Friday, February 13, 2009

Visiting China

When I first stepped foot in China, it was the mid 1980's. Barely anybody I know goes there as a tourist. While China has a lot of beautiful scenery and natural wonders, not to mention historical architecture like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, it has also been known as not being very tourist friendly. Hotels were very basic, lifke a dormitory, transportation and roads were not very developed, and in the countryside, street lights were few. The reason we went there during that time was to visit my great grandmother, who was already in her nineties at that time. They lived in a stone house in the countryside, with no running water, and no plumbing at all. Needless to say, toilets are outdoor latrines without the flushing mechanism that I was so used to. The cities were better, but not really by much.

The second and third times I went to China, I didn't go to the countryside, just to a major city. I could see that major changes have already been made. China is now much more prosperous and now looks more modern. It has also started to institute changes to make itself more attractive to tourists.

This is good news for me. I can now think about visiting the natural wonders I've been longing to see. Of course, I'll have to look for the appropriate Outdoor Gear from Marmot or North Face. A city girl like me would probably not enjoy myself as much if I didn't come well prepared for the expected trek. It would be great to see more of the land of my ancestors.