What an experience!! I have just returned from China…
I was a little apprehensive beforehand but from the minute we boarded our British Airways flight (with the luxury of being upgraded to Business Class !) I knew I was going on an amazing trip… “China is more than just a country, it provides the best experiences; it is a world of its own.
Our first stop was Shanghai. Once a sleepy village this cosmopolitan city is now “The Paris of the East” The hotel was well located for the great shops! We cruised down the panoramic Huangpu River and wandered along the famous “Bund”.
Then onto Guilin… where the beautiful scenery is renowned for inspiring Chinese poets and artists alike. A highlight was a leisurely cruise down the Li River past limestone hills, tranquil fishing scenes and picturesque villages.
We meandered downstream to reach the countryside town of Yangshuo and saw the lush green rice paddies of Southern China. (I loved the rural markets!)
When in Xian we visited the colourful stalagmites and stalactites of the Reed Flute Caves… one of the most stunning sights I have ever seen.
AND THEN the Terracotta Warriors – as a child at school I dreamed of seeing them… I was now actually there!!! Incredible!!
So far the food had been much better than anticipated… been warned of endless rice and noodles. Breakfasts were a combination of local and western food. Lunches and dinners were traditional local cuisine, with a wide range of dishes to choose from. In Xian we had traditional Shui Jio dumplings… delicious…
Our next stop was Beijing where we tried Peking Duck… lovely… really nice ! All the way through the trip the hotels were really good… service excellent.
Strolling through Tiananmen Square was like being on the set of a movie and watching the Chinese Acrobatic Show was thrilling. So much to experience and see: from marvelling at incredible antiques, seeing the ancient buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, to walking on the iconic Great Wall… Me – Sarah Williams standing admiring the panoramic views and visiting the exquisite Summer Palace!
Had an interesting few hours in “The Copy Market” (officially called Hongqiao ) – my suitcase was bulging with gifts on the flights home!
The other thing that made the trip even more fun was the welcome from the people. Children smile and say hello and everyone is very courteous and kind.
Everything was so well planned – nothing to worry about except trying to take photo after photo of all the different images I saw. The group I was with were lovely; we laughed together and enjoyed every day!
The holiday was made perfect by our wonderful guide. Nothing was too much trouble. The passion she has for her country is wonderful and was passed on. At all times our thirst for knowledge about every aspect of life in China was satisfied.
To visit as many places as we did, in such little time, was amazing, we will have memories that will stay with us for a lifetime and have seen sights that people only dream of.