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  The Chatter Box : Travel
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Re: China by justdna on 17 July 2004 1:36am
We walked between Jinshangling and Simatai and had a really wonderful day. We only found out about this because we met someone who had been before. I didn't know about the guards you mentioned, that's interesting. I just recall some of the drops either side being so steep I could barely look over, ha ha ha. What made me smile were the hawkers trying to sell books and trinkets etc. Here am I, kitted out in expensive walking boots and struggling with seventy degree inclines, sometimes using both hands, whilst the locals are skipping up in cheap sandals - very amusing!
Re: China by Baz on 17 July 2004 12:35pm
Watch out if your tall! I'm 6'5" and everyone
stares at you all day. Some people we're tripping
over themselves and they wanted their photo
taken with me!!
But a fantastic city, the Forbidden city is amazing and the Great wall.
Re: China by Godfather on 17 July 2004 3:04pm
Oh I agree about the steepness,Paul. It surely is one of the most dangerous parts of the entire Great Wall. Truly a feat of construction and defence.
Re: China by Godfather on 17 July 2004 3:22pm

>whilst the locals are skipping up
in cheap sandals - very amusing!

Did you find that on the Inca Trail too? Everyone is puffing away,and all of a sudden a bunch of Quechua guys speed past you with a bloody table or something strapped to their back,with a smile and "Awight?" look on their face. They really know how to make us feel down. Although, i did learn that genetically they are born with larger hearts and lungs than low landers because of the altitude. Certainly in La Paz. That goes a small way in consoling me as to why they made it look so damn easy, anyway..lol!

Re: China by justdna on 19 July 2004 12:12am
Yes, I heard that they are genetically different to us "sea level" people too. Can you imagine them looking and having a wry smile as we lowlanders huffed and puffed our way around the city ha ha ha. (I know I would have done if I were them!) It's amazing what I didn't learn at school. If I passed my former geography teacher in the street now, I'd be having some serious words about the curriculum between 1983 - 1988!

I've said it before I think, but nothing prepared me for the shock of altitude sickness. Michael in "Full Circle" inspired me to travel around the pacific (well, some of it), and I remember seeing him suffer the effects on the train between Arica and La Paz, over the Altiplano, when the series came out years ago. Not a laughing matter now I have experienced it!

Coincidentally, that bus like train thing that he took is no longer running and has been stopped indefinitely, I think, because of landslides or earthquake damage to the tracks. I had been looking forward to that and had to take the bus instead.
Re: China by justdna on 19 July 2004 12:20am
Wow, Baz, if you are 6 foot 5, you would have got some serious attention. I'm 6 foot 2, and had attention day after day. The photo thing is hilarious as it happened to me too almost every day, and intensified the further south we got. In a town near Nanning, we had a group of about twenty Chinese people following us about for photographs one afternoon. We were also taken to a girls house to meet her mother. She had never seen a westerner in real life other than on the television. I found it hard to believe, but she cooked us the most amazing chinese meal I'm ever likely to eat in my life!
Re: China by Godfather on 19 July 2004 12:30am

I was quite lucky with Soroche really (or rather,the abscene of it). I took things very slowly. But i did get it a bit when i'd gone down to Santa Cruz and the Jungle regions there near Brasil for a couple of weeks. I'd forgotten that i would lose my acclimatization and came back up to La Paz a bit too quick after that and could'nt sleep too well. Bit of a headache too. Usually i was a Coca leaf junkie in Peru and Bolivia. I always had a big ball of it in my mouth. Made me popular with the locals anyway. Bit like the way someone would ask you for some leaves, like someone here in the west tries to et a sly cigarette off you. They always trying to get a bunch of leaves off me.

Opportunists!!! :)

In terms of the "tall" thing,i'm lucky because i'm quite short and Asian in frame anyway. So i blend in a little easier in Asia. Of course,the nose makes me stand out in China. "Right...that's it...call me big nose one more time and i'll take you to f*****g cleaners". I dont have a big nose,but compared to many Chinese i probably looked like a "Conk face". Apparently they were always discussing it on trains. I was on a train once with another westerner who secretly understood mandarin and said they spent much of the trip debating whether or not we could actually see left or right due to our noses getting in the way..hehe
Re: China by justdna on 19 July 2004 12:54am
Ha ha ha, that thing about the nose is just so funny. I remember discussing this with a Chinese girl who could speak English. Some Chinese people really are obsessed with the western nose. The looks on trains are amazing aren't they? When we travelled on the train, there were people that spent the entire journey just staring at us ha ha ha. Now I know what they were thinking about!!!
Re: China by Godfather on 19 July 2004 9:38pm

LOL. I can always imagine the "Blessed are the cheesemakers" scenario on a Chinese train platform. A big fist fight breaking out due to comments about "Conk face"...."Smack,Smack.Silly bitch".
Re: China by dmpweb on 21 July 2004 6:17am
I'll be traveling for my fourth time to Beijing in August. I've been to the Great Wall twice....previous postings have already done this justice. I did the Square, and Forbidden city, also incredible. I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned the Summer Palace, or the Temple of Heaven yet, but I would highly recommend those. And a not very well known, but very beautiful place just outside of Beijing known as "Fragrant Hills" is just incredible. The entire park is just covered with flowering plants (thus the name), providing a very visual and aromatic experience.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredible deals to be had in one of the several markets around Beijing. The "Pearl Market", the "Russian Market", and of course the "Silk Market"....all good places to find great deals on just about whatever your heart desires.

Hope this helped. Enjoy your trip.
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