After meeting the other nine passengers in my group, the morning started out with a visit to the magnificent palaces and courtyards of the Forbidden City where the Ming Dynasty Emperors once lived. This is the most visited attraction in the world. After lunch, we ventured into the rugged mountains just outside the city for a chance to walk on the Great Wall. What a memorable experience that was!

The following day started with a private tai chi lesson in a city park. Afterwards we were given a ride aboard a rickshaw through a Hutong, or small alleyways, where we had the opportunity to dine with a local resident in their home. We learned how to make dumplings and were shown how to paint inside of small glass jars (Chinese inner painting). From there we took a flight to Yichang, where we boarded the elegant Yangzi Explorer.

We sailed upstream along the Yangtze River for the next four days, stopping in small towns each day. We were given multiple options during free time to participate in cultural activities, lectures and demonstrations, including hands-on workshops in Chinese calligraphy and traditional brush painting. There were many photo opportunities as we passed through each of the three spectacular gorges.

After disembarking the river cruise, we stopped by the Chongqing Zoo to see the amazing panda exhibit before heading to the airport for the flight to Xi’an. The next morning, we met with a local archaeologist to learn about China’s greatest archaeological discovery, the terra cotta army that was buried over 2,000 years ago to guard the emperor’s tomb.

Following our flight to Shanghai, we were whisked into the city in only eight minutes going 190 miles per hour by the futuristic Maglev Train, and later had the chance to explore the
beautiful Yu Yuan Garden. In the evening, we saw an amazing performance by Shanghai’s world-famous acrobats.

I had an incredible time learning about the Chinese culture, meeting the locals and experiencing the amazing sights. I am sure these events wouldn’t have been as fulfilling had I not been there with Alexander+Roberts.
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AAA Northampton County serves AAA members in the following areas: In Northampton County: the greater Easton area, Bangor, Bethlehem Twp, Bushkill Twp, Mt. Bethel, the greater Nazareth area, Pen Argyl, Plainfield Twp, Portland, Roseto, Stockertown, Tatamy, Washington Twp, Wind Gap and North-Eastern Bucks County.

AAA Schuylkill County serves AAA members in the following area(s): Lansford and Summit Hill in Carbon County & all of Schuylkill County
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