25 days in China

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We booked this holiday despite it sounding rather "touristy". We were keen to visit China. It is a large and varied country undegoing rapid change. We were not disappointed with our visit, although the advent of mass tourism in China took its toll. Our lasting memory of many of our visits will be "tramping shoulder to shoulder with hordes of others while trying to stay in contact with our own particular tour leader".

The surprise ingredient of this tour was Joan's dramatic illness. Normally we are both pretty healthy. This time Joan was seriously ill. Once the emergency was under control, spending 9 days in a Chinese hospital made this holiday unlike any other! The staff of the hospital were extrememly friendly and likeable and we are very grateful to them.

Our 25 days left us with a great respect for the energy and organisation of Chinese people and the positive attitude of the county's leadership.

Hong Kong

A glittering new city, full of huge buildings.
Here is the view looking down on it from the hill behind.
One ascends it by the cable railway.

Despite the high land prices they have managed to keep some parks open.
Expensive buildings soar above the parks.

Within the parks there is peace and tranquility.

Li River

After an overnight train journey we travelled to Yangshuo along the Li River.
The river is surrounded by limestone pinnacles.

There are many boats.
On each, the crews toil while the tourists take pictures.

Certainly the scenery is attractive.


A town full of tourists, shops and restaurants.
The town is surrounded by green hills.
The lake and fountains were outside our hotel

For our first afternoon we travelled to a nearby village.
A chance to meet a few locals.

We had some damp weather while we were there.
The streets stayed busy.

As it grew darker the streets lit up, ready for the tourist trade.
Meanwhile the staff of the restaurants grabbed a quick meal.

As for us... we were off to an outdoor show.
"Light and sound" - organised by the people who did the Olympic display.

It all takes place on a lake.
At night with the hills floodlit in the background.

I understood there were 146 people taking part.
Most of them should be in this photo if you wish to count them.

Our last hours in Yangshuo were rather wet.
It did give me a chance to photograph some local transport.

Rice terraces at Longji

We walked up to our accomodation at PingAn.
Very comfortable rooms.

The following morning we walked up to view the terraces.
Some cloud drifting around, but still a spectacular view.

Some local ladies were trying to sell us trinkets.
Instead we persuaded them to show us how they did their hair.

They cut it once - when they get married.
The cut hair is kept and incorporated in the new hairstyle.

The finished effect is quite smart.
Afterwards they went back to the old sales pitch!

Before leaving we had lunch.
I rated it the best of the trip, although the rest was nearly all excellent too.

Chengdu Panda Centre

Good views of Pandas sitting eating bamboo.
Also views of a small panda falling out of a tree.

We also enjoyed seeing the army taking children out on a school trip.
A shop for buying Panda souvenirs too.

Manjushri Monastery

Beautiful buildings.

I am fascinated to watch the locals praying.
There is an exotic mix of modern clothes with ancient customs.

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