We’re in the process of writing entries for China. In the meantime, check out Sherry’s posts from Otts World:

[singlepic=1274,200,,,right]A Father, A Daughter, and Some Chinese Food – Beijing
When I was about 12 years old, I was treated to my first memory of international cuisine…Chinese food. I will never forget going to a Chinese restaurant in Peoria for the first time. It was darkly lit, with big round tables and little cups for tea. I was fascinated with these cups because they didn’t have handles – pretty unconventional for the Midwest! Read More

Battle of the Bugs – Voyage to the Great Wall
The Great Wall of China – yet another site that I never really expected to see in my life – but when you do – it makes it all that more special and amazing. Thousands of years ago, the various Chinese emperors, mainly the Ming Dynasty, built the Great Wall to keep the Monguls (Mongolians) out. It was actually rather effective. As I would marvel at the wall construction on steep mountainsides I wondered not only how they got materials up there to build it – but what Mongolians could make it up there to attack?! It looked like an impossible place for any human to go. Yet my father and I took off for 3 days of hiking on the Great Wall. Read More

[singlepic=1276,200,,,left]The Great Wall – The Great Destroyer of Knees
This is one of the main reasons I came to China, to hike this section of the Great Wall – Jinshaling and Simatai. One of the most breathtaking sections of the Great Wall is Jinshanling. It undulates through the steep mountaintops, hence – my knees wouldn’t like me for days after this hike! It is approximately 8 miles from Jinshaling to Simatai via the Great Wall – but it will take anywhere from 4 to 7 hours to complete it depending on your fitness, and your knees!
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[singlepic=1277,200,,,right]High in the Jet Stream and Deep in the Ground – Xi’an
My last stop on my tour of Northern China was the small town of Xi’an. Of course – small in China is a population of 8 million people. Most people fly from Beijing to Xi’an, however we decided to take another route…the train. When I booked the overnight train to Xi’an, I really didn’t know what to expect. I actually enjoy taking overnight trains – it’s a good way to see a different side of a country, interact with some locals, and see the countryside.
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My Ancient Chinese Hero – Dali
My sister and I were in search of a hiking trip on southern China. After much searching on the internet, I finally located a company called Backroads of China. Who seemed to cover much of the Yunan Provence in Southern China as well as included a fair amount of trekking that would challenge us. Plus – the company seemed very much about cultural exchange and simple travel through the region – which is my preferred way to travel as opposed to a big tour bus (just kill me).
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[singlepic=1279,200,,,left]Tiger Leaping Gorge-ous!!!
One of the main reasons why Cyndi and I decided to come to Yunnan was to hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge – a deep canyon on the Yangtze River. It is actually one of the deepest river canyons in the world. It received its unique name from an ancient story about a tiger who was running from a hunter and leaped over the gorge (and presumably to his freedom) at the gorge’s narrowest point (about 25 meters wide).
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[singlepic=1280,200,,,right]Yak-it-ty Yak – Shangi-la
Before coming to Southwest China, my sister and I were out one night with some of her Singapore friends and they wanted to know where we were going on our pending trip to Yunnan. We rattled off a few places including Shangri-la. There was an immediate ooooohh around the room as someone started talking about how lovely Shangri-la was – wonderful food, great service, nice spa, comfortable beds and the list went on. We were a bit confused by this at first and then it hit us…”No, we aren’t going to the hotel, we are going to the town of Shangri-la!”
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Electric Blankets and Chains
For the 4 days we spent in and around Shangri-la we had the unique opportunity to experience the 4 seasons…one each day. The bad news is that my suitcase wasn’t really outfitted to experience the 4 seasons, and the Chinese concept of heating was an electric blanket – herein lied the problem.
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China Syndrome
I’m neutral on China. Some of it was better than expected and some worse. Then there were some things that met my expectations exactly such as the amount of people and the smog. Don’t let my neutrality fool you though, I am happy that I spent 4 weeks there, observing the largest populated country in the world, and an emerging economic power. China seemed vastly different than its Asian neighbors – and I can sum that up with the term ‘impersonal’.
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