2
   

This time to China and Tibet for 22-days

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2007 12:00 am
I'm afraid my first day of trying to acclimate to this elevation has not been successful. My stomach still feels wheazy, and it's our third day in Lhasa. I was able to consume a little breakfast and lunch today, but have decided to skip the optional tour to a village this afternoon.

We did visit the most important temple to Tibetans where the Sakamuni Buddha supposedly visited about 2600 years ago. Pilgrims from all over the country come here at least once in their lifetime; somewhat similar to Muslims who must visit Mecca once in their life time. This city is full of Buddhist pilgrims, many prostate and paying homage to the temples. Some from far outlying areas come on foot, and they prostate all along the way. It takes some of them two years to come here. Talk about devotion, I think this is the ultimate in human practice.

I'll probably write again when we're in Hong Kong (for three days).
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2007 05:01 am
That's disgraceful c.i.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 02:13 am
spendi, Thanks for visiting. However, humans are prone to religion no matter what culture, country, or ethnicity. It's a human sickness of the head.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Nov, 2007 06:43 pm
Last post from China. We're waiting for our bus to the airport, and our flight is a little after 12 noon. What a trip this was! See all of you later. T. 8:44AM
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 03:24 pm
I'm now home, and getting unpacked and downloading my pictures. Give me a few days to organize something in writing, and to prepare some pictures.

Arrived at SFO at 8:15AM after we had to fly out of SFO during our landing flight path, because there was another plane on the runway. We were told this was "normal," but in all the years of flying, this is the very first time for me! We were also able to listen to the controllers and pilots talking on channel 9 on our airplane.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 03:37 pm
Glad that you've arrived safely.

Do get some rest - we certainly can wait those couple of minutes :wink:



cicerone imposter wrote:
We were also able to listen to the controllers and pilots talking on channel 9 on our airplane.


I suppose, such can be done on most flights. (My main pleasure on transatlantic flights - though there's crtainly more silence then on commuter flights from here to Frankfurt or Munich Laughing )
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 07:20 pm
CHINA and TIBET

November 7, 2007: SFO to Beijing.

This trip was 22-days away from home, but it felt shorter. I'll make every effort to keep it short, but be forewarned that there were much to see and experience even though this was my third trip to China. My primary reason for visiting China again was to cruise the Yangtze River (before the flooding is completed in 2009) and to visit Tibet, but I have come to realize that I have missed many things during my first two visits to Beijing and Xian. The other cities in the Sichuan and Shaanxi Provinces made me realize that China's economy is growing very fast indeed, and that the Three Gorges Dam project is much more than what we read in our newspapers. However, not all is as good as it looks to the outsider. Many internal problems are getting worse, and the economy is playing havoc for the poor in China.

What made this trip different from the others were the free times provided in each major city to let us pursue our own interests or go in smaller groups to go shopping, walking, or to go to a massage parlor.

Our first stop was Beijing for four nights:
Our hotel, Ning Xia, is located in the Hutong (the old city), and a visit to this metropolitan city from this hotel is about as good as it gets to really engage oneself in the smells and sounds of "old" China. I was here in 2000, and Beijing today looks nothing like it did seven years ago. The new tall, buildings, apartments and condos, and shopping malls with new freeways give a whole new meaning to urban sprawl.

Our tour director, Grace Wang (33 years old), from Beijing is one of the best, and she baby-sat us old fogies (I was the oldest in our group of 15) from start to finish. She provided us with the old and new information about China, and supplemented the local city guides who were also excellent. It didn't hurt to hear some things more than once.

The included activities during our four days in Beijing featured Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, the Great Wall (the old section of Bandaling where most tourists do not visit), a cloisonné factory, a carpet factory, Children's Beijing Opera Training School, and a drive by of the new Olympic City (the swimming pool building that looks like water droplets and the bird's nest where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held).

During our free time, I visited the National Art Gallery and the Capital Museum (went solo); and both were excellent. You'll learn later why from the pictures I'll include in this first section. Some of us also took advantage of getting massages not far from our hotel; a one hour body massage cost us 100 yuan ($13.50). Several of us went there more than once. We learned from our local guide that the Chinese Premier also goes to this massage parlor regularly.

Taxis in China are very economical to use, costing no more than 20 yuan (less than US$3.00) on most trips.

During one free period, I walked around the Hutong when most of the others walked to the Lhama Temple (my son and I visited there in 2000). While on one of the main streets, I came across the subway station, so I walked down the steps, purchased a ticket (in English), and took the #5 train to the station where we can transfer to the #1 train to Tiananmen Square. I met a lady from Tennessee in the train station who now works for a local English publication, so I asked her how she handles the censorship issue. She told me they just "accommodate" it. She started teaching English about ten years ago, but feels ready to return to the US in the next year or two. She informed me that the #5 train is new, and has been in service for only a couple of months.

The weather in Beijing was quite nice with some sunshine compared to what happened after the day we left; it was snowing.

Over Mongolia:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007113.jpg

A sign on Tiananmen Square showing the countdown to the Olympics.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007355.jpg

Tiananmen Gate. We were informed that the painting of Mao is replaced on October 1st every year.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007364.jpg

The room behind the main palace (under renovation).
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007376.jpg

Cloisanne artist.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007425.jpg

The Great Wall at Bandaling; most tourists do not come here.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007449.jpg

Olympic swim center.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007498.jpg

The bird's nest.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007502.jpg

Carpet factory.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007520.jpg

The Capital Museum.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007540.jpg

More photos to come.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 08:01 pm
Waiting ....waiting.... come on hurry up!
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 09:38 pm
dadpad, Patience, my dear man. It takes time to review over 1000 pictures, to select the ones I think has viewer interest, and is relative to my travelogue.

Inside the Capital Museum.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007548.jpg

Diorama of old Beijing.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007546.jpg

The Buddha room.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007569.jpg

The old Beijing train station located next to Tiananmen Square. It's currently shops and restaurants.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007557.jpg

A three-legged pot; popular during the Tang Dynasty.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007580.jpg

The circular hallway to the different levels of the museum. There are art works and caligraphy at each level.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007585.jpg

The National Art Museum.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007595.jpg

One of many beautiful bowls on display.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007597.jpg

A sample vase.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007602.jpg

Hutong rickshas.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007620.jpg

A door knocker in the Hutong.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007627.jpg

Our host in the Hutong; he's an artist.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007629.jpg

Our program director, Grace, making a dumpling for lunch.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007639.jpg

Artwork by our host.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007641.jpg

The oldest bridge in Beijing.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007653.jpg

The Bell Tower in the Hutong.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007654.jpg

Our night train to Xian.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CHINAandTIBETNovember2007675.jpg
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 10:04 pm
checking in.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 10:19 pm
Was the smog as noticeable as it appears in the photos CI.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 10:24 pm
Yes. This was late evening, and the fog was pretty thick. The inland provinces of Chongqing and Sichuan are fogged in two-thirds of the year; I would never be able to live there.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 10:38 pm
Beautiful pictures so far, cicerone. You sure get around Very Happy
I'm enjoying the report too.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 11:57 pm
What CJ says.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 12:04 am
cicerone imposter wrote:
Yes. This was late evening, and the fog was pretty thick. The inland provinces of Chongqing and Sichuan are fogged in two-thirds of the year; I would never be able to live there.


Fog ie low cloud or smog/atmospheric pollution.

Loved the aerial shot of the mountains in mongolia. If yo ufell on one it would cut you in half.

Our mountains are all rounded and worn looking.

Have you been to OZ?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 12:06 am
dadpad wrote:

Have you been to OZ?


They've got still capital punishment in the USA and thus don't send deliquents to far-away islands. (Not the c.i. is that criminal at all!) :wink:
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 01:36 am
I want as clear as I would like to be in my last post.

Is it fog, ie low cloud or smog/atmospheric pollution in the photos?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 07:06 am
dadpad, It's really both; low level clouds and pollution. When I blew my nose in Beijing, it came out black. It wasn't so in Chengdu.

It's my understanding from talking to others in our travel group, that the government is going to reduce the allowable number of pollutants during the Olympic Games. That means cutting down on vehicle usage, and I'm not sure just how they are going to accomplish that because public transportation is still lacking. They just opened a new subway line, #5, that I accidently ran into and took, to Tiananmen Square during some free time we had. They also have public busses and taxis, but I'm not sure how they'll replace private vehicles. They have about eight million private cars - and growing. They have built and are building new roads.
I think it's going to be a huge mess.

Also, my eyes burned in Beijing.

I hope their Olympics is successful.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 07:10 am
if they can pull that off ( limiting vehicle use ) then america needs to follow in their footsteps..

but that is another thread entirely. Smile
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 07:12 am
Yes, I've been to OZ many years ago, but our visit was limited to Cairns, Port Douglas, the Great Barrier Reef, Rain Forest, and Sydney.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/15/2019 at 05:27:13