Tuesday, November 15, 2011

China Picture Slideshow: The Highlights from Beijing, Xian, Ping An & Xing Ping

We took thousands of pictures on our "Big Trip," and now I have to decide what to do with all of them!  So, my goal is to make picture slideshows by country.  China was our first stop and we spent one month exploring four areas of the country.

  • Beijing & The Great Wall of China
  • Xian & The Terracotta Warriors
  • Ping An & The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces
  • Xing Ping & The Li River
We also made quick stops in Guilin and Nanning.  (On a previous trip we traveled to Hong Kong & Macau).

Oh man, was it hard to pick my favorite photos to make up a true representation of our time in China.  So, here's what you'll see:
  • Sights:  Of course, there's us enjoying the must-see spots from Tienanmen Square to the Great Wall.
  • Food:  Eating delicious street food was part of the experience along with seeing scorpions and star fish fried up for the adventurous. 
  • Faces:  Local people both young and old.  The beautiful faces of children who gravitated toward us or the Yao ethnic people who like Rapunzel let down their hair for us.  These are the faces that made our days special. 
  • Scenes of Daily Life:  Rows of bicycles, a water buffalo being led off a ferry, incense sticks raised in prayer.  These are all small moments of daily life that really bring out the flavor of China.
  • Rural Scenery:  Breathtaking scenes of ancient rice terraces and limestone mountains along the Li River.  It was rural China that I enjoyed most.
  • Architecture, Wildlife, Street Scenes...the list goes one.  All of these things together made our trip so memorable.
There's so much left to see!  If I play my cards right I just may get back to China someday to see the mountains of Tibet or the desert towns along the former Silk Road.  Shanghai is on my list, since seeing the airport was simply not enough!

Travel Tip:  In no other country did we find so little English spoken.  However, you need not speak Chinese to enjoy yourself.  Come prepared with a guide book and map that has names of places in both English and Chinese.  This way, you can ask for help.  A simple "Ni Hao" (hello) along with pointing to the name of your location in Chinese will get you pointed in the right direction.  We did this constantly and were tickled at how helpful people were.

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