Maria Holland

The Trip in Review

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2010 at 12:54 am

I know we wrote a lot about the trip, but I think a little wrap-up is in order.  Here’s the big picture:


We went to 8 cities:

  1. Xiamen
  2. Guangzhou
  3. Wuhan
  4. Chengdu
  5. LeShan
  6. EmeiShan
  7. Xi’An
  8. Beijing. 

This included 5 provinces and one municipality:

  • Fujian
  • Guangdong
  • Hubei
  • Sichuan
  • Shaanxi
  • Beijing

We checked a lot of things off the must-do-in-China list:

  • visited Xiamen’s peaceful Gulangyu Island
  • ate dim sum in Guangzhou
  • ate hot pot in Sichuan
  • saw the Giant Pandas
  • saw the world’s largest Buddha in LeShan
  • climbed (well, kind of) Emeishan, one of China’s sacred mountains
  • seeing the Sea of Clouds (at least for me!)
  • saw the Army of Terracotta Soldiers in Xi’An
  • witnessed the flag-raising at Tiananmen Square
  • climbed the Great Wall
  • ate Peking duck in Peking

We also had a few other special experiences:

  • dinner with my priests and future bishop
  • two beautiful Xiamen sunsets
  • Dad’s pingpong matches
  • riding the world’s fastest train
  • that hour spent with the young pandas and their caretaker
  • amazing massages and even acupuncture for Dad
  • being driven around Xi’An’s major sites by our new friend and volunteer chauffeur
  • sledding down the Great Wall!
  • leaving a note at Google China headquarters
  • meeting all sorts of military people, including a Korean who served with the US Army, a Chinese cadet, and an major in the Chinese artillery
  • narrowly avoiding disaster three times (two bus crashes and a rockslide)
  • going to Mass in three beautiful churches and getting to see a few others
  • riding every form of transportation with thousands of our closest friends

The trip lasted 22 days (plus a few days of travel to and from for my parents) and, besides their international flights, cost just over $3,000.  The trains and planes that got us around China cost $250 a person, we spent about $300 on souvenirs, postage, and donations (and massages), and our daily expenses (food, lodging, tourism, and local transportation) were about $100 each day for all three of us. 

I think my parents were pleased with the trip; I know I had a great time.  If I had the chance to do it again, I would only make small changes.  I wouldn’t go to Emeishan – save a couple hundred dollars and go to smaller, less sacred mountain.  I would allow an extra day in Xi’An so that things weren’t so rushed.  Other than that, I was basically the perfect tour guide.  Right, parents??

  1. You got that right! People are already avoiding me so that they do not have to hear about our great trip and wonderful tour guide/daughter.!

  2. Just wait till you read my trip summary. Not sure “perfect” is the word I’ll be using to describe you, but I think if I wait a few more days, it should something favorable. You should have mentioned the number of Snickers Bars we consumed, and pictures we took! Speaking of which — I’m still waiitng to see the last bunch of pics. Luckily I’m a patient guy.

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