Page 2 of AmandaL Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Shanghai April 30th 2010

Day 154: Friday, April 30th, 2010. Chengdu to(plane)(train)(metro) Shanghai, China. Per Intrepid notes, "On day 12 we take a private transfer to Chengdu Airport (approx. 1 hr) for our flight to Shanghai (approx. 2.5 hrs). Upon arrival at Shanghai Pudong airport, we take the Maglev - the world's fastest train - and then the subway to our hotel (approx. 1 hr).

Blending 21st-century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai is the vibrant pulse of new China. In our time here we go on a walking tour of historical areas of the city, such as the Bund with its spectacular array of art-deco style buildings. Choose where you would like to explore next, perhaps go across the river to take in the sights of Pudong - the modern financial centre - with its amazing skyscrapers such as the iconic ... read more
1 candle for Dad and tossed 1 in for Mom as well.
Me, pointing to a man, when I was trying to point at the electronic speed display above my head.
Streets of Shanghai at night.

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu April 29th 2010

Day 153: Thursday, April 29th, 2010. Chengdu, China. Happy happy joy joy! Pandas! Wasn't much of a crowd at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding so that was good. We arrived around 9:30am which is when the panda's are fed, therefore, more active. They'd sit and eat, walk 10 steps, and then lay down exhausted. I'm guessing the folks taking care of panda's all over the world know what they're doing but I highly suggest we pop these guys some Zoloft. Normally you can pay to hold baby pandas and have your picture taken, but they were sick. So, myself, Amavailse and Damon coughed up the money to have our picture taken with a grown panda. We put on paper booties (like in hospitals), one glove on whichever hand we wanted to touch the ... read more
In honor of the LOL cats

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu April 28th 2010

Day 152: Wednesday, April 28th, 2010. Fengdu to(bus) Chongqing to(train) Chengdu, China. Per Intrepid notes, "Days 10-11 Chengdu: At the end of our Yangzi cruise we arrive at the port city of Fengdu in the morning of day 10 and from there transfer by bus to Chongqing (approx. 3 hrs). From here, we catch a day train to Chengdu (approx. 4 hrs) to arrive by early evening. After check in we will take a short orientation walk of the local area surrounding our hotel. 

It might be one of China's biggest cities but Chengdu has preserved plenty of its traditional flavour and visitors will still find famous tea houses set in the grounds of Wenshu Temple, numerous markets and some of the most interesting food in China. If you like it hot then this is the ... read more
Train ride- got up to 200 kph!
Thank goodness there aren't a lot of people here!
Hot Pot.

Asia » China » Yangtze River April 27th 2010

Day 151: Tuesday, April 27th, 2010. Yangtze River Cruise: Fengdu, China. We docked in Badong, China at some point during the night so that's where we took off from today. We went thru the Wu Gorge, had breakfast, and then docked at some city where we hopped on a ferry that would take us thru smaller gorge (called the "Lesser Gorges" or "Little Three Gorges"). Beautiful scenery. We then hop onto an even smaller boat to fit into the last and smallest gorge. During this boat trip, one of the guys on the boat demonstrates how we should wear their hat and "cape" thing and most of us give it a shot and have our picture taken (and tip him). Along the way on the river (for both the ferry and the smaller ... read more
Mahjong- with a lot of help!
Inspiration for the 10 Yuan (gorge, not me.  I'm pictured on the 100 Yuan)

Asia » China » Yangtze River April 26th 2010

Day 150: Monday, April 26th, 2010. Yangtze River Cruise: Badong, China. We are awoken 30 minutes before breakfast by gentle chinese music playing softly in the speakers in our room- kind of cool. Then, silence for 20 minutes before the music comes back along with a voice telling us its time for breakfast. Last night we met the mysterious voice, a girl named Coco who is studying English. Her studying has payed off- she speaks it well. Better than me- not saying much though. We went up to the Three Gorges Dam, took a bus to the top of it so we could look around. I don't get dams. I mean, I understand the purpose and all, but for some reason they don't impress me. I don't have the engineering mind so it doesn't sink in ... read more
As Izzard said, "They call it coming out of a book and you have to do it at some point in your life."
Entering first of four locks.
Sue and Steve on top deck preparing for the lock.

Asia » China » Hubei » Three Gorges Dam April 25th 2010

Day 149: Sunday, April 25th, 2010. Yangtze River Cruise: Yichang, China. Per Intrepid notes, "We arrive into Yichang in the morning of day 7. Yichang is the site of the massive and controversial Three Gorges hydro-electric project and we have the chance take a visit to the dam to see this incredible feat of engineering ourselves.

We board a boat tonight for a journey along the mighty Yangzi River. We spend 2 full days on board a basic tourist boat, cruising through the Three Gorges en route to Yichang. Our cabins are simple and clean with twin-share with private bathroom facilities. Full board is provided while on the boat with typical Chinese cuisine. Please note that depending on the composition of the group you may be required to share a cabin with your leader or a traveller ... read more
View from my boat room
Deck 5, another viewing deck.
Da flag.

Asia April 24th 2010

Day 148 Saturday, April 24th, 2010. Yangshuo, China to overnight train (will arrive in Yichang, China on 4/25 and will start Yangtze River Cruise then). Per Intrepid notes, "On day 6 we travel to Liuzhou by public bus in the late afternoon (approx. 3.5 hrs) and board the most basic train of our trip for the overnight journey to Yichang (approx. 18 hrs)." We don't leave Yangshuo until later afternoon so myself, Paul, Sue, Bruce and Gloria signed up for a cooking class excursion. Our guide picked us up at the hotel around 9am and led us thru a park to the market that I had visited last time with Judy, Dick and Rita (the one where they sell dogs). The guide told us which area not to look at (unless we really wanted to) and ... read more
Our dining table- and Gloria!
Cooking class
Rest of our courses!

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 23rd 2010

Day 147: Friday, April 23rd, 2010. Yangshuo, China. Per Intrepid notes, "On day 5 we experience the landscape on a bike ride to gain an insight into rural Chinese life, stopping for lunch at the house of our local friends or riverside cafe for a tasty meal made from locally grown and farmed produce. This is an absolutely stunning region to explore, as every turn in the road brings you to another picture-postcard location, and this is why Yangshuo is a firm favourite with travellers.

Yangshuo is one of the best places in the country to get a feel for local culture and traditions. In your free time on day 5 you can take a cooking class to learn to make some of the local specialties, go on a relaxing boat ride along the Li River, try ... read more
Intrepid gang.
Town near Yangshuo.
Moon Hill.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 22nd 2010

Day 146: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010. Yangshuo, China. Per Intrepid notes, "Arriving in Guilin early in the morning, we transfer by public bus to the small countryside town of Yangshuo (approx 1.5 hrs). 

After checking into our hotel in Yangshuo your leader will take you on an orientation walk around the town pointing out some of the things you need to know to help you get the most out of your time in here such as where to sample the best local noodles and some of the most interesting places to shop. Our hotel in Yangshuo is clean, twin-share and centrally located with laundry facilities available.

The countryside around Yangshuo is immortalised in many traditional Chinese paintings - picture immense limestone karsts dotting the rural landscape and towering spectacularly over rice paddies and the meandering Li River. ... read more
Gang (less Steve) on Yangshuo Li River cruise.
More quiet streets
Our van going thru the flooded outskirts of Yangshuo.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 21st 2010

Day 145: Wednesday, April 21st, 2010. Macau, Macau to overnight train to Yangshuo, China. Per Intrepid notes, "On the early afternoon of day 3 we take a public bus to the Macau/China border and then onto Guangzhou (approx. 3 hrs) for our overnight train to Guilin (approx. 11 hrs). 

Train travel in China may not be entirely luxurious but it is certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people as it is the main form of transport for locals. We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound - compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded three tiered berths (6 to a compartment), sheets, pillows and a blanket provided. Safe hot drinking water is always available ... read more
Inside the thrilling dining car on the overnight train.

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