S: China 2007
FC: China & Tibet 2007
1: On October 8th 2007, we began our 22 day Grand China Odyssey tour. We visited the cities of Shanghai, Hanzhou, Suzhou, Yichang. We also took a 3 day cruise down the Yangtze River & then onto visiting sights in the cities of Chongquing, Guilin, Xian before we visited Tibet & then we went to Beijing before returning home. We arrived at LAX about 11 AM for our 1 PM flight to met up with our tour organizer Thomas Cheng who briefed us on what we could expect when we got to China. He told us we would be met in the Shanghai airport by our country guide & city guide. Then off we went to the gate to find out that our plane on China Eastern Airlines was delayed for a few hours. We waited talking with Chandrika & Ashwin who were going with us. It was 5 hours later then was scheduled when we arrived at the Shaghai airport. We were met by two young girls that were our guides & taken to our hotel, Hotel Rainbow Shanghai.
2: Hotel Rainbow Shanghai, was a lovely hotel with a beautiful garden & a great breakfast buffet. We spent a very busy day exploring different parts of Shanghai. We visited the 16 century Yu Gardens that was turned into a craft market.
3: Then we went on to visit the Bund a legendary waterfront promenade with a modernistic skyline on one side, featuring China's tallest building the 1380 Feet Jinmao Tower, . On the opposite side of the street there were neoclassic buildings restored to their full glory.. After lunch we visited the famous Jade Buddha temple where the Buddha is carved out of a single piece of white jade.. Then we visited a local family residence & a school. After dinner we attended the world famous Chinese Acrobatic show.
5: The next day we left Shanghai passing lush rice fields & many modernistic buildings along the way to visit Hangzhou.. This city is said to have inspired many Chinese poets & artists. We cruised on the West Lake & toured the 1700 year old Lingyin Temple. We saw the 700 year old inscriptions carved on the cave walls..& then we went to a tea plantation..
7: Cruising on the West Lake
8: The Lingyin Temple, a 1700 year old retreat, which once housed 3000 monks within its 18 pavilions.
9: "Peak that Flew from A far" On the rock walls of these caves there are 180 Buddhist sculptures that are & inscribed with 380 Buddhist scriptures written 700 years ago
10: The following day we headed off to Suzhou known as the Venice of the Orient. The drive in our small bus was pleasant with rice fields as far as you could see along with spots of modernestic buildings, one being tthe Department of Tecnholgy housed in a large spheric building.. Once we arrived in Suzhou we visited a UNESCO site of traditional gardens & also took a wooden boat to cruise the Grand Canal which was constructed 1500 years ago to transport goods to Beijing, 600 miles away.. Then we went to tour a Silk Spinning Mill., where we had lunch..
11: Today we rode to the Shanghai domestic airport & took a one hour plane ride to Yichang.. We boarded another bus which we rode in for several hours before we reached the M.S. Splendid China to begin our 3 day cruise down the Yangtze River..Boarding was quite the adventure as we had to walk across planks from one ship to the other & climbed from the bottom of the ship to the top.
12: T R A V E L I N G D O W N
13: T H E Y A N G T Z E R I V E R
14: C H O N G Q U I N G
15: A short stop over in Chongquing, China's largest metropolitan city with a population of over 3o million people gave us the opportunity to see the Giant Pandas at the Zoo, take a massage, take in the sights around the city. We got to explore Ming & Quing dynasty court house homes & mingle with their residents. We also met a bunch of American families at the General Stillwell Museum who where adopting Chinese orphans.
16: LI RIVER A 52 mile cruise down the Li River, experiencing how the people here live like their ancestors did years ago.
18: RED FLUTE CAVE
19: From Guilin we flew to Xian home of the Terra Cotta Warriors & horses.
20: Terra Cotta Warriors, were they really made 2200 years ago?
21: We spent our last night in Xian enjoying the local delicacy of dumplings & then watching the Tang Dynasty Cultural Performance
22: The life of Peasants in a rural village in Xian.
23: From rags to riches. We visited the City Wall of Xian which begins the legendary Silk Road linking the Middle Kingdom & the Roman Empire with silk & tea.
24: LHASA TIBET
26: Outside Jokhang Temple that was built in 647 AD hundreds of Tibetan pilgrims come to prostrate themselves everyday on Barkhor street.
27: The Dalai Lama's Summer Palace
28: P0TALA PALACE Built in the 7th century for the Dalai Lama. It has a 1000 rooms.
29: Around Lhasa, the altitude made Honie sick but she recovered fast only missing a diner & then she was back on her feet taking in all Tibet had to offer.
30: Experiencing life of rural Tibet
31: From Tibet to Beijing & here we find ourselves in Tiananmen Square.
32: Tiananmen Square decked out for the Olympics.
34: Checking out the Forbidden City, a 9999 room compound.
36: Taking in the local color of Beijing on a Rickshaw.
37: Playing with the kids at a Beijing school.
38: Beijing | Th | THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
40: Before returning home we visited the Temple of the Heaven, got to play with the Chinese people in a park & had a day of shopping.