Beijing

China in 12 Precious days

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 Visiting China

It’s impressive the development of China. I know that my two weeks were spent in a five stars tours, comfortably taken across the best of the country, and that may have given me a distorted vision of it. The other China, the rural one, is far behind, but the boom of modernization cannot be confined to the major cities, and soon will spread across the country.

The mix of dictatorship and open economy easies the project, and, for the moment, everything seems under control. But inflation, unemployment, social differences, are on its way. And then? Meanwhile, China is an example, simultaneously a menace and an opportunity. And a country, with sympathy and safety, deserving to be visited.
We did it just once, during two short weeks, that only allowed brief visits of BeijingXi’anGuilinYangshuo and Shanghai, complemented with Hong Kong and Macao, before returning home.

​Historic tour

Visiting China
Visiting China

Only recently awake for tourism, China is starting to enhance the best signs of its rich history. This may give you contradictory sensations, from the “deja vu” of the Great wall, to the surprise (for me) of the beautiful walls of Xi’an, from the metropolitan boom of Shanghai, to the calm fields along Li River, between Guilin and Yangshuo.

Visiting China you may step in a glimpse from tradition to modernity with only a common link – lots of people.

​The consequences of the revolution are heavy, but many signs have escaped destruction and history is a long walk that makes Chinese proud.

Beijing

China

Yes, it is the capital, but, I must confess, it was not the city that pleased me more (maybe too brief, the visit!).

​Most of the places matched my expectations, and… it was all. But, with the Great Wall at its side who could skip it? And the summer palace, and the temple of heaven and…

No! It would be insane not to go to Beijing.

​Shanghai

China

Visiting China as we did, no other city reveals so much the mixture of cultures and civilizations that for several centuries passed through China.

New and antique stand side by side, while, like mushrooms, modern buildings grow everywhere, changing the general look of the city, but preserving the historical sites and references.

​As I try to reflect in my page, Shanghai is a definitive “must see”.

Guilin

China

Nowhere else in China I saw such an effort to “justify” the tourism.

The landscape is beautiful, but the anxiety to add attractive details to it, is excessive, and sometimes… boring. Each peak, each rock, each possible detail gets a name, a tale, a pretext to be listed.

​No need to! Guilin is a lively city, with some interesting points and… it has Li river, that justifies the trip.

​Yangshuo

China

We were attracted by the famous landscapes of Guilin, but, as a matter of fact, it was Yangshuo that showed us the beautiful look of rural China.

I know that it may have been forced by our package, that kept us inside Guilin, with a quick trip to the caves, and took us to the rural Yangshuo. I also know that, in Yangshuo, we had an important detail, somewhat absent in Guilin: the Sun, but… I saw what I saw.

​And Yangshuo has the best landscape that I saw in China.

​Xi’an

China

Before leaving to China I doubted that Xi’an could justify the thousands of kilometers needed to visit it. What a surprise!

​The doubts went down as soon as we arrived there, even before visiting the terracotta warriors. Xi’an is a gem that justifies any kind of detour.

​The wall

Montreal

Ten thousand kilometers long, the wall may be visited from many places. I read that most of it is ruined, and the visit is so dangerous that it is forbidden in many sections.

Some points were prepared to tourism, which means security, best appearance and… crowds. The easiest access is from Beijing and touristy structure are already well mounted there.

​Unless you want a real exclusive image, there’s no reason to complicate, trying another approach to the wall.

China cruises

Guilin
Guilin

Travelling along Chinese rivers is an interesting experience. I joined Li river’s cruise, China‘s top one, and the shortest (I think), taking only half day, but part of our group went to Yellow river cruise, for three days.

China cruises
China cruise – Li river

They didn’t come too convinced, and agreed with the preference of Li river.

​The cruise is generally done down river, from Guilin to Yangshuo, but may also be done in reverse way, or partially, renting a small boat or raft in one of the villages in its banks.

Two speeds

644 xangai n 210
644 xangai n 210

​The economic boom of China is present in all the cities that we visited. Of course, we’ve been only in the touristic circuit, where business and tourism are pushing the people to levels of consummation and life quality that are inaccessible to great part of the population.

While in places like Guilin or Yangshuo rural life gets natural profit from tourism, how will China replicate the development of Beijing or Shanghai in areas where tradition still prevails?

​Will it be possible, one day, to step outside the marked path and meet the other China before the cleavages already perceived put a end to the calm and safe hospitality of China?

​​Sharing Experiences

Things are… how you see them. The reality is objective, but, facing that same reality, each one gets a different look, a different interpretation, according to his (her) culture and experience. I’ve been in China with an excellent and heterogeneous group, and we had a very good time going to the same places and seeing the same things. Well… did we?

No. No one could get and keep everything, and the different details gave each one a different experience of China. Travelling is a social amusement that gets richer each time we share experiences and different looks (That’s the merit of VT).

Banu
Banu

In our group there was a Turkish couple with passion, skills and equipment for photo. They, not only made some fabulous photos, but also got attracted by some details that escaped me, looking in another direction that… may have escaped them.

Watching their pictures is a good chance to keep travelling in China, reconstructing in mind what we saw, and enriching my memories with something that… was there and we didn’t notice.

So, I suggest that you plan your trip with this notion: There are many “Chinas” in the big China. Several eyes do see better than just two. And sharing experience is a good way to keep on travelling.

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