China: And Away We Go!

Almost, at least: we leave Friday, but I wanted to get the itinerary posted for those of you who want to follow along.

Kit and I leave for Hong Kong on Friday — a bit early since Kit has some meetings there (hey: may as well while we’re there!) and so I can meet our guide early and be sure everything will go as smoothly as possible.

This is True Reader Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (Oct 10) Leave for Asia

  • This is True readers come from all over the U.S. — and all over the world. So we’re not going to even attempt to figure out a way to gather everyone together for a chartered flight to Hong Kong — it would just add inconvenience and cost to you all. So you can find your own flight: a discount airline, part of another tour package or vacation (or business trip), or perhaps even those frequent flier miles you’ve been building up.

Day 2 (Oct 11) Arrive Hong Kong

  • Arrive in Hong Kong and transfer to the hotel, meet up with the other travelers, and …celebrate Kit’s birthday!

Day 3 (Oct 12) Hong Kong

  • Aberdeen Fishing Village, where you can get a glimpse of the lifestyle of Hong Kong fishing folks. It is home of hundreds of people living on fishing junks. Their traditional lifestyle is dramatically juxtaposed against the modern high-rise community that fills up the nearby hillsides.
  • Repulse Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong featuring traditional Chinese style. It is a picturesque example of early 20th century colonial architecture.
  • Stanley Market, the famous open-air market in Hong Kong, which sells silk garments, clothing, arts, and crafts. Nearby is Murray House, which was once a government building in Central Hong Kong. The market façade was placed in a warehouse around 1985, was later rebuilt and eventually opened in 2000. There is a small museum which highlights its history in the market.
  • Victoria Peak, for a bird’s eye view from this 373-meter (1225-foot) high vantage point, where you will experience an extraordinary view of skyscrapers and take in the breathtaking panorama of the city and the bustling harbor in the Kowloon Peninsula.
  • Finally, a special Welcome Dinner. Whew!

Day 4 (Oct 13) Hong Kong / Guangzhou

  • Train to Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton).
  • Ancient (Ming Dynasty) Nanfeng Kiln, the last remaining operational “dragon kiln” in China.
  • Evening dinner cruise on the Pearl River with the well-lit-up city of Guangzhou as background.

Day 5 (Oct 14) Guangzhou/Chengdu/Lhasa

Day 6 (Oct 15) Lhasa

  • Potala Palace, the landmark of Lhasa, the power center of Tibet and the seat of the Dalai Lama.
  • Jokhang Temple, the most famous and oldest building in Lhasa. Jokhang Temple is linked to the beautiful love story between Tibetan king Songzangganbo and Chinese Princess Wencheng.
  • Barkhor Street, the business center of Lhasa, where you can get unique Tibetan souvenirs.
  • Sera Monastery and Norbulinka, the Summer Palace for Dalai Lama.

Day 7 (Oct 16) Lhasa

  • Norbulinka, Tibetan Hospital and Drepung Monastery.
  • Trupeng Monastery, which is one of four great Gelupa monasteries in Tibet.
  • Enjoy a traditional Tibetan dinner.

Day 8 (Oct 17) Lhasa/Chengdu

Day 9 (Oct 18) Chengdu/Chonquing

  • Free morning.
  • Panda Breeding Center in the afternoon.
  • Fly from Chengdu to Chongqing and board the Regal Cruise for a morning departure on the Yangtze River.

Day 10 (Oct 19) Yangtze River Cruise

  • Cruise downstream.
  • At Fengdu, tour the legendaryGhost City and visit the Mingshan Hill Temple.
  • Continue sailing downstream to Badong.

Day 11 (Oct 20) Yangtze River Cruise

  • Sail through the magnificent Qutang Gorge, the first of the Three Gorges.
  • Transfer to a small sampan for an excursion along the Shennong Stream to view the Parrot Gorge and Dragon Boat Gorge.
  • Continue downstream and pass through the Wu and Xiling Gorges.

Day 12 (Oct 21) Yangtze River Cruise

  • Bus to cross the Three Gorges Dam to see this controversial project up close. The project includes the five-step ship lock, the diversion canal, power station and dam construction.
  • Sail through the Gezhou Dam Ship Lock.

Day 13 (Oct 22) Wuhan

  • Finish the cruise about noon.
  • Wuhan Provincial Museum with a Chime Bell Performance.

Day 14 (Oct 23) Wuhan/Hong Kong

  • Fly from Wuhan to Hong Kong.
  • Free day to explore Hong Kong on your own.
  • Farewell dinner.

Day 15 (Oct 24) Hong Kong/U.S.

  • Get together for breakfast to say our goodbyes, and…
  • Depart Hong Kong to wherever your itinerary takes you.

Next Trip: Alaska

…to see calving icebergs and, we hope, the Aurora Borealis! Watch True for details later.

– – –

I announced the trip to Alaska …and then canceled it, because I could tell that there was “something wrong” with the economy that could turn such a venture into a disaster. It was early 2008, and sure enough, there was something wrong with the economy, and it was a disaster! But at least the trip didn’t add to my, or readers’, financial woes.

6 Comments on “China: And Away We Go!

  1. I truly envy you your trip to China. Even though I have been there twice, I can’t get enough of that beautiful country. I will live vicariously through you, and dream of a time I can return, and show my two daughters the country of their birth.

  2. I’ve been to a lot of places, including China, but Alaska is one that I have yet to visit. And the Aurora Borealis is one of the sights that is a must for me before I die. I’m told that the northern Borealis is only visible in Sep-Oct & Mar-Apr. I’ve seen it from northern Michigan in October and if it’s that fantastic from there, standing under it at the Arctic Circle must be utterly incredible.

    I’m also told that there is an equal display at the South Pole and since I haven’t been to Antarctica yet, maybe I’ll get to accomplish two objectives at the same time. I just found out that there are Antarctic cruises like the Alaskan cruise.

  3. Any chance Alaska will include some midnight sun?

    I’m planning on Fall for that (probably October), so we will miss it. Still, I think the days are still pretty long at that time. -rc

  4. Fell about laughing at the Tourist Department blurb describing your stops in Hong Kong. The fisherman have given up because international fleets destroyed the fish stocks; only a few dozen still live on the boats. Repulse Bay is third rate. The market got covered up (still great bargains, though). And if you can see through the pollution when you get to the Peak, count your blessings.

    Not that Hong Kong is not a wonderful place; it is.


    We arrived just before dark (it’s 8:00 p.m. Saturday in Hong Kong as I approve this post, and 6:00 a.m. Saturday in Colorado), so I haven’t seen any flaws yet — not counting the traffic, which was plentiful but orderly. As I’m sure you’ll expect, I’ll be saying what I think about what I see. -rc

  5. I have been reading your newsletter from China for 3 years now. I’m actually across the Yangtze from Wuhan in a city near mountain Lu. It’s always nice to hear how other westerners enjoy the motherland. Have a good birthday celebration Kit and welcome!

    Thank you, Jennifer! As you probably noted in our itinerary, we do go through Wuhan. I’ve been looking forward to cruising on the Yangtze, which I think could be the highlight of the trip. -rc

  6. We visited Hong Kong in 1989, back when it was still British. The air was a lot cleaner then!

    A point of astronomy; at the Autumnal Equinox, September 21, the days are 12 hours long all over the world. After that, the days in the northern hemisphere get quickly shorter, as the Sun moves south of the Equator enroute to the Australian mid-summer Christmas. (OK, OK, the Sun doesn’t really move, and it’s the axial tilt of the Earth that causes this – but the math is easier this way.) By October in Alaska, the days will be, depending on the date, closer to 10 hours than 11.

    Sorry about that!


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