Destination: China

Journey Around China

My journey around China was a hectic but thrilling experience. In a short 3 weeks I managed to visit a several places in this truly fascinating and diverse country. I began with Beijing, a city full of character and history. I saw the incredible Forbidden City—once completely inaccessible to the public—as well as the beautiful Summer Palace and (probably my favorite place in Beijing) the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven offers you a chance to watch locals going about their everyday life. Men crowd round to watch and play Mahjong, women sew together, groups sing, practice Tai Chi, and take part in water calligraphy. It is truly fascinating. Read More ›

Camel Trek in the Gobi Desert

One of my favorite things about China is just how diverse everything can be. One day you can be in an enormous city and the next you can take a quick train to a sprawling desert. I was so happy when I had a chance to visit the Mingsha Sand Dunes in the western Chinese city of Dunhuang. I arrived in Dunhuang by train and immediately took a taxi to Charley Johng’s Guesthouse. Because I was only in the city for the sand dunes, I didn’t mind that the hostel was about ten minutes from downtown. Much to my surprise, as I neared the guesthouse the park appeared in front of me. I couldn’t believe just how close our hotel was to the dunes! Read More ›

A Tour Through China

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. Read More ›

The Great Wall of China

Last fall marked my first trip to mainland China, and as the Great Wall was at the top of our bucket list, we headed to Beijing to see the sights and visit one of the most spectacular man-made structures in the world. From our home base in Beijing, we hired the wonderful John Yellowcar to drive us out to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. We chose Mutianyu after much Trip Advisor research, as this was the section of the wall with a chair lift up and a toboggan ride down (the cheesy tourist in me loved the idea of the toboggan ride, and it proved to be incredibly fun). Mutianyu is also not as crowded as some of the other sections, such as Badaling. We were able to hike along the wall for several hours, enjoying the view from each of the watchtowers along our route. Read More ›