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
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 Chinese souvenir!
Pauline, Cambridge, Canada
P.S. Looking for your own guide
in Beijing? Contact Louisa at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 expensive.
Julie, San Francisco, USA