A Travellerspoint blog

Day 10 - Xi'an

Hi all

Today we headed off early to Banpo Neolithic Village - a 6,000 village that was accidentally discovered in the 1950's by archaeologists and has been preserved by the government for the Chinese people to study and learn.

We then went to a factory where they make the replica terracotta warriors. They are fired in a kiln for 3 days and then it takes 7 days for them to cool before they can be handled. We did end up buying a set of 4 types. Feng Shui states that you need at least a general and a archer which we have.

We went to the Terracotta Warriors where we first had lunch and then it was time to head to the first pit. It was truly a site to see the out is about 200 metres long. The warriors were discovered by a farmer who was digging a well. I will admit that I had a few tears in my eyes as I was a little overwhelmed. I took a lot of photos and will post some later. We went into Pit 3 next which was s lot deeper than Pit 1 and a lot smaller. Pit 2 was next and it was a lot darker in there. The archeologists are not going to excavate any more at this time. They are presently trying to piece together he ones they have uncovered.

There was a lot of walking today and my poor feet are very sore

Tonight we went to a Tang Dynasty Dinner & Show which was amazing. The costumes were so beautiful and the performances flawless.

Tomorrow we will visit the city wall which is in downtown Xi'an before we have lunch and then head to the airport for our flight to Beijing.

Seems I'm not the only one with a cold - 3 other people have come down with one so far. I'm feeling much better today thank goodness.

Well time for some photos and then bed. Thankfully we don't have to leave until 10am tomorrow so a small sleep in is in order.

Until next time
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 07:23 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 9 - Chongquing to Xi'an

semi-overcast

Hi all

Today we sadly had to leave the cruise behind and continue our travels. We docked at Chongquing and we were told by our guide not to let the locals touch our bags or you will then be obligated to let them carry them up the stairs for you. We had to walk over quite a few pontoons and the. Up several steps as the water level was low. We went for a tour of the city which is home 33 million people. It just goes on forever. First up was a visit to the Panda Hoise. The oldest panda they have is Lingling who is 27 years old. We got to see 3 baby pandas who were so cute. We went to the old part of the city to walk around the markets. Was very different to other markets we have seen. We then went to lunch in a local restaurant to try the local food which is can be quite spicy. We then had some free time so we tried to find a chemist to see if I could get some cold & flu tablets. We did find a chemist but no real drugs to be found.

We then had to get back on the bus for our hour drive to the airport. Security was very tight and it was only after we went through that we found out about the attack in Manchester. The flight to Xi'an took a little over an hour and then it was another hour to the hotel. I was standing at the carousel waiting for the bags and this old Chinese lady came up and asked me for a picture. I think she took about 20. The other tour people were laughing.

We are staying the Golden Flower Hotel and it's lovely. We went down for a buffet dinner and after a long day it's time for bed. We leave at 8.30 tomorrow for a long day - village tour in the morning and then to the Terracotta Warriors in the afternoon.

Bye for now
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 06:46 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 8 - Yangtze River Cruise

overcast

Hi all

Today was our last day cruising down the Yangtze River. We had to be up early and ready to go by 7.45 for our excursion to the Shibaozhai Pagoda. It was very hot and humid today. We had a long walk up a reasonably steep hill and then along a swinging bridge to the pagoda. The pagoda is about 300 years old and the temples at the top are about 450 years old. They had to build a dam around the pagoda so that it doesn't flood when the river rises in wonder. The height of the river gets to 175 metres and nothing is allowed to be planted or built below this level. The pagoda was built with no nails and leans back into the rock. To get to the top of the temple you have to climb up 10 floors via wooden stairs that were no more than a metre wide and at an angle of probably 80 degrees. Imagine trying to climb these stairs in a stifling heat along with 200 or more people. By the time we got to the top (and we did) we were wringing wet. We came down a different way and the concrete stairs were just as steep. The temples at the top were amazing and the views impressive. We then walked back through the makers and haggled for some bargains. We were back on board by 10am.

After lunch we decided to take a nap as I'm getting a cold so we thought a nap would be best. I woke up 3 hours later!

We joined a few people in the bar where Cheryl tried a Manhattan and I tried a Shanghai Surprise - very nice 😀.

Dinner was amazing as always and then we decided to give the show a miss and repack our bags for tomorrow. We have to walk up a few steps tomorrow after departure and have to make sure no strangers touch us or they will charge you as they think you will want them to carry your bags.

We dock in Chongquing at 8am and then we will head to the Panda House before lunch and a flight to Xi'an. Time to go so I can upload some pics and then hit the sack.

Bye for now
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 07:46 Archived in China Comments (1)

Day 7 - Yangtze River Cruise

rain

Hi everyone

Today we continued our cruise down the Yangtze River and had a pretty relaxing day. This morning we went on a ferry tour of Shennong Streamwhich lasted 2-1/2 hours. The views were spectacular and we got to see a couple of hanging coffins. I will post a couple of pic and see if you can see them. They are reported to be over 2,000 years old.

After lunch, we sailed through the Wu George and then through the Qutang George. We docked near the White Emperor City for an optional tour. We decided to give that a miss as it was raining and we had a massage instead. Never having had a Chinese massage before it was a bit different to other massages I've had - it was great though. I have struggled with the pillows here and wake up each day with a crick in my neck. The massage seems to have worked.

Each night our tour group heads to happy hour and we try to answer the trivia questions that are published each day in The Age - we have a lot of fun. They have been serving this really. nice French wine. We were only supposed to be getting 1 drink per meal but the waiters seem happy enough to top up our glasses. The cocktail of the day was a Kamikaze. It certainly lives up to its name!

Tomorrow will be our last day on board and we will be heading out on the morning for a tour and possibly one in the afternoon. I'm hoping to get a pedicure in some time through the day.

Not much else to report for the day - just a lot of laughs with some people in our group.

Will try to upload some pics. Seems the internet has a bit of a meltdown when I try to upload.

Until the next entry 😀
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 07:10 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 6 - Yangtze River Cruise

overcast

Hi all

Today was our first full day on board our ship, the Victoria Anna. We had to be at breakfast at 6.30 as our first tour started at 7.30. We went from our ship to a much smaller ship so it could go through the dam lift. This is the only one of its kind in the world for the capacity it takes. Once we were inside it only took us 9 minutes to be lowered 100 metres to the river level downstream. We docked and had to go over a couple of barges to get to the shore then walk up a lot of stairs to get to the road to meet the bus - all trying to avoid the people trying to sell you something.

Because of the security issues we were taken to a big building where we had to get off the bus then go through a detector and then go out the other side to rejoin the bus. The bus had been searched as well. We then went to the information centre and then went up 4 long escalators to the top so we could oversee the Three Gorges Dam. It really is an incredible thing to see.

Before too long we had to walk down the hill to the bus and head back to the boat for lunch. As we get off the bus we are inundated by locals trying to sell us maps of China or some beer. Our Chinese guide told us that the beer was fake so don't buy it. Every time you get off the bus, you have to run the gauntlet of about 8 people all trying to sell you the same thing.

After lunch it was time for the next tour. We have to leave our boat and walk over a couple of barges to the cable car to take us up the side of the hill to road level. We boarded a bus to take us the Three Gorges Tribal Village. This place was so beautiful and peaceful. The trip there was like something you many have never experienced. What a crazy driver - then again they're all like that. It's a miracle more accidents don't happen.

We got back in time to have a quick shower and then off to the Captain's reception. My night of drinking began with 2 mimosas and then at dinner I had some wine and finished the evening off with a Black Russian. Cheryl went to bed early with sore legs. We did over 18,000 steps today. Have been averaging around 14,000 a day.

Well my bed is calling. Will upload some pics before I hit the sack. You will see how bad the smog was today from the photos.

Take care
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 07:30 Archived in China Comments (0)

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