Our tour group consists of Aussies, Kiwis, Brits and Canucks!
We started today with a walking tour of Shanghai. My insides were very upset and a few bathrooms were destroyed enroute. Thankfully William, our guide from Beijing, took me to the Chinese pharmacy and got me some concoction made of twigs and flowers and roots. I took 5 of them and was cured!! Good old Chinese medicine. That evening we went out to see the Shanghai Acobats – these people were amazing and the show went on for a couple of hours. There was even a girl going crazy with hulahoops. And 5 motorcycles in a sphere whizzing around – it was a wild show!!!!
The following day we took a bus to Xitang – a watertown – meaning it was on canals – very very pretty and the photo ops were great!!! It was another HOT day – 37 celsius. When we returned to Shanghai, we went to train station to take the overnight to Xian. This train had A/C and it was much cleaner than the previous train and I had a bottom bunk. Our guide William is full of knowledge, however, does he snore!!! he is a frickin freight train! We arrived in Xian at 9 am – it is a walled city of 8 million and full of pollution – the sun only peeked thru once in the days that we were there. The 2nd morning we rented bicycles and rode on the wall around the city 16 km. It was great. Shopping in the Muslim market was good and the bartering was heavy duty. Bought some silk and a majong game.
Speaking of “carefully slippery”, the Chinese to English translation is quite humorous. This one was found on the floor outside the bathroom. “Warm Notice” sign in elevator to press the buttons and take notice. “Carpenter Tan” a comb shop. “Happy Bum” candy. “Morning Twilight Business Hotel” hotel name. “Dairy Fairy” Ice Cream parlour.
And on another note on “Squats” – take care of your belongings – anything in your pockets that might fall out. The Kiwi had her sunglasses fall off her head into the squat.
In Lintong were the famous Terra Cotta Warriors – what a sight. These were discovered in 1974 by a farmer. A few hundred have been uncovered. They were built 2000 years ago by the Emperor and placed over his tomb. There are 4000 in total and will be excavated over the next several years.
Took another night train to Beijing and today walked Tianaman Square and the Forbidden City – tons of people everywhere and undercover cops all over. Our tour guide was so strict on behaviour in the square.
Hit “Flavour Street” tonight. WHOA this street had it all. We dined on sheep’s balls…getting ready for Mongolia. There were so many different culinary treats. ie snake on a stik, starfish, dried seahorse, sheeps’ kidneys and penis, sea cucumber, larvae, curried shark, scorpions.
Most of the food we have had has been non-spicy with lots of meats and dumplings and rice and veg. There is not alot of variety in the flavours, as we have in the Western World. However, if you do want Western food, it is here; KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, and McDonalds. William has taken us to some really out of the way, back ally places and it has been a real experience. He usually always introduces us to a new Chinese liquor – this stuff is deadly, however he loves it and of course wants us all to try it. The only dessert we have been served is watermelon.
Off to the Great Wall tomorrow and our last day in China. Peking Duck – the Last Supper!!