You haven’t experienced the world enough if you haven’t been to China. My family trip looked to uncover Chinese heritage, catch up on its rich cuisine and blend into modern skyscrapers that seem to tower above the clouds.
After reaching the New Delhi Airport, we got through security and were en route to China. One minor flaw in our well-executed plan was that we forgot to get a present for my childhood friend that invited us to Beijing. We couldn’t have been more fortunate to have US dollars on our person as we purchased several boxes of Indian sweets.
After showing our passports to the counter and our boarding cards, we took off on a comfortable Air China plane and touched down in Beijing. The city was absolutely magnificent as we made our way to Chandan’s house through the busy city streets.
Our cabbie was very warm natured and didn’t settle for anything above the minimum charge. He even suggested we try a few Chinese restaurants nearby for authentic chow mein, fried rice, and General Tso’s, well all vegetarian options for me.\.
As dawn surfaced above the skyline, we were off to the Forbidden City, the amazing Summer Palace and finally ending our journey at the sombre Temple of Heaven. After lunch, we found ourselves at the Olympic grounds and made our way through a number of stadiums that looked incredibly futuristic.
The Yunnan Province had a great scenery and heritage that seemed to make our readings come alive. The Lijiang and Shangri-La were most exciting and as we continued our journey through unexplored China.
The Chinese bullet trains made our travel all the more exhilarating as we watched the screens above for video footage of the rear of the train and the train’s speed! We booked all our tickets at the station and made our way to the restaurant coach whenever we needed to stretch our legs.
At our final destination, we were at Lhasa and at first glance, it looked like we were looking at an oversized postcard. The Potala Palace was first on the list followed by the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe which is a cultural and spiritual hub for millions of Tibetans across the globe.
The minute you exchange a few sentences with the locals in Mandarin, they will begin to look after you even more. At times, some are so welcoming that you will be requested to join them for a meal. On our return flight to Beijing, we stopped over at Chandan’s house before exploring a few more tourist spots and took the late night flight back to Delhi.