Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Picture of the day:

Update from yesterday:

Our last day in Beijing was great. That day was what I was looking for on this whole trip-to see local Chinese people in their home environments and get away from the big city part of Beijing. We started out with a pedicab (basically a wagon on the back of a bike) ride through the back streets where some of the locals live. These areas are eventually going to be torn down by the Chinese government so it was fascinating to be able to see them before this happens. The people basically live in 4-family complexes with a courtyard in the middle.

Our driver (see yesterday's pic of the day) was hilarious and even though it was pouring down rain, he managed to truck on through mud, between tight spaces, all pulling Ashlee and I at the same time. During the tour, we made three stops that were set up by Adventures by Disney. The first was to a woman's home. She makes a living off of tourists coming in her home and teaching them the art of Chinese paper cutting. We got to cut out some figures that stood for "Double Happiness" among other things. Next, we stopped in front of a statue of Confuscius where an old Chinese man taught us how to do this crazy yo-yo thing. I sucked at it. Next, we went to another woman's home and learned some knot-tying skills. I halfway sucked at that, but she managed to help me through it.

I think the most interesting part of Beijing was that you really saw how people were excited and ready to finally be able to show off to the entire world later this summer. It's a great city with some very hopeful people. Even in the first two days I gained such a huge amount of respect for Asian culture, and specifically the world power that China is, and will continue to develop into. I had no idea that their economy will actually surpass America's as the world's largest within the next decade. America is definitely the greatest country in the world, but we have a long way to go in regards to managing growth, utilizing technology, and global trends. Beijing is awesome and I wish I could spend more time there.


Chengdu is China's 5th largest city and has a reputation for being laid back and enjoying life. We ate some great authentic Chinese food "family style" at the restaurant the first night. They specialize in the Sichuan style food that is spicy and very unique in the combinations they put together.

The other thing Chengdu is known for is Pandas. Chengdu houses the Panda Research and Breeding Facility. This place was like a zoo with only Pandas. I have to post a picture to show you how awesome it was:

I don't think people would think to come here if they were making a trip to China, but it is definitely worth it if you have the time and resources to do so.

So, that's all for now. Tonight we're going to a Chinese Face-Changing Opera and then off to Guilin tomorrow. I love this country.

Get over yourself,


1 comment:

Sam said...

I went to JaJa's today, beat that.