Shanghai Nights (and Days)… Finally!

I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about not finishing up my China trip with my final report on the one and only Shanghai!  After seeing Suzhou, our driver took us into Shanghai and we met up with our final guide, Alice.  “Like Alice in Wonderland”, as she said. We started off checking out world famous […]

Suzhou- The “Venice of China”

When it was time to leave Xi’an for Shanghai, we headed back to the airport for another Air China flight. Once again, we were pleased, but late.  They had a surprisingly yummy in-flight meal that topped some of the Mark Pi’s lunches I grabbed at the Union!  They must put ether or something into the […]

Xian / Xi’an / She-Ahn AKA Chez Terra Cotta Warriors

Xi’an is most commonly spelled as Xi’an, but also as Xian, and pronounced as She-Ahn. Beijing and Xi’an Guides- Penny and Maggie- and More Air China Props (for the Jets… haha) I felt sort of bad for our lovely, professional guide, Maggie, when we arrived in Xi’an.  We had grown very attached and trusting of […]

Jade Factory, The Summer Palace, Pearl Factory, 2008 Olympic Site, Chinese Market, Neighborhood Park, Chrysanthemum Tea, Hutong Tour of Old Beijing, Chinese Family Lunch

To wrap up the final sights and sounds of Beijing, we also went to… Jade Factory A state-run Jade Factory (actually we went to this before the Great Wall but I’d forgotten about it) where they tell you about jade, how it was part of the 2008 Olympic medals, how it’s carved, etc. then take […]

Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Censorship, The Forbidden City, and The Legend of Kung Fu

Temple of Heaven Complex The Temple of Heaven is a beautiful temple complex, the main temple of which you see on almost every official Beijing Tourism guide and that is because it is stunningly iconic.  For Samira and I, upon arrival at this complex, we said, “Oooooh… so THAT’s what that thing is!” So this […]

Climbing the Great Wall of China- Check. Driving in China? Checkered.

There are several ways to make it up the Great Wall of China- and probably hundreds of places where you can access a wall that is, in total, about 5,500 miles long. Most folks visit Beijing and do a day tour to the Badaling area, though, and we were no different. Morning dawned with two […]

A Few Thoughts on Explorers

While we’ve been wandering China, it occurred to me how lightly I dismissed explorers like Magellan. Real explorers.  Real “go get on a boat and who knows where you’re going and when you might be home, if you might be home, leaving behind everything you know for an utterly unknown world with known and unknown […]