women in China...
Most Chinese women do not
smoke or drink much unless you're in the big cities
with a lot of foreigners. Also, the Chinese have some
very potent liquors, such as bai jiu. One glass is
enough to get you pretty drunk. I hope this advice
is helpful to other travelling women.
Margaret, Montana, USA
tips and Chinese artists...
When you go to the Great Wall,
be prepared for it to be a very good climb - the stairs
and everything are very steep - but it's amazing.
As for the Forbidden City,
if you are not with a tour guide, it is
well worth the cost to get the headset that walks
you through the city and tells you about it.
Also be prepared to have art students come up to
you and ask you to come and see their work. They will
tell you that you must buy right away -- that they
are there only for one more day. That's not true at
all they are always there. Some of their stuff is
expensive but pretty good quality. If you like what
you see, be prepared to bargain. What a wonderful
Pauline, Cambridge, Canada
P.S. Looking for
your own guide in Beijing? Contact Louisa at: email@example.com
My wonderful Beijing guide directed
me to a reasonably priced spa for an authentic Chinese
herbal facial (best one I ever had). It's called Dong
Fang beauty salon (a hole in the wall,
basically, but really very good.). It is located across
the street from a large western style shopping plaza
called Landao Shopping Market (in Chao Yang District,
near Dong Da Qiao), and around the corner from a McDonalds,
not far from Tiananmen Square. Give it a try when
you need a respite from sightseeing and shopping.
Karen, Mississauga, Canada
discovered and fabulous...
I've lived in Ho Chi Minh City
for nearly fours years, Hong Kong for the past three
and am now returning home to Sydney. I'd like to suggest
two (insider) Chinese destinations to other Journeywomen:
Highly recommend is a new and unknown town enroute
from Beijing to Xian called Ping
Yao. It is declared a UNESCO heritage site
and is one of the last walled cities in China. It
has been lost in time and is as it was 200-300 years
ago. Everything is in Chinese but it is worth a visit
before it becomes overrun. It was overnight from Beijing
on a hard sleeper train - comfortable, cosy and clean
and about Y135 each way. There
are lots of local courtyard house hotels with beds
on heated stone platforms that charge about Y30 per
night for 3-4 in a room. Being there was like walking
onto a movie set. Also, near to Ping Yao is a lovely
Taoist temple with incredible buddhas and clay figurines.
Then, a couple of hours drive away is the amazing
Wang Family Mansion
museum - the site where Raise the Red Lantern was
filmed - incredible!
Helen, Sydney, Australia
Buy a phone card before
you go to China -- they are a very cheap way to call
home. You can get Chinese phone cards from your local
Chinese merchants or elsewhere. Also, JourneyWomen
should know that you can't make international calls
from all pay phones. Make sure the one you're using
allows international access. You can use some of our
North American calling cards from China, but not all.
Find out which ones work and which ones don't before
you go however phone cards are still generally less
Julie, San Francisco, USA