In 2005 we spent three weeks visiting China. We started in Beijing then went to the Yangtze River, Chengdu, Tibet, Xian and Shanghai.  I think we took about five flights within China.  I assumed a few of the areas we were going to visit would be small villages but I'm not sure there is such a thing in China.  Every city we visited had millions of people.  We went on a tour with China Focus and thought they did an amazing job!  As you can see we were very excited to finally see the Great Wall...


One of the things I wasn't aware of is the amount of smog all over China.  I was happy to be above it all in Tibet. :)

The Summer Palace

Temple of Heaven

Yangtze River
While planning our trip to China we knew we didn't want to miss a cruise down the Yangtze River. The Yangtze is the longest river in Asia, third longest in the world after the Nile and Amazon and one of the busiest waterways. We stopped and visited a few cities along the way including a visit to the Three Gorges Dam.
 Three Gorges Dam

Tai Chi

One of the most interesting things I saw along the Yangtze River was suspended coffins.  The local Ba people burried respected ones, warriors and the leaders of tribes on sheer cliffs. It's still a mystery as to how coffins were placed so high without modern day technology.

Shennong Stream (Tributary)
Before the invention of engines Trackers helped maneuver heavy cargo up the Yangtze. Today you'll only find Trackers on the Tributes of the Yangtze with improved working conditions.

Seeing monkeys, feeling the boat glide over pebbles in shallow areas added to the primitiveness of the ride and of course I enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the river.  This was a pretty cool experience going up stream but it seemed a little funny to be in these old peapod boats while wearing our modern life vest. I also felt a little bad for the Trackers having to push a bunch of tourist up parts of the stream... Seemed a little wrong but maybe worth the tips?

                                             Trackers shoes... made in China!
 Market in Wanzhou

 This little dog wouldn't leave Greg alone.  

The cute dog owner. :)

Dazu Grottoes
The Dazu Grottoes are amazing!  The Grottoes are religious sculptures and carvings. They have over 50,000 statues.

We saw Panda's at the Panda Research Institute and Breeding Center.  I was able to hold one of these cute Red Panda's.

Chengdu Park
The Chinese love their parks!  We saw many elderly out doing Tai Chi and Taijiquan (Chinese Shadow Boxing).  They also like to walk on cobble roads in their socks to massage their feet and some walk backwards.  The most interesting thing I saw in the parks was Ear Candling (ear wax removal).
After visiting Chengdu we flew to Tibet.  Click here to see this part of our trip.

The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 by farmers who were digging a water well.

Wild Goose Pagoda... notice the lovely smog!

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Acrobatic Show
We loved our trip to China but after a few weeks of eating only Chinese food I was ready for some good ol' AZ Mexican grub! 


Stacy said...

I'm still jealous of this trip! I need to go SOMEWHERE!