China or Bust

Beijing, Shanghai, Yangtze River and Xian

April, 2013


Midnight Check-in at LAX


Maggie and Elsa


10 Minutes to Go, after an All Night 12 hour Flight


Our Arrival at 5:00 AM
The First of many High-Rise Apartment Buildings


Catching the Train to Airport Baggage Claim


The Weary Travelers gather their luggage in Beijing


Heading toward the city



Dreaming of Breakfast


Dazed Travelers Emerge from Breakfast, Survive First Meal
Now, on to Touring for the rest of the Day


It's not a Car, It's a Motorcycle with a Body


Checking Out her New Ride


Close the Door, and I'm Outa Here


Entrance to Beijing Olympic Park


Our Honorable Leader in Beijing


The "Bird's Nest" Stadium


Rub the Shiny Paw for Good Luck


Palace of Verano


Cherry Blossom Time


Entrance to Long Corridor


Chinese liked to have photo with Blondina
The first of many pictures



Dragon Boat


Boarding Dragon Boat


Will you ever figure it out?


Maggie's Room Mate


Even Chinese People are taller than Elsita


You Can't Go to China and Not See:
The Jade Factory


Left: Jade Eagle. Right: Elsita


This Jade Boat is For Sale
If you Have to Ask the Price, You Can't Afford It


You can shine Light through this Jade Bowl


Acres of Jade



Honorable Guide tells us who is buried in the Ming Tombs


Accidental Tourists visit the main Ming Tomb


Buddha is Offering Cash to the Masses
Just Scoop some Up


Spring is in the Air


Lest Lightning Strike thy Smartphone


One of the Thirteen Ming Tombs
The Main Sacred Way


Of Course you need a Ticket
The Construction Loan is 1000 Years Delinquent


This is the first of many Steps


Princess Elsa Visits The Great Wall of China
Now We can Go Home


From the Start at Station 7
You can see Stations 8 , 9 and 10


On the way to Station 8


Station 8, ahead, with 9, following, and 10 at the top of the Hill


You Have Been Warned


The High Point of My Trip, Station 9


It's all Downhill from Here


The Wall is more than 2000 miles long


There are more than 10,000 watchtowers and beacon towers along the Great Wall


On the Road back to Beijing


Tiananmen Square
with a million of our close friends


Mao overlooks The Tiananmen, or Gate of Heavenly Peace


The Forbidden City is also known as the Forbidden Palace


The inner courtyards are endless


There are 980 buildings in the Palace


It's a 3 Km walk inside the Palace


The higher your status, the more Gargoyles you have on your Temple


Leaving the Forbidden City at the Shenwumen Gate


Here you can get Homely Style Food


Buddha Welcomes you to Lunch


Typical Lunch Service


You can always Buy Something after Lunch



The Medicinal Slices in these drawers will cure anything


It's either the Liver or the Pancreas or the Spleen
They're all in there, duking it out
Who would like a free diagnosis ?


Really, Doc, Is it that Bad?
No, $300.00 of our Medicinal Slices will fix her up, good as new.


Preparing Peking Duck in Peking


Cheating at Cards, outside the Temple of Heaven


Twenty Yuan gets you into the Temple of Heaven


A little Slice of Heaven


Last shot of Beijing, the Tiananmen at Night


Arriving Shanghai, construction is endless


Well, almost endless


The Grump and Elsita board the Golf Cart to TongLi


Entering Tongli, a 1000 year old Village




The Grand Metro Park Hotel, Suzhou


Pretty Comfy


Nice digs


So modern, we couldn't figure out the phone


Western Guests get a Western Toilet
Public Places have one of these.


Tea Ceremony in the Hotel Lobby


Even Sunny days aren't Sunny in China


Karen, our new guide in Shanghai


Going for a boat ride


Boat Ride, Suzhou


Boat Ride, Suzhou


Boat Ride, Suzhou


Boat Ride, Suzhou


You Can't Go to China and Not See:
The Silk Factory


Silk Worms, Slaving Away in the Silk Factory



Out with the Bad Cocoons
On with the Good Cocoons


Cocoons floating in water, ready to be unwound


The silk strands are woven into a fabric


The fabric is stretched to make silk comforters


The Lingering Gardens


Arranging Rocks is a Big Deal


We Omnivorously Obliged


Taking Wife for a Shopping Trip


Prayer Candles ouside Buddhist Temple



Into Every Life, a little Rain Must Fall
View from our Hotel Room


Rain or Shine, the Shopping Must Go On


The Great Mall of China


Huge Garden inside the Mall


Dragons bring Good Luck to All Who Enter Here


Entrance to the Art Museum


Inner Courtyard, Art Museum


Patrons of the Arts


Flying Dragon


You Can't Go to China and Not See:
The Carpet Factory


An Intricate Design, taking Months to Complete


Those Damn Tourists...
Now I've Lost the Count


This Silk Carpet can be yours for US $10,000


The Facts Finally Come Out
All those years you thought it was a Mongolian BBQ
It was really a Monogolian BBQ


Shanghai at Night


Mercedes Dealer, Shanghai


The Bund at Night


Shanghai at Night


Shanghai at Night


Shanghai at Night


OK, Boys and Girls
This is what we call a traffic jam...


And now we can read the reason why traffic is slow


Here's the real reason traffic is slow...


Too many people live here



Approaching the Shanghai Bund
The word "bund" means "embankment"


The towers are across the river


The Accidental Tourists in Shanghai


Our Newport Beach Neighbors
Fred and Claudene


We don't know any of these people


On a clear day, you can see
across the river


Some parts of Shanghai are very Modern


Some are Not




You Can't Go to China and Not See:
The Pearl Factory


Stealing Pearl from an Oyster


On the Road, Again, to the Airport


Are we in America or China?


Departing Shanghai Airport for the Yangtze River Cruise


Our Ship for the Yangtze River Cruise


Assemble in the Dining Room for Room Keys at Midnight


An Early Morning Departure on the Yangtze River


Another Sunny Day in China



A typical River Cruise Ship


Fresh Fish


Elsa admiring the Locks at the Three Gorges Dam


Escalator to the Dam and Locks Viewing Area


Which One Should I Adopt?
Observation Area, Three Gorges Dam


Aerial View of the 5 Locks in each Direction


Upper Locks at the Three Gorges Dam
Five Locks stretch over 6.4 Km


Lower Locks at the Three Gorges Dam
The Water Level Difference is 133 Meters


A Model of the Dam, left, and the Locks, right


Our ship is on the outside.
One walks through the inside ship to get to shore


Welcome to the Captain's Party



Where a Good Time was had by All


Evening Entertainment on Ship



Couple from Laguna Beach


Waiting for Our Turn to go Upstream through the Locks


Entering the First Lock


After We're In, the Door on the Left Closes behind Us
And the water level is raised about 25 meters


Inside the Lock


The Accidental Tourists at Work


Another Ship, Waiting Behind US


The Lock is Full and the Doors are Closing


The Boats ahead are both close to the wall


And so are we


Up Early in the Morning


The Happy Crew


Docking the next morning
Our Neighbors, Diane and Maggie


Never a shortage of Construction


A side trip on a smaller boat


The boat had two engines like this


With a neatly organized set of spares


End of the line for motoring


Now we need even smaller boats


Up a Lazy River


Can I Steer for a While?


Boat Races


Bridge to Somewhere


Hanging Coffins, wedged into cracks in the rocks


Back on the Yangtze River
Another Sunny Day


Inspiration for the 10 Yuan Note


The 10 Yuan Note


Now 400 miles upstream, the river is getting more shallow


Ready to do battle at another shopping mall


Would you like a pig's nose for dinner?


Where we are walking up to next...


Now far above the river


Temples in the Sky


If you rub the bowl properly, the water will be thrown out


The temple at the top


Elsa sat this one out


Back at the ship


Time for a shine, 5 Yuan or 75 Cents


Another sunny day...


Maybe 200 pounds?


Porters taking luggage off the ship in the rain


Where's the Beef ?
Under the Pickle !
On the Flight to Xian...


Welcome to Xian... and more construction


On the City Wall, Xian



Temple, Xian



"Dear Buddha, I Need more Shoes"
"Dear Elsa, Your Wish Has Been Granted"


Morning Traffic, Xian



You Can't Go to China and Not See:
The Terra Cotta Warriors Factory


The Terra Cotta Factory


The Terra Cotta Factory



A Warrior for a Minute


Entrance to Terra Cotta Warrior Museum


The Main Museum Building covering Pit 1


Acres of Warriors


Acres of Warriors


These wariiors have been reconstructed


An American Warrior visits the Chinese Warriors



Partially reassembled warriors






Last Evening Dinner Show


Last Evening Dinner Show


Last Evening Dinner Show


Heading for the Airport ... and home



Changing Planes in Beijing


Almost Home
17 Minutes to Go


Over Malibu


The 405 Freeway never looked so good


Los Angeles International Airport, at last