China was unlike any place I have ever visited before. I remember standing in the middle of a busy street, taking in all the sights, smells and sounds. Buildings filled the entire sky, the tofu was unlike any other smell and the car horns and motorcycle engines were blaring. Talk about a sensory overload – it was absolutely amazing! Our China winter vacation started in Beijing, where we visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall.
We were grateful for the amazing weather. And, by amazing I mean blue skies, because every day it was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit (as the high)!
The Great Wall! With my first step, I had immediate goosebumps. It takes your breath away.
My favorite skyline of all time: Shanghai. Imagine being in the city center with buildings as high and as far as you can see. When you drive one hour outside of the city, imagine still seeing buildings as high and as far as you can see. It was truly a sea of buildings.
One of our excursions included eating dinner with traditional Chinese farmers in a village. We learned how to make Chinese dumplings by hand, in their kitchen.
I learned so much about Chinese culture on our trip, from the ways of everyday life to how much control their government has. Over dinner we spoke with a woman who couldn’t believe how our American government didn’t control the media (our television, radio, newspapers, etc.). At the same time, I couldn’t believe how much control the Chinese government has over day-to-day things (one can’t even log in to Facebook in China!). The entire trip was a learning experience for both my husband and me and I’m so grateful to have experienced this country on the other side of the world!
Not to be Missed
Ride to the observatory level at the Oriental Pearl Tower and overlook the city of Shanghai.
We were beyond impressed with Friendly Planet Travel (who handled all accommodations including flights, hotels and transportation). We loved them so much that upon returning to the U.S. we immediately booked our trip to Brazil!
A VPN is very helpful while traveling in China, for security and due to the aforementioned media control! Entouriste highly recommends StrongVPN.
Tips on visiting the Great Wall of China from Beijing.