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China 1

Details of our first couple of weeks in China

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We’ve been in China for 2 weeks now and have, so far, travelled from Beijing to Yangshou on our Exodus tour under the expert guidance of our leader Dragon Long.

Places visited include: Beijing; Xi’an; Chengdu; Leshan; Emei; Chongquing & Yangshou. En route we have been to Tiananmen Square; The Forbidden City; The Great Wall; theTerracotta Warriors; the Three Gorges Dam and ship locks; seen several temples and giant Budhas. We have cycled the city walls of Xi’an, climbed the mountain peak of Emei Shan and visited the Panda reserve at Chengdu.

We have travelled by bus, express train, sleeper train and cruise ship. All of which have been of various quality from excellent to filthy to bone shatteringly bumpy.

China is, as the cliché goes, a country of contrasts. The old coexisting with the new, the Mercedes sharing the roads with tuc-tucs, rickshaws and bicycles. The friendly peaceful people who turn psychopathic the moment they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The traditional Chinese architecture mixed in with the ugly high rise apartments which have sprung up without so much as a lick of paint or a nod to town planning and aesthetics.

Most things in China seem to be big and impressive – they do have plenty of man power. Some of what we have seen is reminiscent of a tired, old amusement park but others have been truly amazing. The Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, the Three Gorges Dam project are three such examples that span a time frame of thousands of years.

The food has been interesting – Dragon seems keen for us to “eat as locals do”. As such we have been served up frogs legs, snails, chicken feet & innards, pigs intestines, pigs tails. Fortunately this has been served along with slightly more palatable offerings which are surprising in their similarity to decent Chinese food back home. We have even attended cooking school and our own efforts are nearly as good as the real thing. There is no discernable difference between what is served at breakfast, lunch and dinner so we are a little chinesed out and find ourselves sneaking out for a McDonalds or Starbucks when Dragon isn’t watching. For anyone who wonders – we have seen dog hanging in the local market, and even the sign advertising the dog restaurant but we have not yet been offered or knowingly tried the meat and have no intention of doing so.

The unofficial tally so far is as follows:

• Loss of sunglasses x1
• Bouts of man flu x1 (which I have now given to everyone else in the group)
• Victim of scam x1 (net cost to Sniamh = 1 of your English pounds)
• Digestive issues x2
• Posing for photo with unknown Chinese citizens at their request x3
• Run in with Chinese mafia x1
• Making animal noises at waitress to indicate meat choice x 2 (chicken cluck & oink)

Next stop is Shanghai for a couple of days before we head off to Hong Kong.

Posted by steve1000 00:11 Archived in China Tagged food dog china

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Sounds amazing - not sure that we could cope with all that different life style now - too old and cautious! However it all sounds as if it is making for the most wonderful and unforgettable experience for you. We have just returned from a w/e in Portsmouth Marriott with Dom - very ordinary by your standards, but Portsmouth Dockyard makes a really good day out and Dom loved it & it brought back a lot of memories for me. Keep safe & continue having a great time. Love Mum & Dad xx

by Valerie Perry

Yep, i agree, sounds amazing, liking the checklist, especially the last point, I can just picture you both doing that for some reason! and more info needed on the mafia run in required too! Stay safe and looking forward to the next update, take care both x x x

by Lisa A

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