Nancy Bailey Heads to China

October 2007
In March of this year, I read a column in Fodor’s Travel about a two-week trip to China and I was ready to go!  I don’t travel alone much anymore, so I persuaded my daughter, Susan, and 7½-year-old granddaughter, Taylor, to go with me.  It was a delightful journey with a group of about 20 young teens and their parents from the East Bay.
The timing was perfect.  China has recently embraced a market economy, so the exchange rate was very much in our favor.  The Chinese are also well along in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics.  China is an ancient country, so we had the comparison of the very modern venues for the Olympics set in the midst of centuries old freshly painted historical sites.  The historic buildings are primarily painted in reds, blues and greens.
We were fortunate that our trip included all the major cities between Beijing and Shanghai.  We saw silk manufacturers and jade carvers, along with the work of many other artists and artisans.  The people were universally friendly and were quite taken with Taylor, who is very fair.  At some venues, children formed a line to have their photograph taken with the blond American girl!  The highlight of our trip was the Great Wall, where Taylor was able to climb to the very furthest point of the restored section.  Grandma chose to sit it out with a cup of tea along with the other less adventurous folks.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy such an exotic trip and to share the experience with my daughter and granddaughter.  We were booked into first class hotels, transportation to the tourist sites and wonderful, English speaking guides.  The best new of all, at least according to my financial advisor, is that the cost was very reasonable for all three of us – under $4000 from door to door!