Sunday, October 29, 2006


It's now Sunday night, October 29. Tried once again to post a lot of photos without success. Have a lot to say but am running out of time at this Internet cafe now, so will be brief.

After leaving Xian, I flew to Chongqin, where I spent a day visiting the zoo to see some adorable pandas and the Sitwell and Flying Tigers Museums (thanks for evoking this, Jan). My two air force friends would have enjoyed it, too. Lots of history about WWII. Chongqin has a nice monorail and... a huge Walmart, where I did some shopping for snacks! Then took a three-day cruise on a Chinese boat. This was a real sociological experience as there were only 8 westerners among the 400 passengers. Everything was in Chinese and luckily we figured out things together. The 3 Gorges and the 3 Gorges dam project were really interesting and made up for the discomfort of the boat. The sanitary conditions and the constant spitting left something to be desired. But my (female) roommate was very sweet. She's a statician for the government in a provincial town and is of Mongolian descent. Two of my fellow backpacker friends and I are staying in the same hotel tonight in Wuhan. I fly over to Shanghai tomorrow and will probably stay there 3 or 4 nights before flying back to Beijing to take my plane to L.A. on Friday, November 3, via Seoul.

China is so full of contrasts, which makes it very exciting. However, the pollution is horrible, and the noise, shoving and spitting are sometimes hard to take, particularly as I'm traveling inexpensively and seeing the country from "the bottom up" so to speak. On the whole, though, I find the people very friendly and smiling. The women, particularly, are always willing to please. And, as I wrote before, a smile and gestures work mirables.



At October 30, 2006 11:41 PM, Anonymous maura said...

Hilary - the photos are beautiful, especially the last one of the 3 Gorges. Imagine only 8 Westerners among 400 passengers! I'd love to see the Gobi. Hope you exchanged addresses w/ your couchette-mate from Mongolia.

Thanks for taking the time to post all these interesting trip reports. They are much appreciated!


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