costly. The advantage to poly-pongee is that it is a lighter weight fabric. You will also find some select umbrellas made from a polyester canopy. Each of these fabrics have been found to provide superior protection from both the sun and rain. Of note for custom imprinting, nylon tends to hold and reflect imprints better. If you are considering putting a logo on an umbrella, it would be best to do so using a nylon canopy.

Do you like to golf in the rain? Umbrella manufacturers often produce purpose built golf umbrellas which are characterized by a larger than average size canopy (typically with 62 or 68 inch arcs,) a longer that usual traditional stick shaft, and finally a straight handle. Golf umbrellas also come in a very large variety as far as colors and patterns. Golf umbrellas have become popular among not just golf clients as they also work well for families.

Another large umbrella to consider are the Doorman Umbrellas, which are purpose built for commercial use by hotels and apartments. Doorman umbrellas are similar to golf umbrellas with the two exceptions that they usually feature a traditional J shaped handle, and come in a limited number of color options. Doorman umbrellas are also well engineered for durability and make a perfect umbrella for families as well.

For the commuter or business worker there are several travel umbrellas. These are compact folding umbrellas which include a convenient carry case or other pouch. Some even incorporate loops and straps so that the umbrella can be carried on ones back like a backpack.

Under the moniker of fashion umbrellas there are several models of umbrellas which are meant to make a personal statement or even match for coordinated apparel. There are few fast rules for fashion umbrellas, and you will find a wide range as far as quality and durability is concerned. When selecting a fashion umbrella (as opposed to a „fad“ umbrella) consider using a reputable umbrella company who will endorse their products with a warranty.

In recent years, your options have really expanded as far as purchasing an umbrella.

Before you put money down, it is important to consider your lifestyle and your individual use for an umbrella. Once you understand what features you require in an umbrella, it then becomes a simple exercise in finding the umbrella which best suits you. If you have some trouble finding that perfect umbrella, consulting with umbrella experts like those found at can save you time and money in your hunt for appropriate rain protection.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jon Gedge

History of Educational Technology

There is no written evidence which can tell us exactly who has coined the phrase educational technology. Different educationists, scientists and philosophers at different time intervals have put forwarded different definitions of Educational Technology. Educational technology is a multifaceted and integrated process involving people, procedure, ideas, devices, and organization, where technology from different fields of science is borrowed as per the need and requirement of education for implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions to those problems involved in all aspects of human learning.

Educational technology, broadly speaking, has passed through five stages.

The first stage of educational technology is coupled with the use of aids like charts, maps, symbols, models, specimens and concrete materials. The term educational technology was used as synonyms to audio-visual aids.

The second stage of educational technology is associated with the ‚electronic revolution‘ with the introduction and establishment of sophisticated hardware and software. Use of various audio-visual aids like projector, magic lanterns, tape-recorder, radio and television brought a revolutionary change in the educational scenario. Accordingly, educational technology concept was taken in terms of these sophisticated instruments and equipments for effective presentation of instructional materials.

The third stage of educational technology is linked with the development of mass media which in turn led to ‚communication revolution‘ for instructional purposes. Computer-assisted Instruction (CAI) used for education since 1950s also became popular during this era.

The fourth stage of educational technology is discernible by the individualized process of instruction. The invention of programmed learning and programmed instruction provided a new dimension to educational technology. A system of self-learning based on self-instructional materials and teaching machines emerged.

The latest concept of educational technology is influenced by the concept of system engineering or system approach which focuses on language laboratories, teaching machines, programmed instruction, multimedia technologies and the use of the computer in instruction. According to it, educational technology is a systematic way of designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of teaching and learning in terms of specific objectives based on research.

Educational technology during the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age

Educational technology, despite the uncertainty of the origin of the term, can be traced back to the time of the three-age system periodization of human prehistory; namely the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.

Duringthe Stone Age, ignition of fire by rubbing stones, manufacture of various handmade weapon and utensils from stones and clothing practice were some of the simple technological developments of utmost importance. A fraction of Stone Age people developed ocean-worthy outrigger canoe ship technology to migrate from one place to another across the Ocean, by which they developed their first informal education of knowledge of the ocean currents, weather conditions, sailing practice, astronavigation, and star maps. During the later Stone Age period (Neolithic period),for agricultural practice, polished stone tools were made from a variety of hard rocks largely by digging underground tunnels, which can be considered as the first steps in mining technology. The polished axes were so effective that even after appearance of bronze and iron; people used it for clearing forest and the establishment of crop farming.

Although Stone Age cultures left no written records, but archaeological evidences proved their shift from nomadic life to agricultural settlement. Ancient tools conserved in different museums, cave paintings like Altamira Cave in Spain, and other prehistoric art, such as the Venus of Willendorf, Mother Goddess from Laussel, France etc. are some of the evidences in favour of their cultures.

Neolithic Revolution of Stone Age resulted into the appearance of Bronze Age with development of agriculture, animal domestication, and the adoption of permanent settlements. For these practices Bronze Age people further developed metal smelting, with copper and later bronze, an alloy of tin and copper, being the materials of their choice.

The Iron Age people replaced bronze and developed the knowledge of iron smelting technology to lower the cost of living since iron utensils were stronger and cheaper than bronze equivalents. In many Eurasian cultures, the Iron Age was the last period before the development of written scripts.

Educational technology during the period of Ancient civilizations

According to Paul Saettler, 2004, Educational technology can be traced back to the time when tribal priests systematized bodies of knowledge and ancient cultures invented pictographs or sign writing to record and transmit information. In every stage of human civilization, one can find an instructional technique or set of procedures intended to implement a particular culture which were also supported by number of investigations and evidences. The more advanced the culture, the more complex became the technology of instruction designed to reflect particular ways of individual and social behaviour intended to run an educated society. Over centuries, each significant shift in educational values, goals or objectives led to diverse technologies of instruction.

The greatest advances in technology and engineering came with the rise of the ancient civilizations. These advances stimulated and educated other societies in the world to adopt new ways of living and governance.

The Indus Valley Civilization was an early Bronze Age civilization which was located in the northwestern region of the Indian Subcontinent. The civilization was primarily flourished around the Indus River basin of the Indus and the Punjab region, extending upto the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, (most of the part is under today’s Pakistan and the western states of modern-day India as well as some part of the civilization extending upto southeastern Afghanistan, and the easternmost part of Balochistan, Iran).

There is a long term controversy to be sure about the language that the Harappan people spoke. It is assumed that their writing was at least seems to be or a pictographic script. The script appears to have had about 400 basic signs, with lots of variations. People write their script with the direction generally from right to left. Most of the writing was found on seals and sealings which were probably used in trade and official & administrative work.

Harappan people had the knowledge of the measuring tools of length, mass, and time. They were the first in the world to develop a system of uniform weights and measures.

In a study carried out by P. N. Rao et al. in 2009, published in Science, computer scientists found that the Indus script’s pattern is closer to that of spoken words, which supported the proposed hypothesis that it codes for an as-yet-unknown language.

According to the Chinese Civilization, some of the major techno-offerings from China include paper, early seismological detectors, toilet paper, matches, iron plough, the multi-tube seed drill, the suspension bridge, the wheelbarrow, the parachute, natural gas as fuel, the magnetic compass, the raised-relief map, the blast furnace, the propeller, the crossbow, the South Pointing Chariot, and gun powder. With the invent of paper they have given their first step towards developments of educational technology by further culturing different handmade products of paper as means of visual aids.

Ancient Egyptian language was at one point one of the longest surviving and used languages in the world. Their script was made up of pictures of the real things like birds, animals, different tools, etc. These pictures are popularly called hieroglyph. Their language was made up of above 500 hieroglyphs which are known as hieroglyphics. On the stone monuments or tombs which were discovered and rescued latter on provides the evidence of existence of many forms of artistic hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt.

Educational technology during Medieval and Modern Period

Paper and the pulp papermaking process which was developed in China during the early 2nd century AD, was carried to the Middle East and was spread to Mediterranean by the Muslim conquests. Evidences support that a paper mill was also established in Sicily in the 12th century. The discovery of spinning wheel increased the productivity of thread making process to a great extent and when Lynn White added the spinning wheel with increasing supply of rags, this led to the production of cheap paper, which was a prime factor in the development of printing technology.

The invention of the printing press was taken place in approximately 1450 AD, by Johannes Gutenburg, a German inventor. The invention of printing press was a prime developmental factor in the history of educational technology to convey the instruction as per the need of the complex and advanced-technology cultured society.

In the pre-industrial phases, while industry was simply the handwork at artisan level, the instructional processes were relied heavily upon simple things like the slate, the horn book, the blackboard, and chalk. It was limited to a single text book with a few illustrations. Educational technology was considered synonymous to simple aids like charts and pictures.

The year 1873 may be considered a landmark in the early history of technology of education or audio-visual education. An exhibition was held in Vienna at international level in which an American school won the admiration of the educators for the exhibition of maps, charts, textbooks and other equipments.

Maria Montessori (1870-1952), internationally renowned child educator and the originator of Montessori Method exerted a dynamic impact on educational technology through her development of graded materials designed to provide for the proper sequencing of subject matter for each individual learner. Modern educational technology suggests many extension of Montessori’s idea of prepared child centered environment.

In1833, Charles Babbage’s design of a general purpose computing device laid the foundation of the modern computer and in 1943, the first computing machine as per hi design was constructed by International Business Machines Corporation in USA. The Computer Assisted instruction (CAI) in which the computer functions essentially as a tutor as well as the Talking Type writer was developed by O.K. Moore in 1966. Since 1974, computers are interestingly used in education in schools, colleges and universities.

In the beginning of the 19th century, there were noteworthy changes in the field of education. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), right from its start of school broadcasts in 1920 had maintained rapid pace in making sound contribution to formal education. In the USA, by 1952, 20 states had the provision for educational broadcasting. Parallel to this time about 98% of the schools in United Kingdom were equipped with radios and there were regular daily programmes.

Sidney L. Pressey, a psychologist of Ohio state university developed a self-teaching machine called ‚Drum Tutor‘ in 1920. Professor Skinner, however, in his famous article ‚Science of Learning and art of Teaching‘ published in 1945 pleaded for the application of the knowledge derived from behavioral psychology to classroom procedures and suggested automated teaching devices as means of doing so.

Although the first practical use of Regular television broadcasts was in Germany in 1929 and in 1936 the Olympic Games in Berlin were broadcasted through television stations in Berlin, Open circuit television began to be used primarily for broadcasting programmes for entertainment in 1950. Since 1960, television is used for educational purposes.

In 1950, Brynmor, in England, used educational technological steps for the first time. It is to be cared that in 1960, as a result of industrial revolution in America and Russia, other countries also started progressing in the filed of educational technology. In this way, the beginning of educational technology took place in 1960 from America and Russia and now it has reached England, Europe and India.

During the time of around 1950s, new technocracy was turning it attraction to educations when there was a steep shortage of teachers in America and therefore an urgent need of educational technology was felt. Dr. Alvin C. Eurich and a little later his associate, Dr. Alexander J. Stoddard introduced mass production technology in America.

Team teaching had its origin in America in the mid of 1950’s and was first started in the year 1955 at Harvard University as a part of internship plan.

In the year 1956, Benjamin Bloom from USA introduced the taxonomy of educational objectives through his publication, „The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook I: Cognitive Domain“.

In 1961, Micro teaching technique was first adopted by Dwight W. Allen and his co-workers at Stanford University in USA.

Electronics is the main technology being developed in the beginning of 21st century. Broadband Internet access became popular and occupied almost all the important offices and educational places and even in common places in developed countries with the advantage of connecting home computers with music libraries and mobile phones.

Today’s classroom is more likely to be a technology lab, a room with rows of students using internet connected or Wi-Fi enabled laptops, palmtops, notepad, or perhaps students are attending a video conferencing or virtual classroom or may have been listening to a podcast or taking in a video lecture. Rapid technological changes in the field of educational have created new ways to teach and to learn. Technological changes also motivated the teachers to access a variety of information on a global scale via the Internet, to enhance their lessons as well as to make them competent professional in their area of concern. At the same time, students can utilize vast resources of the Internet to enrich their learning experience to cope up with changing trend of the society. Now a days students as well teachers are attending seminars, conferences, workshops at national and international level by using the multimedia techno-resources like PowerPoint and even they pursue a variety of important courses of their choice in distance mode via online learning ways. Online learning facility has opened infinite number of doors of opportunities for today’s learner to make their life happier than ever before.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Sanjoy Deka

Debrett’s Reviews 2007

Guiding the readers through a comprehensive range of topics, the Debrett’s Reviews 2007 provides over 300 photographs of Britain and the British during the twelve months of 2007. Beautifully designed in Debrett’s classic style and panache, this independent review is brimming with images, features, profiles and exclusive articles. The stories have been grouped under different categories like The Year of …, Showbiz & Media, Music, Sports and Fashion.

The Review presents an action-packed year captured in words and pictures. Each page of the Review has its own revelations and surprises. Commentators like Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gabby Logan, Katie Hopkins and Jonathon Porritt share their memories of 2007 with the readers. The book features a comprehensive range of subjects that affected the British during 2007. Content of the book includes topics related to the Trends Of The year, Smoke-Free Britain, Red Carpet Dresses, Soap Stars and Scandals.

The book presents a colorful and witty summary of stories, events and people that captured the imagination of the British during 2007. The book contains information about the individuals who dominated headlines in the UK during 2007. The book has a vibrant and informative collection of snapshots and stories that were widely discussed in the UK during the year. The book contains informative discussions on topics like climate change, Potter mania, election fever, Phone-in-Scandals and Wag Weddings.

The Debrett’s Review 2007 captures the year in over 200 pages and offers the readers a reflective and comprehensive account of the year’s highs and lows. The book is available at leading retailers of the UK like Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waterstone’s. You may also purchase the book online by visiting Debrett’s Website at Debrett Ltd.’s chairman Conrad Free said that the book would appeal to people of all ages and is reasonably priced.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jacob Marshal

The Psychology of Fame

On studying the experience of fame and the perception of fame with psychological theories

Fame as we know is public recognition or renown and one’s reputation in the world. Fame is associated with our needs for power, status, recognition and our needs of achievement. The need for fame could be of various types and would be triggered or associated with different motives of doing greater social good, reaching high levels of achievement in one’s career, leaving one’s work and ideas for posterity, being productive or making money.

Celebrities as who are in showbiz or entertainment may have varied motives for seeking fame and these would be related to providing genuine entertainment to people as doing social good or simply as urge to act, sing or prove their talents, or they could be motivated to make money. Entertainers and actors or musicians are motivated by fame as it relates to social recognition and social status and love needs. Politicians on the other hand have directly public rather than personal reasons for their fame and this is related to doing social good and serving the public as well as reaching a point in their career that would indicate higher achievements. Politicians or social leaders are motivated by fame as it relates to social power, reputation and power or status needs. Writers, philosophers, scientists and intellectuals are however primarily motivated by fame as a need to keep something for posterity, and to use their creativity, to do something exalted and go beyond human limitations of existence. Intellectuals, philosophers and sometimes scientists are motivated by fame as it relates to immortality and intellectual or creative leadership although they also have social recognition needs and social status, power and sometimes material needs. Although generally writers and intellectuals are less motivated by their basic needs of love and security and more motivated by needs of self realization and sublimation through creativity, intellectuals may at times crave love, recognition and even power. In case of geniuses and enlightened intellectuals like Einstein, Buddha or Newton, fame needs are primarily a need to establish intellectual superiority and leave knowledge and enlightenment for the future generations.

Freud has explained needs of recognition with sex drives as high sex drives would also mean a genuine striving towards achievement. Aggressive, competitive personalities or simply high sexual individuals would have stronger achievement, recognition, power needs and the genius according to Freud is constantly guided by a need to sublimate the sexual desires through creative output. Fame needs in the genius is thus only covert rather than overt and fame is seen as reward for other types of behaviour and more overt needs such as creative pursuit.

So the creative genius is one who is completely addicted and caught into the process of creativity and in many cases, is unable to lead a normal life and fame happens either in his lifetime or posthumously mainly as a reward. This reward in lifetime then reinforces further creative achievement and a positive cycle ensures lasting fame of genius, immortalizing them or their contributions. The psychology of fame is thus explained in two ways – the experience of fame and the perception of fame. Fame can have two perspectives suggesting what are the motives of fame in individuals and also highlighting how fame affects people who are not famous or how fame is perceived by others. Fame as experienced by the celebrity writer or actor, scientist, musician or artist could be thus explained with Maslow’s theory of needs, as such individuals are driven by needs of love and status or self realization.

Fame is also explained with Erikson’s stages of human psychosocial development as individuals strive for status, power, recognition during late adulthood and middle age as these years bring generativity and are significant in establishing one’s lasting influence in the world. Sex drive as the basis for fame or recognition through achievement is also studied in Freudian analysis. Fame as experienced is distinct from fame as perceived as the individuals who are not famous look up to famous individuals as role models.

Theories explaining narcissistic behavior would suggest that generally individuals who see or project themselves in the celebrities or famous people or can relate to them in a specific way would show envy, awe or admiration towards these public figures. Generally youngsters become fan of young celebrities and older people are admirers of older celebrities and age seems to be a major factor in this relationship. Narcissism suggests that since we love ourselves we would admire those celebrities or famous individuals who resemble us in some way, possibly in terms of intellect or tastes, in age, looks, mannerisms or background.

Thus a German Jewish physicist working in quantum theory and settled in America might find that he has a lot common with Einstein and could admire Einstein not only because of his achievements but also because of his background and life history. Then the question remains why are some people more famous than others and why do some reach the level of immortalized fame even in their lifetime? For example in recent history Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi have all found unprecedented fame and iconic status in their homeland and worldwide. The reason for this is their inherent ability to relate to the people in some way and people could also connect to them even from a distance. Maybe it is in their words, their behavior, their ideology, their dynamism and energy, they have the ability to connect with all.

Geniuses can immediately attract people left and right, they attract all sorts of men and women and this power of attracting people is the strength of genius and this is solely responsible for genuine fame, rather than hyped celebrity culture which is more based on superficial media attention and sexualisation of women and even men. The celebrity culture is a modern phenomenon and is not just superficial but even marks temporary fad rather than lasting contribution of individuals in the fields of art, science, literature or culture. However fame when it relates to genius or men and women of exceptional talent and ability, would be lasting and is able to influence many people.

Apart from narcissism, fame perception is explained with psychoanalytic defense mechanisms of projection and identification. We project our own wishes on others and when we find other people fulfilling needs that are our own, we feel happy, For example if you have a deep wish to dance exceptionally well, when Michael Jackson performed in his shows or albums, you may have felt ecstatic as you projected your wish of dancing on him which he was fulfilling. You perceive Michael Jackson as famous because he could dance and could successfully flaunt his talents. So your wishes become a part of a famous person and you begin identifying with such people as if they are a part of you. Similarly if you are female and want to look beautiful, you may see pictures of young Liz Taylor or Marilyn Monroe as ideal representations of beauty and when you cannot become them or cannot look like them, you become admirers of them.

Thus you perceive them as famous because they are beautiful. Thus we see experiencing fame is more about fulfilling our needs of power and recognition of love and status and also our basic life or sex drives. Perception of fame on the other hand is about using defense, and about projecting our needs, or identifying with famous people through narcissism and other responses and there would be envy or admiration when fame is perceived. Not all of us perceive fame and react to it and although perception of fame almost always involves some form of subtle connection or admiration or even hatred or discomfort, the reactions to such perception may not always be very predictable or simplified. For example a scientist or an academic may be apparently indifferent towards Hollywood actors but once he perceives or engages in their life events or celebrity status, he might find the fame discordant for his level of thinking and intellect and return to his indifference.

The psychology of fame is thus about studying the experiences of the famous people and the underlying principles that could explain these experiences of fame and reasons for the fame; yet it is also about perception of fame and studying how and why fame is perceived in a certain way by most people and what are the underlying dynamics involved.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Saberi Roy

Weddings and Ancient Kingdoms

Several months ago I was browsing through a list of China's 41 World Heritage Sites that includes famous travel spots such as the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. I was surprised to see that most of the sites where travel spots I've never been to and many that I had never even heard of. I decided then and there to see as many of these sites ASAP starting with a site in the nearby city of Jian called "Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom".

God must smile on fools, drunks and travelers because around 3 weeks ago a good friend of mine invited me back back to her home town with her husband and her to attend their wedding. Where was her home town? The city of Jian. Honestly, I would have accepted her invitation no matter where her home town was!

A little background info on the "Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom".

From 37 BCE to 668 CE there was a Kingdom called Koguryo with territory that covered modern day central and southern Manchuria and central and northern Korea. The founders of Koguryo are believed to have been refugees from Korea and people from local tribes and ethnic groups.

Through interaction with the Chinese Han and later Wei Dynasties, alliances and warfare, the Koguryo Kingdom reached its peak around 450 CE and rule three quarters of the Korean Peninsula and China's Manchuria. Internal conflict and hostilities with the Sui and Tang Dynasties weakened the Kingdom and it was finally destroyed by an alliance of the Tang Dynasty and the Silla, a Korean Kingdom to the south of Koguryo.

The legacy of the Koguryo Kingdom includes 40 tombs and the ruins of two capital cities at Jian.

The Wedding

The wedding was a smashing success. The bride was beautiful, the groom handsome, their union romantic, the spokes moving and profound, the food delicious and the alcohol plentiful. None of the wedding guests drank too much bai jiu (extremely potent Chinese white wine) and urinated in public, vomited outside the restaurant or made appropriate gestures to other guests of the opposite sex.

The only drawback with the wedding is there were no kisses, hugs or emotional displays of affection between the married couple. A typical traditional Chinese wedding that was very business like and practical.

Visiting the Tombs and Ruins

With the wedding out of the way, I was free the following day to see the tombs and ruins. From talking to some other guests at the wedding that lived in Jian, I found out t hat there were only two sites worth seeing. They were the ruins of an ancient city to the north west of Jian and a General's Tomb to the north east.

Every one I spoke to was surprised I was so keen to travel to these sites and told me the sites were nothing special. Fair enough. Different people like different things and not every one has the travel bug.

Had a ticket home on a bus leaving Jian 3:00 pm that afternoon which left 4-5 hours to see the two sites. Just enough time if I go directly from the second site to the bus station. Armed with the names of the sites written in Chinese on a piece of paper and a rough estimate of a fair taxi fare I set out for site number one, the General's Tomb or Jiangjunfen Tomb.

General's Tomb

After 3 attempts I found a taxi driver who was happy with a 10rmb taxi fare and set out to see the first part of Jian's World Heritage Site. The Tomb did not take long to reach and once there, the taxi driver asked if I wanted him to wait for me. Thanks but no thanks, this site would take an hour or two to see. Paid 30rmb for a ticket at the site entrance and set off down a clearly marked and well trodden path.

The first time I've seen a Chinese tomb with that structure and was surprised by the size. The sloping stone terraces of the tomb reminded me of the smaller Aztec Pyramids. Easy to see that the tomb architecture was not influenced by Han who are China's dominant ethnic group.

The tomb is believed to be the burial tomb of King Gwanggaeto or his son King Jangsu. The tomb is made of 1,100 stone blocks and the tomb is 75 meters wide on each side and 11 meters high.

There was no access to the inside of the tomb so after several laps, it was time to move on. The next stop down the path was the No.1 subordinate tomb. This was a tomb for a member of the Koguro royal family. No where near the size of the General's Tomb but fascinating. The tomb has a very basic structure with a chamber surrounded by 3 huge stones, covered by a huge stone and blocked by another huge stone that has since been moved.

That was it. Nothing else to see or do at that site apart from browsing the obligatory gift shop near the site entrance. Next stop was the ruins of the ancient city.

Hidden Ruins

Caught a bus back into Jian city then negotiated another 10rmb taxi trip to the site of the ruined city.

At the ticket office and site entrance, there are two path ways to take. One pathway winds up into the hills and leads to the southern city gate. The other path heads into a field full of mounds (ancient tombs) that are clearly visible from the road. The mounds were not too impressive so I took the path to the ruined city.

The path went past a ruined western city wall and finished at a viewing platform overlooking a small structure called the watch tower. No ruined city so I backtracked down the path to see if I missed a turn. Nope. No turns or side paths. Just the one track from the ticket office to the viewing platform. Bumped into a group of Korean tourists with a tour guide and followed them to see if they knew the way to the ruined city. Nope. They just went up to the viewing platform like I did.

The ruined city had to be there somewhere so I went back to the ticket office and spoke to one of the guides there asking where the ruined city was. She took me inside office to a room with maps and background information on the site (all in Chinese) and explained that there was no actual ruined city to see. All the surrounding land was heavily cultured and all the ruins above ground on the surface had been gradually taken way way and used by local residents and farmers over the last 1300 years.

Piles of Rock

The only other part of the site to see was the field of 40 tombs. The country was beautiful with the field of tombs surrounded by lush green hills. Very picturesque. I wish I could say the same about the tombs. The tombs were either grassy mounds or piles of rock. Very plain, ordinary and uninspiring and definitely not what you'd expect for a world heritage site.

I read a review online before going to Jian where a foreign tourist to the site called the tombs a pile of rock. At that time I just thought he was being excessively harsh and lacking in appreciation. After seeing the tombs I have to say I agree with him. There was only three things to see site. A ruined wall, a partially restored watch tower and a field of tombs that were either piles of rock or over grown mounds.

Back Home

The two sites, the General's Tomb and the ruined city and tombs took less than 2 hours to see and thoroughly explore. With nothing left to do I headed to the bus station where I had three hours to ponder what makes a site eligible for inclusion on the list of world heritage sites. The weather was outstanding I really enjoyed getting out and visiting the sites but I expected a little more from a world heritage site.

Some world heritage sites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City are worth flying half way around the world to see. Other sites like the "Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom" are great to see if you are already in the area but I would not recommend traveling long distances to see them.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Brendon Lang