We just came back from a 2 week vacation in China. There’s so much to talk about as this trip was packed with lots to do and explore, but that will most likely be in a photo book or video for another time.
We tackled 2 cities: Beijing, where our $152 Delta Economy+ tickets took us (yeah!), and Xi’an, the ancient capital of China.
We saw all the usually attractions… the Forbidden Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, Wangfunjing street to eat live cockroaches (not!), Chaoyang park, the Summer Palace, etc… and we enjoyed hopping on and off the subway in both cities. But the best experiences were when we visited small local communities in the rural countryside far from all the major tourist attractions. A two-hour trip north of Beijing to the ‘Great Wall’ provided us with a beautiful day of hiking with with very few people around. Early morning trips to the Qin Tomb (to see the Terracotta Warriors of the first Emperor) and the Qianling tomb (where China’s first and only Chinese Empress, Wuzetian, is buried) also presented us with peaceful uncrowded places where we could discuss China’s history, view accent ruins, and climb a mountain while meeting and talking (mostly through gestures) with the ‘early-riser’ locals.
We hear so much about China from the media, but to go and experience it first hand, to interact directly with it’s people, and to feel the local vibe was a totally different matter.
People are people all over the world. We laugh, we smile, we cry… we generally want to get to know each other and help each other. The people in China are no different than those around us. Some are so passionate that you can’t help but get caught up in their conversations and dreams. Others are quiet and reserved, yet easily project to you a sense of calm, peace, and tranquility.
It was a great experience to exploring the paths that an average tourist doesn’t do and to push a little outside our comfort zone. It’s only by getting outside those boundaries that you can truly experience another country’s culture and it’s people. And for a short visit to just a few small parts of China, this is something that I recommend to anyone that want’s to be a little adventurous when they go.