As you may know my husband and I taught English in China for about a year in 2005. We had a super fantastic time... but I fell pregnant way earlier than expected and had to cut our working holiday severely short... goodbye working in Beijing during the Olympics.
Often on Sunday mornings we would sit up in bed and watch an English program about different cities, sites of natural wonder or minority groups in China. We came to learn you could probably spend ten years travelling in China and never see everything because it is such a vast, scenic and culturally wealthy country. And just when you thought you had finished seeing everything in China, you would discover something else utterly jaw dropping that you MUST see.
When we were there and travelling during our holidays we signed up to a Chinese travel company called Ctrip. I recently received an email from them about a very cool competition whereby one lucky couple could win a dream 14 day holiday in China. The parameters were this... be creative - no run of the mill tour, be realistic - up to 4 cities over 14 days and be social - shameless self promotion. Oh and most importantly be concise - 2000 characters only!! Far out brussel sprout - if you have read my posts, you know this was a tough ask for me.
Today was the last day for submitting entries. In total I think there are about 126 entries. The top 20 submissions, as determined by Ctrip judges, will be put to a public vote - so what do you think my chances are? (Yes I know I just finished a fourth year statistics unit!) Are you a glass half empty type person or glass half full? I guess I'll know the answer on the 14th of September when the judges nominate the top 20 submissions.
Anyways, here is my submission.
West Aus Hot for the Cool of China Dream VacationLiving in Western Australia, one doesn’t experience freezing winters. Thus stop one on my Ctrip Dream Vacation would be leaving Shanghai for the winter wonderland of Harbin. Every year during the peak of summer I watch on the evening news Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. I wonder at the sheer size of the ice sculptures decorated in colourful lights. I want to be one of those people frolicking in the snow having the time of their lives. After much cavorting and working up an appetite I would relish sampling local delicacies or feasting on some hearty local cuisines.
My next stop would be the “Heavenly Kingdom” of Chengdu. The obvious reason for visiting this city is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Where else are you going to see gorgeous cuddly Pandas while contributing to their conservation and research? I have dreamed about exploring this place forever! However there is a plenitude of possibilities in Chengdu - Wenshu Temple, Sichuan Opera and spicy hotpot.
Stop three is Guilin because you’d have to be crazy to miss such exquisite and unique scenery. I could ride a bicycle to see some karst peaks, burning calories gained from eating too much at my previous stops. Though I am informed there is a wealth of restaurants locally. A relaxing cruise down the Li River may be more my speed to contemplate the many picturesque sites. There are many splendid peaks, caves and parks to appreciate and photograph in the region.
Stop four is the “Land of Fish and Rice” otherwise known as Wuxi. It is not well known, but it has its share of natural beauty, cuisine and culture. I would endeavour to cruise on Lake Tai, visit Turtle Head Park and ride the Star of Lake Tai. I would love to ascend Mount Xi and Hui and explore their vast park. I would ponder the magnificence of the Grand Buddha at Ling Shan and espy the barges as they make their way along the historical Grand Canal. Then I would travel back to Shanghai primed and eager to share my memories with who ever read my posts or cares to listen.
Excited? Want to take my tour?
Well check back on the 14th of September to see if my submission was in the top 20!