China (中國)

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您好, 欢迎; nín hǎo , huān yíng. It’s SHANGHAI, XIAN, BEIJING, and more!

Hello, and welcome to BEAUTIFUL China! This country is so wonderful that I have already made it back for a second trip before having a chance to write about this breath-taking place after our first adventure there! China is a difficult country to stay away from, as there is so much to see and do here!

So, dust off your chopsticks and get ready to have an adventure of a lifetime!

NOTE: A VISA MUST BE OBTAINED PRIOR TO ENTERING CHINA. WE USED A COMPANY CALLED GENVISA TO OBTAIN OURS. FOR TWO VISA’s WITH EXPEDITED SERVICE, YOU’LL BE LOOKING AT A COST OF ABOUT $600.00. THIS WILL BUY YOU A TEN-YEAR VISA TO CHINA. THE  ENTIRE PROCESS TAKES ABOUT 6-8 WEEKS, EVEN WHEN EXPEDITED.

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您好, 欢迎; nín hǎo , huān yíng…..

FIRST STOP: SHANGHAI

There are beautiful sights to be seen all over in this busy modern city.  Whatever tours you select, you can’t go wrong.  We chose to visit the Yu Yuan Gardens which were built during the Ming Dynasty period.  We discovered a darling kitty our second time there who sits on the wall near the fish pond looking for attention and treats.  It’s a lovely place to spend the afternoon. For families: Check out Disney in Shanghai!

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Continuing on, we visited the Jade Buddha Temple, observing the white jade Buddha statues, wandered through Old Town–and this year I didn’t get lost. But, this time around I did manage to try some of the exotic and unusual street foods. It’s perfectly safe to do and I didn’t get sick from my experimentation. Later we marveled at the towers and building in the financial district (the radio tower is my all time favorite landmark). The following day we took the bullet train to Hangzhou, enjoyed authentic Shanghai cuisine in a local restaurant,  and walked along the famous Nanking Road. On our return to Shanghai, time was spent on the gorgeous Bund–a place you have to see in person to fully appreciate.  If you haven’t been to Shanghai yet, it needs to go towards the top of your bucket list!

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JADE BUDDHA TEMPLE

OLD TOWN with it’s amazing STREET FOOD

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Onto Hangzhou, China which is not far from Shanghai

After Hangzhou, it’s back to Shanghai and off to the BUND!

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The WORLD FAMOUS BUND!

VISIT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bund

NEXT: XIAN

We flew from Shanghai to Xian and once we settled into our Hotel, we headed for the Muslim district of China. Most of our day was devoted to travel.  We opted for one of the famous Dumpling-Dinner Shows for the evening and went to bed early be fresh to explore this fascinating city the following day.

The next morning, we started our day at the South Yonging Gate of the ancient city of Xian that was built in the 14th century of the Ming Dynasty.  We biked around the medieval walls of this incredible city, imagining what life must have been like so long ago. I highly recommend this activity even though it can get a tiny bit strenuous. Next we went to Donghan Village in Huxan County. We were invited into one of the local’s home where our hostess taught us how to make Chinese Noodles from scratch.  Afterwards, we were given a lesson on how to make origami from colorful paper.  We took some time to wonder this quant little village and mingle with the locals.  We even found an adult playground and played a bit with our tour guide.  If you visit Xian, try to take some extra time to visit a small village in addition to seeing the larger tourist attractions. Later in the evening we went to the famous Tang Dynasty Show and feasted on a six course Imperial Dinner. We were later grateful that we had had such a physically active day after eating such a heavy meal!

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The following day we headed to the most famous attraction in Xian:  The Xian Antiquities Tour of the Terracotta Warriors. This amazing archeological treasure was discovered accidentally by Chinese farmers in 1974, and has since become a very popular tourist attraction. It was raining, and our guide decided it might be best to make a stop first to near-by Xingging Park for a little morning exercise to start our day. What a fabulous treat this was!  We joined about 35 locals (most of them retired) and joined them in a traditional Chinese Fan Dance…in the rain. We also sang a bit while we danced. If you go to Xian, try to do this WONDERFUL activity.  It’s completely free, was the highlight of our day, and the locals will embrace and teach you the dance. and songs. You will have the time of your life!

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FAN DANCING IN THE RAIN AT XINGGING PARK IS THE BEST!!!

The FABULOUS Xian Antiquities Tour of the Terracotta Warriors  

Visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army

UP NEXT UP: BEIJING

We flew from Xian to Lhassa, Tibet which can be found on my Himalayans Page.  From Tibet, we flew back to China and stayed in Beijing.  Here we climbed the outstanding 2000 year old Great Wall of China.  This attraction is HUGE and one could easily spend two weeks just in this particular region.  TIP:  If you have air sickness be sure to get a prescription from your physician for air sickness medication.  If you suffer from asthma, take your inhaler!

After visiting the Great Wall, we headed over to the Beijing Zoo to check out the adorable panda bears that made this zoo famous. Then we walked the grounds of the ultra modern Olympic Village, where the 2008 Beijing Olympics were held.

The following day we went to Tiananmen Square which is the largest plaza in the world! We finished the trip with a visit to the Forbidden City and Summer Palace. More detailed information can be found about these wonderful attractions at Wikipedia.com

ENJOY THE FINAL SLIDESHOW OF BEAUTIFUL BEIJING.*

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HOTELS WHERE WE STAYED: And YES!!  I recommend all of them:

  • Regal International East Asia Hotel, Shanghai
  • Grand Park Xian Hotel, Xian
  • New Otani Chang Fu Gong, Beijing

再見……zài jiàn…….and good-bye for now.  Although…you can bet that I WILL return to this FABULOUS country again!