2008 Group Trip to China-Beijing, Xi'an, and a Yangtze River Cruise

Welcome to the travelogue of our May 2008 group shopping and touring trip to Beijing, Xi'an and the Yangtze River Three Gorges.

Our Group and the Outbound Trip: Our international group began its international journey and settled in for 4 meals, 7 movies, 6 naps, and 12 hours...

Our experience of the Sichuan EarthQuake: It was through our Katrina-disaster filters that we experienced and viewed the Sichuan Province earthquake in southwestern China, its toll on people, and the Chinese government’s response...

Beijing Sightseeing: No visit to China would be complete without a visit to Beijing. Beijing is the cultural center of China, as well as the center of government...

Beijing Shopping: Jennifer and Erika joined us for some of our furniture treasure hunting in dusty and hot warehouses. We had another one of those adventures when we say to ourselves What were we thinking??...

Xi’an and the Terra-Cotta Soldiers: Over 2,000 years ago, Xi'an was one of the original cities along the Silk Road and became very prosperous. Around Xi’an are burial grounds for centuries of emperors, kings, and local leaders...

Chongqing: Chongqing is similar to San Francisco as it is also built on many hills. Chongqing is one of China’s targeted development cities, so it is huge, modern, and bustling...

Yangtze River Boat Cruise: Our cruise boat was nicer and roomier than I expected. The scenery was beautiful and dramatic...

The Three Gorges Dam and Yichang City: The dam project is hard to describe without using superlatives...

Chinese Cultural Perspectives: We had occasions to talk openly with Chinese people about life in China. We very much appreciated their candor, frankness, and bravery...

Chinese Food Adventures: One way for us to eat outside of our “eating comfort zone” was to ask our Chinese friends to order for us...

Next Group Tour - Fall 2009: We learned some valuable lessons from our first group tour that we can apply to our next group tour...

Our Group

Initially our travel group consisted of about 10 people from around the country but as the trip date approached, a few people had to postpone their trip due to illness and work constraints. On travel day, our group consisted of our personal friends, Jennifer and Erika (Mom and daughter duo), Robert and me. Daughter Jennifer is a New Orleans/New Jersey resident originally from Scotland and Erika has lived in Louisiana for many decades but is originally from Germany. On 10/May/08, this international group began its international journey.

The Outbound Trip

We rendezvoused with Jennifer and Erica in Newark, NJ to board our flight to Beijing. As all of us had traveled internationally before, we knew to bring reading material, chocolate and a pillow. We also knew that only 4 meals, 7 movies, 6 naps, and 12 hours later we would reach our destination of Beijing.


Back to the Beginning          Next: The Sichuan EarthQuake