Tuesday, May 8, 2007

There are so many places I want to visit... luckily I will have plenty of time!

Researching places to travel in China has kept me busy during the day at my boring receptionist job in Tallahassee for quite some time now... I thought I would share some of the things I want to do this summer and next year (and kill some more time at work!!)

The Wolong Panda Reserve is a few hours away from Chengdu, in Sichuan province. The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. has three pandas... Wolong is home to 150 of these adorable creatures! About half of the pandas roam free around the 494,000 square acre reserve, while the other half are captive pandas. Visitors can hike through the reserve and enjoy the black and white scenery to their hearts' content!

The Qinghai Railway is one of the Chinese government's most fantastic engineering accomplishments. It's the highest elevated railway in the world: at one point, it climbs up to about 4,900 m above sea level! Travelers can now take the train all the way across China... from Beijing to Lhasa, Tibet. We are looking to pick up the train in Chengdu after visiting the panda reserve. This will be about a two-day ride, with prices ranging from about $50-$160 each way.

Lhasa is the capital of Tibet. Foreigners aren't allowed to travel into the rest of the country, but that's fine because there is so much to see in the city itself. The Potala Palace is Lhasa's best-known landmark and the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama (who has been in exile since 1959). There are many other beautiful temples and monasteries... not to mention the breathtaking view from 3,650 m above sea level!

Hong Kong is where our orientation for the teaching program will be, starting August 24. We will be spending about a week in the city. It's one of the most highly developed places in the world... it was governed by the British from 1898 until 1997 and is now Chinese. It will be very exciting to visit this important economic center- I hope we have plenty of time for sight-seeing!

That's it for now... more later!

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