I invite you to come with me as I re-explore the sights, sounds and awe- inspiring experiences of my trip to "unforgettable China".
Day 1 Beijing
As I arrived in Beijing, the capital and cultural center of China, I immediately realized I was in a place where virtually every boulevard and building was a step back in history. The tall buildings and the number of people living in a small space where people were literally on top of each other immediately shocked me. After a long plane ride, and a bus ride that seemed more like being locked in a traffic jam on the world's longest "parking lot" I looked forward to a good nights rest and then off to see the sights of Beijing.
Today we experienced a full-day tour of the sights and sounds that make Beijing a spectacular destination. Among the sights visited were the Forbidden City, home to 24 Ming and Qing emperors and now a repository of precious art and antiques, The Temple of Heaven, famous for its elegance and symmetry, and the Summer Palace, an oasis of tea gardens, pavilions, painted corridors and shimmering Kunming Lake with Empress Dowager's eccentric marble
Day 3 Beijing
One of the world's most magnificent sights and one of the Seven Wonders of the World is the Great Wall, which snakes along nearly 4000 miles of impossible steep hills and harsh, rugged plains. Today's excursion gave us ample time to explore the Wall and marvel at the manpower that went into building the world's longest structure made entirely by hand.
It is impossible to overstate Xi'an's importance in China's history. Here began the fabled Silk Road where a string of dynasties made their capital and where a Neolithic culture built a village 6000 years ago. The highlight of this trip was the excavation site of 8000 Terra Cotta Soldiers buried around the tomb of Emperor Qin, builder of the Great Wall and other massive endeavors. Our day was rounded out with stops at the old City Gate and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Xi'an is truly a vital center of history, culture and archaeology.
Day5/ Day 6 Shanghai
Today we board the plane for our trip to Shanghai. Shanghai is the largest and most cosmopolitan city. Our time in Shanghai was spent visiting popular shops and restaurants. A full day tour included a trip to the riverfront Bund where foreign traders left a legacy of European- style buildings. One of the highlights of this day was a trip to the beautiful Yuan Gardens. Our day ended with a native dumpling dinner cultural show, a perfect ending to a perfect day
With new insights and fond memories of the shopping trips, the educational seminars, the cultural shows, the authentic foods, the beautiful gardens and landscapes and a preview of the 2008 Olympic sights, we board the plane with new found memories of an unforgettable china experience.
Audrey Hyman is the owner and CEO of the Hyman Travel Network, a full service travel agency located in the suburbs of Washington, that specializes in cruises and all inclusive vacations