Between August 1999 and April 2005 the Beijing airport had gone from a drab, concrete floored dungeon to what you see here.  Next door to the Starbucks is a KFC and many other shops.  It is actually a shopping mall with an airport attached.

The morning after we arrived in Beijing we boarded a plane for our 2 hour flight to Deng Feng Provence where the Shaolin Temple is located.  This is a Chinese logging truck we passed on our bus trip from the airport in Deng Feng to the temple.

Roto-tiller taxi.  These things were everywhere.
Statue at entrance to Shaolin Temple compound.
What looked to be golf carts on steroids raced us through the compound to the old temple location.

Mr. Wang,our guide, could speak English very well and was very helpful to all of us with things such as writing our names in Chinese for the people who made chops for us and our students back home.

As we rode through the compound we saw thousands of students in their brightly colored uniforms training in Kung Fu.

These students train everyday as well as study their ordinary school work.
They also train in acrobatics as a part of their Kung Fu training.

This is the old Shaolin Temple building. Here we received certificates stating that we had visited the temple.  The stone floors in areas where the monks have trained for centuries had worn depressions where they practiced their art.

The temple compound was vast with many old buildings.
This is a 1,000 year old Gingko tree located in the courtyard to the old temple.

After we visited the temple grounds we returned to Deng Feng to eat lunch at a very interesting restaurant.  There was a gift shop inside that was actually 3 times the size of the eating area.  They sold jade carvings and jewelry.  I bought some as a love offering for my wife for letting me come on this trip.

After lunch Mr. Wang took us to a sword factory.  It was very interesting to actually watch "real" swords being made.

Do Ju Nim Kimm inspecting the materials that went into the swords.

Putting an edge on a sword
The craftsman uses a board on which the blade is placed in order to make the work easier.

Placing their dragon logo on the blade of the sword.  Mr. Wang helped us get our names engraved in Chinese on the blades of swords we bought.

I bought 5 swords.  One for my son, Robert who trains. One for my son-in-law, one for each of my grandsons and one for myself.  I had our names in Chinese engraved on each of the identical swords.  These will become heirlooms in our family for future generations to see and talk about.

The swords were not easy to get back into the states.  However they did come in wooden boxes that I taped together and checked as baggage on my flight home.  They all came through in great shape.