China: Xi’an, Beijing


I loved Xi’an. The Terracotta Warriors are truly amazing. They are called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Each soldier is unique in face, ears, hair, clothing. They do look like they could take a deep breath and walk away. There are so many more thousands of soldiers, horses, chariots and other things YET to be unearthed. I cannot wait to go back and see them all. I also loved Emperor Jindi’s tomb and museum. The excavations have been glassed over so you can WALK above the items left in the ground. In his tomb, all things are 1/3 size. I loved the layers of pigs, sheep, dogs and goats. We also walked on the wide intact city walls and enjoyed the Big Wild Goose Pagoda with its FREE water and light show.
Our first day in Beijing was so smoggy, we thought it would be our last. But a day of rain and one of wind and we were our on the “secret” great wall tour with beautiful sunny weather and blue sky! We really were the ONLY people on our section of the wall which is incredible to be alone in this city! Read more about the wall, in The Great Wall by John Man (He also has a GREAT book called The Terracotta Army.) Hiking ON the wall with all its history was really a highlight of our trip.

We have also loved the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Lama Temple, Hutongs, Sanlitun, Bei Hai Park, the pedestrian shopping streets and the incredibly easy to use public transport…2 Yuen for the subway and we have been all over the many different amazing areas of the enormous city.

China Customs
Life in China
There are special foods…like the dried flat pig faces in FengHuang and the live scorpions wiggling on a stick on snack street in Beijing. We have not been too bothered by the customs like spitting everywhere especially near our FEET, the littering (because in China, someone is ALWAYS sweeping and cleaning so the streets are CLEAN) or the toilets..which I heard were AWFUL and it is NOT true. We have really enjoyed our six weeks in China. People have been so friendly and helpful even with the tremendous language barrier. I highly recommend you visit China.

May 21 til June
Traveling in China we have noticed, there is a great internet fire wall here. 1000s of people work all day to shut down sites. That is why we cannot download our photos. We will do it at home.

As I read in the Troost book, in China, there are “lots of neon lights and Western Ammenities, internally this is still a police state, where media (including internet) is restricted, religions are supressed and political beliefs can send you to jail.” Keeping this in mind, you do have to wonder about China.
I also read that there are 114 boys born for every 100 girls. There are 60 million more men of reproductive age in China than women. They build enormous dams, huge roads and restore many sections of the great wall. Can they engineer their citizens like they do their work projects?
George has been able to see LAKER games here! Many Chinese love basketball and Yao Ming. More news from MONGOLIA! See you soon! L & G

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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