Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm Outta Here!

I have been a bit photocentric lately, have you noticed?

I have been taking lots of pictures lately for two reasons:
1) We've been doing lots of fun things
2) I want to get a lot better at shooting manually and not relying on auto because I'm going on a trip!

August 10th-August 31st I will be going to China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong) to visit Meghan for 10 days, then finish up the trip with my friend, Britta, in Istanbul, Prague and Vienna! I just bought all my tickets today (I'm so sorry, savings account) and now it's just a waiting game.

I won't be uploading pictures during the trip because I don't want to put my pictures on some internet cafe computer and then delete them all. I think a lot could go wrong that way. 

Have any of you ever been to these places? Any advice on the all important "must sees"?


Ashley said...

Rachel, meet my jealous face. Nice to meet you. ieyuilys

Ashley said...

Postscript: I am thrilled to see that you are eating your ice cream again.

Mark and Callie said...

Hong Kong: you HAVE to go to "big Buddha" it is amazing! plan on going to this in the morning, they close unusually early i thought. (the glass bottom trams are really cool if you have the extra HK$) I'm not sure what king of a visa you have, but i strongly suggest taking a little day trip over to mainland to Shenzhen for shopping. they have the BEST knock off market. (Brush up on your bargaining skills. they will start the price at about 2000% higher than what you should actually pay. remember everything is FAKE!! even when they tell you how good quality it is. you shouldn't leave without them telling you how awful you are and that their family won't eat tonight! sounds rude and mean... but its a cultural thing) they also have really fun shopping markets. i enjoyed them even though i didn't buy anything. (prices are 10 times better on mainland) just ENJOY! i spent a lot of time just walking around the city. Oh also, go to Victoria peak! it's a must see view of the city, that is if their isn't too much smog!

Shanghai: i loved it here! but didn't have a lot of time so i don't have a lot of suggestions. BUT, go to "the bund" it's just a touristy place to take pictures with the beautiful/famous cityscape!

Beijing!!!: The wall (they have buses that you can take out to the wall, but we hired a driver to take us, wait around a while, then drive us back. it saved us money because of the size of our group, but would be worth it even if it didn't; it saved a ton of time) Mao's dead body (you must wear shoes - nothing open toe - and you can't take any bags in, you have to check them across the street before you get in line. get here early so you don't wait in line for 3-5 hours), Tienanmen square, the forbidden city (we entered from the front and walked all the way to the back and exited there. then, if you go across the street there is a really cool pagoda that you can hike up to. very cool views),the pearl market (they were tough bargainers... but keep at it! they WILL cave!! you just might have to walk away 5 times first!)the silk market. and the flag raising and lowering at Tienanmen square. if you ask people what time, they will just say it is at sunrise and sunset. but you have to get there really early for this if you want to see how cool it really is. we woke up and 4:00 am to run over and stand in line. but i highly suggest it. And the Olympic buildings - the birds nest and the water cube. it depends on how much time you have here. it was lower on our priority list, but we did make it there. if you want you can take a tour. but if you don't have time, definitely go to these at night when the lights are on. but not too late because they do turn them off at some point.

Food: eat as many dumplings as you possibly can! and my absolute favorite thing that i had (and i had it multiple times a day for 4 months if i could!!) is "shaow long baow" it is a type of dumpling and is best served with peanut sauce! yummy!!
and while in beijing (and i would imagine the other places too) they have what i call "beijing pancakes" the only place i ever saw them was from a street vender that makes them in front of you. it is a type of pancake with an egg, crunchy things, and spices... yum!!!

I am so jealous!!! this is the longest comment i have EVER left! that is how excited i am for you! I can't wait to go back in May next year!!! If you have any questions or want more details please email me! i'm very willing to share!