Tour Group in Tiananmen Square, Beijing

Nexus Holidays China Sampler

BACKGROUND: When my friend Sue first spotted the "Nexus Holidays China Sampler" late last year, we both thought it sounded "too good to be true". For about the cost of a return flight from Sydney to Beijing (about $1200-$1300), the sampler price also included an internal flight from Beijing to Shanghai, accommodation in "five star…

China – Tea Plantation

I learned more today about green tea than I have my entire life. Our day started with a visit to a nearby village of Mei Jia Wu, where they seem to grow nothing but tea. Amongst the things I learned included: how the different size of tea leaves produce different flavours; how the spring harvest…

China – Shopping and Travel

Earlier in the trip I wrote about how the “shopping parts” of the tour were the ones most likely to divide the men and the women of our group, including the jade factory, the silk factory, and the copper art works. But even if the blokes weren't all that interested in the finished product, there…

China – Shopping Day

Partly by design, and partly by chance, this ended up as a “shopping day”. The planned part was a visit to a “silk worm factory” in Suzhou. And when I say “factory”, I really mean showroom. The unexpected shopping expedition was when we went looking later in the afternoon for somewhere to have my haircut…

China – Surprises

I never thought I'd ever find much interest in silk embroidery images of the Mona Lisa and Chairman Mao, but somehow today I did. We're spending the night in Suzhou, the silk capital of China (apparently) located about ninety minutes by bus from the centre of Shanghai. The day started early. Really early. A four-thirty…

China – Day of Contrasts

Today was a definitely a day of contrasts. We started the day off at a medical clinic where we learned a little about the principles of Chinese Medicine. Minutes later, a group of doctors and medical students made their way around our group. While the doctors free advice to the tour group about a range…