Day 14 -Beijing to Hangzhou

Day 14   We’re waiting for our flight at the Beijing airport.  There has been an effort to clean up the Broken English signs but some are still amusing.  Above an electrical plug here says “please take care of your children avoiding touching the device”.  We have also been advised that something is for “disaled only” instead of “disabled only”.  “Please just wear underwear in the hallways” and no going “nuked”.  I liked the hall of “mental cultivation” at the Forbidden City.  In a park we were advised to follow the park rules and “don’t push people”.  This one is constantly broken by the locals.   But most favorite was a nail salon in Xi An.  Its sign read “Shuttle extremely seductive, warm, luxurious polish to experience”.  Who wouldn’t want that!

Beijing is a huge modern city that has made a tremendous effort to beautify the roads.  There are lots of parks, flower beds and statues.   The air quality however isn’t great.  The hardest cities have been Xi An and Beijing for breathing.  Everyone is doing fine but we’re not going jogging anytime soon.     We have had very few injuries and illness, thank goodness.  The kids have learned to sleep on the buses and have held up very well.  Just feed them regularly and they’re fine.  We drink tea instead of water at most restaurants but have bottled water on the buses.  Soda and ice cream are available at most tourist sites and the hotels have had snack bars so the kids eat ramen at night if they didn’t get their fill during the day.

We had 2 flights again – ½ are on a China Airlines flight and my group is on a Hainan Airlines flight – we get breakfast so we’re excited.   Sure beats the train even with the early departure.  We got group boarding again and sailed thru the airport.   We have an easy afternoon of visiting West Lake which will be nice.  I expect you’ll see tired faces at DIA in a few days.   After tonight in Hangzhou, we move to Xi Tang, a small ancient village and finally Shanghai.   Shanghai will be more crowded than usual with the Dragon Boat holiday, the Expo and the 20 million local residents.

World Cup is big- I could get coverage in three languages on my t.v. last night.  Beijing was the first hotel to have an English station.   The kids have been watching Chinese t.v. and enjoying that.  There’s been little down time but they make the most of it.   Later on  – We had a great flight and arrived into West Lake in time for lunch.  After lunch, we got on a boat to cruise the lake.  The shoreline is beautiful but given the holiday, it’s very crowded. Its also smoggy.  We ended at the Silk Museum - more shopping little museum.   10 of us joined Keynes for dinner at a local restaurant.  We had a wonderful meal in a very nice restaurant.  we were the only foreigners there.   We ate lotus, pork belly, jelly fish, Westlake Bass, crab, seaweed and others I can’t remember -for $15.      Tomorrow we visit a tea plantation and head out for an ancient village.

Posted in China Trip 2010.