We arrived in Lhasa at 5pm and our tour guide took us straight to the hotel. We ate dinner at the hotel after checking in from their balcony with a view. It was a stunning view of Potala Palace. It felt unbelievable that we were actually eating dinner in Lhasa, Tibet!
We took a train to reach Tibet, also known as “the roof top the the world”. The journey on the train to Lhasa, Tibet is truly part of the adventure. The Tibetan Train line was not completed until 2006 and it boast number world records, engineering feats and scenic views.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway includes The Tanggula Pass which is the world’s highest point of railway, at an impressive 16,640 feet above sea level. It is also the only train that services the highest train station on the world, Tanggula Station, at 16,627 feet above sea level. Continue reading “The Journey to (and from) the Roof Top of the World “
Our last night in Xi’an we went to see a light and water show set to music in front of the Big Goose Pagoda. It is boasted as being the biggest water and light show is China. We were very impressed with the show and felt that it should be ranked with the shows in Las Vegas or Barcelona. The multicolored lights were very dense and there was a lot of movement of the water fountains themselves.
Katie wanted to meet us in China when she heard about our trip, especially to see the Terracotta Warriors. When she worked in The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis, they hosted the traveling exhibit on the warriors and Katie worked that exhibit. We were so excited to see the warriors; it was certainly an anticipated highlight.
We took our first bullet train in China! We went from Beijing to Xi’an, which took us into different territories of China on a 6 hour train ride. We almost reached 300 km/hr which was also exciting! We really loved how easy the train was, and how easy the metro in Xi’an was too.
Temple of Heaven was built in 1420, and 22 Emperors from Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven from this location. It was also used as a place for animal sacrifices, prayers for bumper harvest and prayers for favorable rains. Our first stop inside the large complex was The North Animal Sacrifice Pavilion. It was also built in 1420 and used to sacrifice animals before the Emperors would pray. It was believed that a sacrifice helped your prayers be heard and answered.
Tienanmen Square is the largest public square in the world! However, with no seating, trees or much shade it is not a place to relax. It also has a lot of security: security checks at every entrance, closed circuit cameras, police, and a military presence. The square has a few structures inside of it and it is considered the symbolic center of the Chinese Universe. It is surrounded by stern, 1960 soviet-style brutalist buildings and white fences. Continue reading “Tienanmen Square and The National Museum of China “