As I have mentioned before in some of my previous posts, I am in a choir that once a year travels abroad and sings for a week or so. The last trip that the group went on was to China but not for just one week but for a Month!! We stayed in Shanghai, Beijing, and even went to Taiwan and stayed in Taipei. Some of the trip was dedicated to school work and study abroad and the rest was full of singing and sight seeing.
Shanghai was were we spent a majority of our trip. This was when we worked mainly on our schooling and that way it was more or less done and out of the way. While there we saw the official black market, secrete back rooms and all. We also went to the tailor’s market where my husband got a custom made tux in 2 days for $200 US dollars, it would have cost him in the US at least $400. I have to admit that it was a lot of fun to see my husband who is 6’4″ talk to the people of China and just see the random people on the street’s reactions to his height! There were a few times when our friends got a good laughs out of those interactions and reactions. There were many different buildings being made that we would drive past and each one had a completely different design unless it was part of a set. We counted close to 200 new apartment building being build in this city alone each with at least 20 floors. Another cool thing that we saw in Shanghai is the interstate system. You may think that roads are a boring topic but when you are on the 10th floor of a building and you open you curtains, the last thing you expect to see is the interstate right beside you.
Beijing was the next city that we went to. We traveled there by air train and it was an absolute blast! If you ever want to go see all the sights that people talk about seeing in China, you would want to go here! The hotel we stayed in was very fancy but not a 5 star in an American’s standards. The lobby was to die for but there wasn’t a pool or spa of any sorts which for some people, I guess, would be a deal breaker. I don;t know how much it cost to stay there, but I do know that we had to fit in all the sights that we could possibly fit, just into those 3 days. The hotel was apparently very expensive… While in Beijing we saw The Great Wall of China and had a chance to actually walk/stand on it, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, and a few other places along with fitting in choir concerts and classes here and there along the way.
The next place we went on our trip was to the country of Taiwan, to the city of Taipei. I’ll be honest, if I were to choose a place to go back to again I would choose Taiwan! The air is purer, the people are nicer, the food taste better, the beds are softer, Taiwan just has a lot of pluses to it if you ask me. Both China and Taiwan were extremely humid, but you can adapt to that after just a little while. We visited a College there in which we sang and learned how to cook a couple of dishes. The culinary students helped us through the process but sadly we did not get any recipes to bring home with us. With their help we made spring rolls and lettuce wraps.
This trip was most defiantly a trip of a life time and I will never forget it but I don’t know if I would ever go back. Partly for safety and partly because I like Europe better… oh well! I wish everyone had the chance the go to China and travel the world in general because it is such a wonderful world and we should all go see it!!!