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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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China, Revisited

Posted by gck Wednesday, February 22, 2012

top-left: Shanghai’s Pudong skyline, top-right: Tongli
bottom-left: shengjianbao, bottom-right: lantern festival in Old Shanghai

Yeah, I disappeared from the reading and blogging world for a little while because I was running around China for one last time before my visa expired. February is definitely not the best time to go, but I really wanted that last trip, so I did it. Other than a few rainy days and lack of flowers in Hangzhou that made me kind of grumpy, I have to admit that the timing was quite good. Chinese New Year had passed and most of the holiday travelers were done with their travels so crowds were light. I arrived after the Lantern Festival, which occurs fifteen days after the new year, but I still got to enjoy some of the lingering decorations.

left: Nanjing Road, right: cats on Huashan

The last time I went to China, I only visited Beijing (and the Great Wall) and stayed for a little less than a week before heading off to Taiwan. This time I did more, basing most of my trip in Shanghai with a few days in Xi’an, a few days in Hangzhou, and day trips to Tongli and Nanjing. I felt like I got more variety on this trip. The archeological wonder of the Terracotta Warriors, the lively Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, two ancient city walls, the dramatic “martial arts movie” landscape of Huashan, tranquil gardens and temples of Hangzhou, and a wild mix of old and modern, European and Chinese influences in Shanghai.

top-left: Black Dragon Ridge on Huashan, top-right: Terracotta Warriors
bottom-left: Xi’an city wall, bottom-right: Seal Engravers Society in Hangzhou

My intention is to write more detailed blog posts about specific things and places from my trip later, so I’ll leave the summary at that. Just like with India, even weeks of traveling and seeing so many things, I still feel like there’s a ton more to go see. I never made it to Chengdu, Guilin, or Tibet. Maybe next time! I will definitely return (as long as they let me =P).


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