Travelogue - China - October 24 - November 14, 2002 - Short Version.
For the full length version visit www.galitz.com or ask Seth to show you his "home movies" if you have two hours!
Two M's and two friends take on the Chinese for 21 days. Our cost was approx
$100 per day, per person, not including airfare. June 2002--A Miami Herald's
travel section article about the inundation of the Yangtze River spurred M'Morgan-Galitz
to ring up M'Lefkow and say "Hey, let's go, before it's too late".
After ruminating on the best way to see China and Tibet, versus the cheapest,
it is decided to go on a private tour arranged via internet--www.chinahighlights.com.
Three months of Chinese lessons, vaccinations and visas, and we're ready. We
also opt for the fastest flight time with United AL over the Artic--thereby
only taking 17 hours from Miami to Beijing. We spend 3 days in Beijing, 2 days
in Chengdu, 3 days in Lhasa, 3 days on the Yangtze River, 2 days in Xi'an and
a week on our own in Beijing.
Most interesting/Trip Highlights (if we have to pick something)
Museum--Tibet's museum has some tapestries that deal with sex education. It's a bright new museum with electronic guides.
Scenic-6000 ft. Wu Gorge along the Yangtze, Tibet's purple mountains and Lhasa River.
Native interaction--Earl being swarmed by Beijingers when he gives out free stamps at a local park.
Costumes--Tibet wins. The ladies have huge elaborate, ornamental braids.
Food--Yak blood sausage, lamb's lung and yak butter tea served during Tibetan Folk Music Dinner Show.
Historical--Xi'An City Wall -- still standing from the Ming Dynasty because they didn't have the money to tear it down.
Political--Watching archeological and historical treasures being torn down along the Yangtze.
Factoid--Those Xi'An terra cotta warriors were all razed by peasants, those warriors we see are all reconstructions.
Exercise--Everywhere is stairs. Worse set of stairs -- Potala Palace because of the thin atmosphere.
Coldest-- Beijing--there is frost on the grass in the morning. Warmest - Shennong Stream Excursion along the Yangtze-80's.
Best Kept Secret Tourist Sights--The great Mosque and Muslim quarter in Xi'An. The mosques in China do not have minarets. Also, the Confucius Temple and Museum in Beijing. Really great stuff that is not on the regular tourist agenda.
Here's some pics:
Entering the Forbidden City. Beijing.
Visiting the Marble Boat of Empress Cixi at the Summer Palace. Empress built the Summer Palace from funds that should have gone to the royal navy. She would fish off this "boat" and her staff would swim underneath and put fish on the hook for her.
We visit the Great Wall at one of the more secluded places. One takes a cable car to the wall.
Anyone want a camel ride? Fragrant Hills Park.
Hello Pandas - Chengdu Reserve.
At the top of Dalai Llama's Potala Palace in we see some natives, Lhasa, Tibet.
At Jokhang Temple, the faithful are prostrating themselves, Lhasa, Tibet.
Buddah with beehive incense burners on the side of the road, Lhasa, Tibet
Pedicab - Lhasa, Tibet
Gorges along the Yangtze River
Fengdu, the ghost city, Yangtze River Cruise
Garden at White Emperor City, Yangtze River Cruise
Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'An
Terra Cotta Warriors, Xi'An - there are 3 pits the size of football fields.
A view from our hotel in Beijing (bei=north, jing=capital) Beijing is under
major construction for the upcoming Olympics.
Who can resist taking a picture of the main temple at the Heavenly Park. Whoa - where are all the tourists!
Chinese lap dog.
Hutongs- these alleyway homes will probably be destroyed and replaced with high rises.
Feeding the animals at the zoo--last day in Beijing.
Toll gate on the way to the airport.