Chinese new year holiday (aka the Spring Festival). The largest human migration on the planet! In 2008 the Chinese took 2.26 billion passenger journeys in the 15 days prior to the new year beginning, travelling home to family across the country, and this year (2011) I was part of it!
I spent the Chinese new year travelling with my lovely sisters. We met in Beijing and spent 4 days soaking up the sights and sounds. We visited the great wall 万里长城, forbidden city, had fun skating on the city’s frozen lakes and tried to avoid being set on fire by firecrackers in the tiny alleyways around our hostel.
Then we went to Xi’an, primarily to see the Terracotta Warriors 兵马俑, but we thought there might be other things to amuse ourselves in the city. The warriors were incredible, but the city itself was a little disappointing. We spent a lot of time in the muslim quarter, with its incredible night market and delicious food. In fact, I could have spent more time there… I didn’t get to try the famous local stew with bread.
If we had had more time, some overnight excursions to nearby countryside sounded interesting, but as it was, we spent our time walking the old city walls, eating and going to a Chinese opera. Somehow the staff at the Chinese Opera got wind of our visit and we ended up being given a back stage tour, trying on the costumes and being interviewed on Chinese TV for our thoughts!
Shanghai was our last stop… for me it was nice to be home, and try out my new mobile phone. Now I can email on the tube like the other Shanghainese. And for my sisters it was a chance to do more shopping and eating and most of all drinking!