They landed in Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, and made memorable visits to the Oriental Pearl Tower, a silk museum and a chocolate factory, as well as an evening acrobat show, then travelled to Hangzhou, the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province. There they enjoyed the peace, tranquility and fresh air of a tea plantation, and a boat trip on the historical and beautiful West Lake. In Hangzhou, they also got the opportunity to experience education in another culture by spending the afternoon in a Chinese school, where students attended lessons, and had lunch together.
An overnight train journey took them to Beijing, where they were able to appreciate the extraordinary contrasts between Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and make the epic climb of a section of the Great Wall, and were thoroughly entertained by a Kung Fu show.
Another overnight train took them to their final destination, the ancient city of Xi’an, where they marvelled at the Terracotta Warriors, pagodas and temples, and had lessons in calligraphy and dumpling-making. A distinct feature of the trip was the food: enormous banquets that appeared three times a day. It’s a very good thing the trip also involved a lot of walking, a cycle tour of Xi’an’s city walls, and a great deal of full-on and exhausting shopping!