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
- Fly from Lhasa to Chengdu.
- Sichuan Opera with face-changing show.
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.
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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.