8 August – 17 August 2017 – 9 nights in China!
I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to China.. flew with Qantas, Sydney directly to Beijing – long flight, made even longer by somebody checking in with luggage, and then not being there to board! So an hour on the tarmac .. numerous calls, no show.. and their baggage had to be unloaded! What a nuisance! But this delay in an hour turned out to be our blessing! On approaching Beijing, well, an hour out, the captain announced a huge tropical storm is threatening our landing city, Beijing, so no clearance to land! We had to circle and maybe land in another city! After another hour of circling, we thankfully got the all clear, and we landed in Beijing – a huge city of over 24 million. It was way after 2.30am local time..by the time we checked into our accommodation, which would have made it 4.30 am Sydney time.. and we had our first excurison at 8.00am! Sleep quickly tonight! And then I discovered to my horror, my Gmail email, reliable f/b nor Instagram would work in China.. so its going to be a ‘detox’ period for me!
First day.. First stop.. the pearl market.. then the wonderful Forbidden City (Imperial City) and Tienanmen Square. – Did over 14,000 steps on this day! And it was very hot/humid – but hey, we’re in China! The Forbidden City was wonderful to visit.. yes, did spoil myself with just a tiny very pretty pearl.. just one! Plus two earings.
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years. Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres).The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture,and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987,and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Next experience for late lunch/ early dinner Shabu Shabu – Hot pot, also known as steamboat, is a variety of East Asian food, prepared with a simmering pot of stock at the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, tofu, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.
Saw an unforgettable show called the Golden Mask Dynasty
This is a Chinese tale, an ancient romantic legend, the fragment of distant historical memory — The beautiful Golden Mask Queen leading her just army defeated the invading Blue Mask and also made the acquaintance of him. The post-war Golden Mask Dynasty returned to its leisurely pastoral life. To ask bless for the Golden Mask Dynasty, the Queen decided to forge the ”mysterious tree”. When the tree grew up, the Queen held a grand celebration and released the Blue soldiers. The Blue Mask King was deeply moved by the Queen’s tolerance, the same to the Queen by his braveness, so it witnessed their great admiration and love.
And that was the end of the ‘first day!’ – bed eventfully after 9.30 pm.. it was a long, but great day.
Second day.. First stop..the Jade market – no no no!!! Then onto the Great Long Wall of China – oh my!
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall.
The Great Wall stretches from Dandong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi).This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi).Dinner tonight was at a local house with a local family – very tasty meal it was.
Yummy crackers to start, Pork meat balls, roast cauliflower, duck with potatoes, chicken with celery, dumplings, rice, green beans, cabbage with spicy chili and beer shandy to flow! Oh and beef and onions! This all to 28 people!
Today, we meet the pandas of China! – is it only our third day? It seems like we’ve been in China for ages.
After the pandas’ a real treat – Peking Duck at the famous Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
Quanjude (Chinese: 全聚德; pinyin: Quánjùdé, SZSE: 002186) is a Chinese restaurant known for its trademark Quanjude Peking Roast Duck and its longstanding culinary heritage since its establishment in 1864 in Beijing, China.
The restaurant chain sells over 2 million roast ducks served in 400 different styles to over 5 million customers annually. With annual sales reaching 500 million yuan (US$81.5m), the company has an estimated value of 8.458 billion yuan (US$1.38b) with 600 million yuan (US$97.8m) in assets and 700 million yuan (US$114m) in “intangible assets”. It was defiantly the best Peking Roast duck I have ever eaten!
Not cheap I might add.. but I think it was all the beers that added to the bill.. there were x 8 at our table, and we had 3x ducks, 3x plates of rice, 1 plate of greens, (priorities) 15 baskets of the thinnest of pancakes and lots of beer and tea. Cost us each $40US
On the forth day, we hopped on the super speed express train down to Hanghzhou.. this train travels smoothly and quietly at speeds of over 300Km/h! Approx. 6 hours.
These pics were taken in Hanghzou West Lake – UNESCO Heritage Site
We then went to visit the famous Tea House at Meijiawu Tea Village and tasted and bought this very famous Green Longjing Green Tea – all the tea in China for sure!
8th day Our next highlight was Shanghai – oh the joy of being in this city! Just arriving here I could already sense a huge excitement, anticipation.
On our final day, 9th day.. we had the whole day to discover Shanghai.. I wanted a week!
I can’t WAIT to return to Shanghai 10 – 18 August, 2018 – we’ll MOST certainly have time to know and discover this city better. – We walked over 17,000 steps this day! It was huge – highlights, ?.. visit to the Bund, to Nanjing street, the river cruise, shopping in downtown market area, and fabulous Shanghai Dumplings!
For anyone intrested in reading our fabulous #GlamGirlsLuxTravels Tour to Shanghai brochure.. please be in touch
small group – 5* plus accommodation – $USD2925 twin share –
$500 secures your booking – final 10 June’18