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In May of 2006 Jan & I went to China. We took a 19 day tour with China Focus. We spent 3 nights in Beijing, 4 nights on a ship on the Yangtze River, 3 nights in Xi'an, 2 nights in Guilin, 3 nights in  Hong Kong and 3 nights in Shanghai. In talking to people before we left, and after we returned, we of course didn't see everything but we saw all the major sites.

Some impressions...

We loved the Chinese people. They gave us enought free time to roam and meet people on the street. We also had excellent tour guides. We felt we learned about the lifestyle of the Chinese people. Everyone was very friendly right down to the children.

Great photo opportunities.

Don't go for the food. While on occasion we had good meals but we really got tired of it. The menu was monotonous . We got real tired of it. Of course there is always MacDonald's or TGI Friday.'s

We are not really into tours but this was an excellent group. There were only 18 people, 2 couples and their sons from SLC, 2 couples from a small town north of NYC, a couple and a woman from San Diego, a guy from Murrieta California and another couple from Tucson. We all got along great.

China is exploding. The cities are huge. The largest city in China, Chongqing is also the largest in the world at 31 million. In Beijing today they are constructing buildings with a total of 2 billion square feet, 2 times the current size of Manhattan.  It already has twice the population.

While China is working hard to become a first world economic power, and it looks like it will, they also have a lot of problems to solve to get there. It will not be easy.

Favorite town....  Hong Kong
Favorite tourist site...  the Great Wall
Favorite dinner....   TGI Friday's in Hong Kong
Favorite thing to do....  Walk the streets 

We have no plans to go again, there are too many other places and too few years, but we are sure glad we went.

I took over 2500 photos. I trimmed it down to about 800 and made a narrated DVD slide show. I will have to show it to you some time. Comcast only gives me so much space on this site and there are other trips to tell about.

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Waiting in the San Francisco Airport
The Chinese Flag. The large star is for the Communist party. The four other stars represent the farmers, the workers, the soldiers and the masses.
Our group of 18 and our guide George
The Forbidden City
A dragon boat at the Summer Palace
At the Great Wall
The long climb
Those sure are high steps and so many of them
In the rickshaw in the Hutong
They just stacked it the food up, We knew the meal had ended when the watermelon arrived.
Five for a dollar....
Bird Flu? What Bird Flu?
Ready for the Tour de France
The bronze bells from the tomb of  Marquis Yi from 433BC. They were about 8 feet tall.
Traditional performers
Our boat on the Yangtze River
On the boat
Lily, Dolly, Jan, Craig and Allen. Our servers on the boat.
A dragon boat on the Yangtze
A huge wall keeps the water out of this town.
Dancer on the boat
Brother John round in Chinese
At the three Gorges Dam. The largest in the world.
Coming out of the last of five 100 foot locks to get to the lake behind the dam.
Up a small gorge to see the trackers
The trackers at work
Our guide sings us a native song

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