I have not been to that many places, but one thing that’s certain is that I love to travel, try new things, learn about rich cultures, and explore different places. The very first time I went overseas was back in 2006 when my family and I when to Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen in China.
Since it’s been years ago, and I can’t quite remember the details of our itinerary (and too lazy to dig out a copy of it), I’ll just post some photos and highlights of the trip.
Of course we visited the Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. I think the people in the photo below are in line to see General Mao’s memorial hall.
Just across the square is the Tienanmen (“Gate of Heaven’s Pacification/Peace”, which is where the square got its name) of the Forbidden City. I don’t have very good photos of the chambers we saw inside the walled city, but hopefully I’ll be able to go back and take better pictures next time. :)
One of the nicer places we went to in Beijing was the Summer Palace. There were beautiful flowers growing all over the place. that is surrounded by a vast man-made lake. The architecture was also very exquisite.
What is a Beijing tour without visiting the infamous Great Wall of China. I forgot what that section we climbed was called. If you see those little blue things down there, that’s the parking lot where the tour buses were parked. We climbed a lot of steps which seemed never-ending and that’s not even a fraction of the entirety of the wall. Just imagine having to walk/climb from end-to-end let alone build a wall of this magnitude. It’s just really amazing.
I can’t recall the name of the village where they had really narrow roads and the only way to go about is by walking or riding the rickshaw. This are not the authentic hand-pulled rickshaws, these were drawn on the front by a bicycle which is of course still semi-human powered using the pedals. So we road the rickshaw and visited the bell tower with these giant drums.
Next stop was the MagLev Train. This train takes you from Central Shanghai to the Pudong International Airport in just 12 minutes or so. It’s the first commercial high-speed maglev train and one of the fastest in the world. It’s even faster than Japan’s bullet train.
Panda! We also went to see the pandas in the zoo. I was hoping to see some really cute panda cub, but to no avail saw only full-grown adult pandas which are also cute nonetheless.
One of the more famous landmarks is the Oriental Pearl Tower. If you can, you must go up to the viewing deck at night and sea a bird’s eye view of the colorful city and the Hangpu River with the colorful boats cruising on it at night.
Shanghai is also known to be the fashion and shopping capital of China. So not dropping by Nanjing Road for an afternoon stroll by those display windows is inexcusable. Nanjing Road is less crowded and less fast-paced than Orchard Road or Tsim Sha Tsui, but is perfect for a more relaxed and laid-back afternoon window-shopping stroll.
Xiamen is more provincial compared to Beijing and Shanghai, but it still boasts of spectacular sights and sceneries to visit.
Overall, this trip was a remarkable one especially since it was my first time traveling abroad. It was an experience to remember.