While my husband and I were researching and planning our trip to China we quickly realized five things:

  1. One trip won’t be enough to see everything. The country is 3.705 million square miles. In comparison, the United States measures 3.793 million square miles.
  2. There is a lot of history. The country’s first emperor lived from 259 B.C.-210 B.C. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until 1776 A.D.
  3. Google is blocked in China. It is going to take some research and effort to over come our dependance on Google for translations and navigation.
  4. We needed to get into shape. After 8 days in country, we walked over 100 miles. Thats even after we figured out how to ride the subway in both cities.
  5. Check visa requirements. You can visit China without a visa however you are limited by the hours you can spend in country and by the cities you can fly in and out of. We chose to apply for visas so we could stay longer and have a little more flexibility.

We knew that we couldn’t see everything, but, everything we set out to see, we did. I feel like we hit the major attractions in Beijing and Shanghai.

  • Tiananmen Square
  • The Forbidden City
  • The Ming Tombs
  • The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • The Beijing Zoo
  • Shanghai Disney
  • The Bund
  • The Yu garden

As we explored, we found ourselves in the National Museum of China and several parks. It’s hard to say if we could have fit anything else into our trip. Though, I don’t think I could have walked any further.


The good news, subsequent trips to China in the next 10 years will be easier, since we already have visas. We have already started talking about what we want to see next. The next major site on our list is the Terracotta Army. The trick is getting there; Beijing to Xa’in is a two hour plane ride and another hour by car to get to the museum…its going to take some planning.

2 thoughts on “China

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