since hubby and i's big trip to australia, ann and i decided to take the top of the list places to see before you die (or have babies) trip to CHINA june 2011! it was amazing and shocking all at the same time! we arrived in shanghai, it was rainy the entire time (monsoon season). shanghai was a good place to start, very modern, lot of skyscrapers. this was where we found out that we could not get on facebook, twitter, or youtube unless you have a private VPN address...what - no facebook for 2 weeks...yikes! we went to the Bund (like a boardwalk) and had drinks at M on the Bund, a swanky south beach style hotel overlooking great views!
we also went to Beijing, where we went to tianamen square, the forbidden city, a temple, and hiked the great wall (AWESOME!). we shopped at the pearl market (lots and lots of haggling involved). we also saw some interesting foods at a market where foreigners were eating scorpion, worms, cicadas, snakes, etc... bleh! we ate some good duck at this famous place, where they carve the duck right in front of you.
in Xi'an is where we saw the teracotta warriors...literally like millions of them in 3 different buildings. the carvings were exquisite! i wouldn't say too much with the city itself, where men try to persuade us to jump in back of their scooter to go ride with them...hell no! somewhere in one of our cities, we had what it seemed to be a 10 course dumpling meal...it was so much food and we were sketchy about some of the meat that was served to us, but with some beer, it was great!
now our favorite place was yangshuo, about an hour from guillen, we stayed at the mountain retreat. people were nicer here than in the cities. we had a cute place with our own balcony overlooking the river, when we woke up and saw such an amazing view with tons of rafts floating down, we not only had to try it once, but we did it twice! we did lots of shopping in town, had great vegetarian food, saw the light show that was put on by the creators of the beijing olympics (very moving), and i went rock climbing while ann took pictures from the rice paddies below. it was such an amazing place and probably one of my most favorite places. we even saw 2 weddings taking place. the retreat served the most amazing food and it was cheap! the vegetarian springs rolls we had almost everyday, they had fresh juices, banana pancakes, so good! we tried heading into some of the caves, but was not all that impressed...the caves in new zealand was by far the best in the world! we hiked up some steps to the half moon rock and took some great photos. we were sad to leave...
but on to hong kong, where everyone spoke english and time to go bar hopping, check facebook, and shop, shop, shop!
people are generally a bit rude, they yell, spit, a lot of babies wear these butless pants, no diapers...you figure it out. definitely a bit of a culture shock, but an awesome once-in-a-lifetime trip that i hope to go back one day with danny!