I think it was in Chongqing that we were taken for a quick trip to the zoo that has 16 Pandas. We saw about 10 close up and learned all about them and how much it now costs to rent a panda in another country. Answer $1 million a year.

Great Wall
My tip here is, you are given two choices, easy route, very very busy. Hard route, which we did, maybe less than a quarter the amount of people on this part of the Wall. Some parts of the stairs were almost vertical, stout shoes essential.
I experienced what it’s like to be famous here. I happen to have red hair at the moment and Mr B is also fair and very white skinned. So many people came up to us asking to be photoed with us or were taking photos of us anyway. At one point, a group of about eight older giggling women grabbed me by the arm and each one stood next to me individually while photographs were taken. Larry said that any country people might never have seen a real life westerner.
Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square had thousands and thousands of people.
I think the thing that shocked me most about China were the hundreds and hundreds of very big and close together apartment buildings in the cities. The terrible state of some of the homes and Buildings and half built roads everywhere. How horrible some of the scenery was on our train journey both the countryside and state of the homes.

We had an extra day in Hong Kong. Mr B used to visit HK years ago and wanted to take a trip to Lantau Island. Our TD booked the tour with the Concierge for us and another couple. We had a wonderful day on the island. We first visited a scenic point that looked over the fantastic suspension bridges in the city. Once on the Island we drove to a beach on the South China Sea. Most of the Island is protected from development. We went to a fishing village who also specialize in drying fish and other foods. We got into a boat and motored past lots of fishermen’s homes. We visited a small temple. We drove to a monastery which has a huge bronze Buddha on a hill, we ate a vegetarian meal in the monastery. We returned to Kowloon via a very long maybe 25 minute gondola ride that passed over land and sea. The local guide was excellent. It cost $110 per person. I recommend staying on an extra day to take this tour.

Jewish tour in Shanghai
There was an option to take this tour with the local guide


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    British, I have been anxious to hear about your trip. So glad the protests in Hong Kong did not interfere with your experiences and that you are back safely. We also had Fun Fun as a local guide (this was 2010) - I don't remember many of the names of the local guides, but Fun Fun's name is hard to forget! We were amazed by the opulence we saw in parts of Shanghai compared to some of the extreme poverty, especially one of the homes we visited along the Yangtze. When we went to China, it was only our second Tauck tour and I very much appreciated the cultural experiences provided by Tauck. I enjoyed reading your reviews - they brought back great memories for me and I am sure your reviews will be helpful to those who will be visiting in the future.

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    Keep it coming British, as usual your review and insights are very helpful. One of the two China trips is definitely on our list, just not sure when yet!!!

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