On March 9th of 2012, my family, friends and I embarked our adventure to China!We departed from Tampa International Airport and had our stop at the Detroit Airport. Once we left Detroit, we were on an overnight, 13 hour flight to Beijing! We arrived around 1 a.m Beijing time but because of the 12 hr time difference and all of the excitement none of us were very tired! For our stay in Beijing, we decided to stay at the Holiday Inn Express located in the city. Our first day in Beijing was filled with activities. We visited the summer palace, took a taji lesson, visited the Forbidden City and even Tiananmen Square. Once we finished all of those adventures we enjoyed a traditional peking duck dinner. The next day we were up and ready to take on the Great Wall of China. However, we decided to stop by the Beijing Zoo first. At the zoo we saw a lot of different animals but my personal favorite exhibit was the pandas. They were so cute and definitely not camera shy! After we left our furry friends, we took a bus to the Great Wall. To get up to the Great Wall, one can either climb up the steps or take a cart up. Our small group wanted to see more of the city and be adventurous so we decided to walk up. Little did we know that it was 5,164 steps up…However, once we got there it was well worth it. The view of the city and the wall was simply breath taking.
The next day we took our third flight of the trip to Xi’an. This city was pretty similar to Beijing in its atmosphere but it was much more polluted. We spent our first day in Xi’an visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and taking a bike ride on the ancient city wall. This was certainly a lot of fun! The next day, our group was lucky enough to visit the terracotta warriors! These were incredible. The tiny details and ornate figures we saw were mind blowing. I definitely recommend seeing this if you are ever in China.
We continued our China adventures when we flew to Yangshuo. Unlike, Beijing and Xi’an, Yangshou was more on the country side. I think that this was my favorite city of all. In Yangshuo we took a guided tour of the city where we got to see the wet market, the rice fields, a farmer’s home and even the local school. I found it extremely interesting to see how different things were in this part of the world. Our second day in Yangshuo was filled with more fun! We took a very relaxing and beautiful bamboo raft ride on the Li River and climbed the beautiful moon hill. The next day we spent wandering around Yangshuo, bargaining with vendors, and buying souvenirs for our friends back home. We took a flight to Shanghai that afternoon but unfortunately had to leave to return home the next morning.
All in all, china was an incredible experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. I strongly recommend visiting all the places I mentioned. Going to china, not only allowed me to practice the language I had been learning the past four years but also to immerse myself in a completely different culture.
For more pictures of my trip enjoy this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uykd5fhzBEw&feature=youtu.be
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