I just returned last year from
living in Shanghai. I did a lot of travelling while I was
there, both with my husband and kids and a couple of trips
with girlfriends. I'd like to share some of these extra-special
trips I've done with other JW readers. Perhaps they'll be
tempted to try some of these ideas as well:
girlfriends' trip to the tropical island of Hainan
in the South China sea including a beautiful beach that
only the locals know about which you will mostly have to
yourselves since the Chinese don't like the strong tide
52-hour train ride all the way across China (with my twin
3-year-olds) to the western cities of Kashgar
and Turpan, then the
(limited access) overland crossing through the mountain
pass into Kyrgyzstan.
small town of LinHai
south of Shanghai, which has a "great wall" around
the city, which was built as a prototype for the famous
great wall of the north. Not many tourists ever learn about
many, many times -- our favorite weekend jaunt. Don't miss
the night market. It is the best one in all of China!
Religious services in Beijing...
If you want to attend church, Beijing Int'l Christian Fellowship
has two services Sunday morning, but you must bring your passport
to prove that you are a foreign citizen. You can visit their
website at: http://www.bicf.org/. There are also Jewish Friday
Sabbath services in Beijing. See: http://www.sinogogue.org/.
Julie, San Francisco, USA
suggest you pack...
I'm an American living and teaching
in China and you're all going to love it. Here are some things
I suggest you pack when coming to this part of the world...
Reading material -- unless you like classics and Sherlock
English magazines -- these make interesting reading material
on the plane coming over and also great gifts to pass on to
Chinese friends who speak English
Cough and cold medicine -- the coal dust is thick (especially
in the winter) and highly irritating.
Herbal/flavored tea -- you can get green tea and jasmine
tea and others, but if you have to have your orange spice or
Tazo chai, etc. bring it with you.
Coffee -- Maxwell House and Nescafe instant coffee is
readily available, but it is nearly impossible to find beans
or ground coffee. I travel with a mini French press, but I can't
get coffee for it and I hate instant. Good news is, most restaurants
and hotels use brewed.
Finally, pack patience and a sense of humor -- the pace is slower
here and there is sometimes a lot of pushing and shoving and
cutting in line that can wear your patience thin in a hurry.
Have a great trip.
Carolyn, an American living in China
Ed. note: I
found a clean, bright, comfortable Starbucks
in Beijing. It's located a few blocks from the Silk Market coming
from the direction of the Jinglun Hotel.
thoughts on coffee...
If you can't start your day without
coffee then you better take your own to China. When I was touring
with an organized group, Nescafe is the closest we were ever
served and it was awful! I made "coffee teabags" from
flat filter paper which I sewed right on my sewing machine.
I enclosed enough of my own brand of coffee so I could make
an individual serving in an 8 ounce cup of boiling water. I
also took a baggy of powdered creamer because pasteurized milk
is not always available on the road. I wished I had had enough
to share because the other coffee drinkers on our tour were
Crystal, Columbus, USA
trouble in Beijing...
hailing a taxi, make sure that the car is authentic -- one of
those hundreds of yellow
minis whizzing about town.
day as I
emerged from my hotel, a couple
men said "taxi? taxi? I speak English!"
Ignoring the gesticulations
of my doorman, who spoke not a word of English, I hopped in
and off we went to the
Forbidden City. When we arrived the fellow who had ridden in
the back with me, trying out his linguistic skills, leered at
me and grabbed my breast right through my raincoat. I yelled,
pointed to a police car, and took off ASAP. So did they.
Margaret, Ottawa, Canada
Ed. note: Hm-m-m-m...two
men, one taxi ...never a good idea.