After 30 days away in CHINA, TIBET & CAMBODIA , I'm back in Hawaii and it is very nice. The skies are so clear and you know you are breathing non-polluted air. I'm going to discuss my trip because many people have asked me about it. I'll add a few photos, but I don't have enough room here to really show off the whole trip.
I think I will try to add a link to this blog to see if it works. Hmmmm... I'll try by providing a link to Lisa Cook who has a website, blog and podcast. Her website is the gateway to wonderful things at www.genealogygems.tv Wow, the link worked! - it's the first link I've ever made...Not that hard once you figure out how to do it!
OK, little by little I will be adding to this post and describe my days in China (including Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Wuhan, Yangtzi River, 3-Gorges Dam, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Macau, and if you go along with the Chinese belief, Tibet is a part of China too). Also I spent 4 days in Cambodia in Siem Reap near Akgkor Wat.
I signed on with a tour company called Overseas Adventure Travel which promotes groups of 16 or less and visits to local schools, farms, homes, etc., besides the regular tourist attractions. It sounded promising and I went with Lucille, from Hawaii, as my roommate. I was especially interested in seeing the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors, the Panda Bears, the Yangtzi River and Dam, and learning about the Chinese culture and people. I did so many things and saw so many amazing places that I have a new idea of what "China" is.
Sep 23, 2007 Sunday & Sep 24th Monday - Hawaii to Shanghai -- We flew out of Honolulu to Narita, Japan, and on to Shanghai, China via Japan Airlines. It was a nice plane crossing the Pacific, with little TV screens at each seat. The flight attendants bowed at the beginning of each flight and were very polite and accommodating. We crossed the international date line so arrived in Shanghai on Sep 24th. An OAT representative found us at the airport and got us into our rooms at the somewhat historic Park Hotel. I would discover that Shanghai is considered a "new" city because it only evolved from a fishing village since the French colonial period. Lately it's growth is exploding and is considered the New York of China, with skyscrapers going up as fast as they can build them. Shanghai was hot and humid for the most part, but the hotel air conditioning worked well.
Sep 25, 2007 Tuesday - Shanghai -- As luck would have it, our stay coincided with the full moon and on this day the Chinese have a big time called the Mid-Autumn Festival, or the "Moon Festival." We had seen very large crowds of people last night standing in long lines to purchase special moon cakes for the day. It was nice that on our first day in Shanghai we visited the Yuyuan Gardens (see picture) on the northeastern side of the Old City. It was created beginning in 1557 by one family, and survived the destruction of private estates during Mao's time (I think) because it was turned into a government compound. Now it is a beautiful park of pavilions, goldfish ponds, and teahouses. Very popular with the locals for a step back in time. It just so happened that while gathering outside the Yu Gardens in the market place a television station was interviewing people about the "Moon Festival." The reporter first interviewed our guide, then one of our tour group. The next thing I knew Jeanie was singing "Moon River" and we were all trying to sing along with her to help out. I knew a lot of the words so ended up being filmed. We were surprised to find little round moon cakes in our hotel room that afternoon in honor of the festival, and later that evening we watched ourselves on the local television. In China only one day - and already we were singing idols!
Getting back to the afternoon, the group went to a neighborhood in Shanghai that is some kind of a show place. We assembled in the community center for a discussion on the neighborhood, then walked to two different homes, where the wives had prepared lunch for us. This was the first of our many Chinese meals that would have a big "lazy susan" revolving around a big table for us. I was amazed to see what a variety of food one woman could make with just two woks. The home was in an apartment type building and she had two bedrooms for her husband, daughter and grandchild, and seemed happy.
I would be finding out, in the next month, that there would be a lot of meals to eat over the course of the next month. Our Park Hotel had a wonderful breakfast buffet, and tonight we returned there for a typical Chinese dinner.
Sep 26, 2007 Wednesday - Shanghai -- more to follow....At this point I'll summarize to what I wrote for my annual Christmas Letter!
A unexpected highlight of Shanghai was my trip to the
From Xi’an we took a flight on Xiamen Airlines to the city of WUHAN, then a 5 hour bus ride (my day for the front seat- yippee!!) to YICHANG on the
The day after arrival we had a reservation to tour the
From Hong Kong eight of us continued with a post-extension tour to
After a flight through