Sunday, November 02, 2008

3 Weeks in Review

2 days on a ship
2 days on a train
2 days sick in bed, and
2 days of rain...

But that only accounts for 12 days of the past 3 weeks, so let me fill you in on some of the other adventures since we left Japan. As some of you know, our departure was delayed by 1 week. We left Japan via Osaka port on the morning of October 10th.

The good ship Su Zhou Hao was our home for the next 2 nights. For the first day (travelling in between the islands of Japan) the water was very calm, and the ride was enjoyable. Unfortunately the second day was on open waters, and much rougher. Around 80% of the passengers - including Tara!- spent the second day feeling pretty sick.

But at last we arrived in Shanghai, safe and sound! The experience of arriving on a ship is really different than coming into an airport. Instead of flying over the city and landing in a vast, remote, parking lot we entered directly into the heart of Shanghai. In the background here is some of Shanghai's famous architecture.

Our friend Brahm met us at the port, and was infinitely helpful in getting us started in China. He taught us how to catch a taxi, and most importantly to ALWAYS COUNT YOUR MONEY when shopping! It seems that shop keepers in China have a habit of "accidentally" giving you less change than you should get. Anyway, thanks again, Brahm!

This is a view looking down inside one of Shanghai's tallest buildings. There is a LOT of construction ongoing in Shanghai, and bigger and stranger buildings are being built every day.

We spent a few days with Brahm and friends in the Shanghai area, but we weren't so thrilled with Shanghai city and decided to move on to Beijing. The train took 10 hours and cost less than $50. Beijing is packed with things for tourists to do, and we entertained ourselves there for several days. My 3 highlights were definitely: hiking on The Great Wall, eating Peking Duck, and watching an acrobatic performance.

Are we there yet?


We hiked for 10 km on an older stretch of the Great Wall. The scenery was breathtaking, as was the hike. I think Tara was a bit scared of the heights in some parts, but she was tough and kept going!
Naturally, I kept my cool.

We also spent a day wandering through Tianenman Square and the Forbidden City. These were interesting to see, but they didn't impress us nearly as much as the wall or the acrobats!

I have some good video footage of the performance which I will try to post on here soon. It will be easier than explaining the tricks they did. For now, take my word that these are some talented people!

From Beijing we caught a train down to Hanoi and we have been here for about 6 days now. Unfortunately it has been raining heavily for the past 2 days, and prior to that I was sick for 2 days (presumably food poisoning), so we haven't really done much here yet. But during the middle two days we visited the beautiful Ha Long Bay area, did some kayaking and enjoyed an afternoon on the beach. We enjoyed the beach so much that on Monday we will head down the coast of Vietnam in search of some sun and sand.

I hope you are all well.


Anonymous said...

Just looked at all the great pictures of your hike on the wall with Miles and Julian, Aunt Heather and me Uncle Al. It was awesome hope your both well and no more sickness.

your friends in Japan said...

Hi Uncle Al, Aunt Heather, Miles, and Julian. Thanks for checking the blog. The wall really was...great! I guess it's aptly named. My stomach has been behaving for a couple days now (fingers crossed).
Hope you all are doing well. Take care!


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm glad that you're ok! I was really worried when Tara told me about your food poisoning stuff!!

Yes, please keep us updated. Think of you two every day!

GEGEGE no Yukkie

Janet said...


Janet said...

testing for Dad

Janet said...

hi it or ti, sandy checking out your trip . looking very good guys,i hope you have lots of fun. miss you both .i imagine you heard obama news , big win ,pictures look better everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Ah travel sickness, how I miss thee. It's all part of the fun! Enjoy! HOpe you guys are having a wicked time. Keep on keepin on.