Countries Visited So Far Click Each For More Info

China Wrap Up:

It has probably been pretty clear through many of our posts that we had quite a mixture of feelings about China, mostly bordering on the negative. We experienced more culture shock than anywhere else we had traveled; China was by far more foreign than anything we knew or were familiar with. Thailand and Japan felt like Disneyland compared to the amount of disconnect and difficulties we experienced in China. This is not to say we didn’t have some incredible moments, and that there aren’t some beautiful parts of the country. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would travel to this country with either a tour group or personal guide, to get a better sense of the people (as well to avoid the hassle and headache of what seemed to be people trying to take advantage of us all the time).

Highs/Best Moments: Hiking the Great Wall of China from Jinshaling to Samatai; staying at the Sofitel on Remnin Square in Xian; biking the 14 kilometers around the old city walls of Xian; boat ride down the Li River and arriving in Yangshuo; Cloud 9 cooking class in Yangshuo; surreal experience being at Hotel of Modern Art; everything about Hangzhou, especially riding bikes around the lake; discovering Pizza Hut & Dairy Queen; leaving mainland China and arriving to Hong Kong; urban hiking in Hong Kong; ferry ride from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island; night out on the town in Central and SOHO; meeting up with Kath and Jake

Lows/Worst Moments: Constantly being haggled by people b/c they wanted something from us; major language barrier; expensive plane flights; crossing the roads, since cars do NOT yield to pedestrians; not being able to communicate with people; no smiles from people; the tour coordinator “Sherry”; watching ourselves turn cynical and develop negative feelings towards all Chinese people; paying “western” prices in restaurants; stomach issues (possibly contracting a parasite); the “farmer’s market” with many strange animal parts, and seeing dog; being pushed all the time; having to be super assertive while in lines to be able to use the bathroom; discovering onions in the closet being used as air “fresheners” in
Lake View Hotel

Sights: The Great Wall of China; People smoking cigarettes everywhere; people spitting everywhere; people squatting on the streets instead of standing; bicycles of every shape and size carrying huge loads of stuff; shoe stores; the karst limestone mountains going down the Li River; West Lake; dogs at the market place

Food and Drink: Peking duck; fried rice; incredibly spicy foods; Pizza Hut; lots of strange items on the menu’s including bull frog, pigs brains, bladders; sea cucumbers; ginger candy in Yangshuo; yummy street food in Wangfujing especially the sugar covered cherries on a stick;



Towns: Hangzhou; Hong Kong

Accommodations: Sofitel on Remnin Square in Xian

Food: Peking duck dinner on Wangfujing Street the first night we were there; ginger candy in Yangshuo

Restaurants: the restaurant we wandered into in Xian, which served delicious food, and was only a $6 meal; also Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing on Wangfuing Road

Drink: mojito at Habana Club in Sofitel in Xian

Activities: Hiking the Great Wall; cooking class in Yangshuo; biking riding around Xian old city walls, the Hotel of Modern Art and around West Lake; exploring ALL of Hong Kong


Least Favorites:

Towns: Beijing

Accommodations: Lake View Hotel in Hangzhou

Food: snail, taro and tofu dish in Yanghuo (didn’t realize there were going to be snails in it!!!); duck claws at the same restaurant

Restaurants: Yangshuo restaurant called Mao on second floor – didn’t eat two out of 3 of the dishes!

Drink: cheap sake

Activities: avoiding getting taken advantage of