Andrea Holliday visits China and discovers a lively modern society living alongside the country's intriguing ancient past.
Shanghai, what an amazing city! The French Quarter captured our interest straight away with our first ‘Lazy Susan' experience and an array of very tasty Chinese cuisine. Despite the cold, we embarked on a mission to find the best karaoke bar in town - a must do in any Chinese city!
The following day our Chinese adventure really began. Our tour encapsulated so many memorable experiences, from battling through the chaos at the bustling Jade Buddha Temple to discovering pure heaven at the dumpling market in the Old Town. We visited the beautiful Humble Administrator's Garden and the Shanghai Bund before moving on to the modern side of town and seeing it all from up high at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
Suzhou to Zhou Zhuang
China has such a wide variety of different things to see and do, from the little river towns of Suzhou and Zhou Zhuang to the impressive City Wall of Nanjing. One of my favourite places was the Buddhist Temple in Hangzhou, with rock carvings of Buddha in the mountainside. I'll also never forget the 240-metre-long ‘Reed Flute Cave' near Guilin with its stunning array of stalactites and rock formations.
After first experiencing the ‘fast trains', we were shocked to learn even faster ones awaited us. The overnight train to Guilin was a fantastic experience. The train was not only lightning fast but also much more comfortable than we had expected. Once in Guilin, we went to Longji Village where some of my fellow travellers were game enough to drink the ‘snake fire water', which is apparently very good for you.
We then set sail down the Lijiang River to everyone's favourite village, Yangzhou. The town was great, with lots of shopping, great food, numerous coffee bars and surrounded by stunning limestone peaks. Yangzhou is such a picture perfect little village with so much to offer. While there, half the group went on a cooking class and checked out the local markets, while the others, including myself, decided to be adventurous and go for a bike ride around the village. The bike ride was a great way to see the scenery of Yangzhou and the perfect end to our Chinese adventure.
Interested in exploring China? Contact Andrea Holliday, an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre based in Newmarket, Queensland who can be reached on 1300 082 799.