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:

Trip

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??

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  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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