...we started in Beijing...

That's right.  We started in Beijing.  I flew from Vegas to San Fransisco and then to Beijing.  I think I stayed up the whole time and watched movies.  I don't know why but I always do this on overseas or long flights.  I got some great questions on my last post, and I will address those at the end of this post.
This was taken outside of our hotel in Beijing...the Gloria Hotel.  It was really nice and with my purse obsession I managed to buy an expensive one right away in the hotel lobby.  It was gorgeous, but I think I spent too much money!

This was taken in Tian'anmen Square.  My favorite part here (and my pictures are in storage) was the count down sign for the Olympics.  It was neat to see it count down minutes, hours, days and all that.

This was at a clossinae (I have no real idea to how to spell this...pronounced claus-in-nay) factory.

 Wikipedia describes this as: Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French[1]) to the metal object by soldering or glueing silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.

We also went to the Great Wall.  These are some pics along the way.

and this was at a jade factory.  We learned how to tell the difference between good and not so good jade, or even fake.  It has to do with the sound it makes when tapped.

This was a stone boat from the Summer Palace.  We also went to the Forbidden City, but I do not seem to have pictures of this.  They did have a Starbucks inside, which was funny.  As far as I know there was a protest over this and so I think it has closed.

I think this maybe was inside the Forbidden City.

This was at a Taoist Health and Nutrition House.  My impression was that this was like a health club with a restaurant.  They served us an amazing meal here and special vegetarian items just for me.  This is a picture of one of the tables.

This was our initial greeting at the table.  We were given this on arrival, but we ate some for dessert too I think.  The trouble again was that the water is not safe and these needed to be washed, or were washed and therefore not safe.  I ate them though...shush...don't tell anyone!

One cool think was actually seeing the Peking Acrobats.  They were AWESOME!!!

We also had a foot massage.  Like $15 for an hour, and this even included an arm massage and short neck massage.  I am in the back here.

So, that is the start in Beijing.  I have more Beijing to come and the rest of my trip.

On to answering some questions:

Q:  Gina, the Candid RD asked:  Did you learn anything about TCM that you thought was interesting, or with which you didn't agree? I'm curious to hear your thoughts, from an RD point of view!

A:  I found it most interesting that there were hospitals all dedicated to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and that practice no Western medicine.  They offered treatements like accupuncture and herbal pharmacies (which I will show pics of later) and cupping and reflexology.  Many people still only believe in the use of these.  Personally as an RD I figure if it doesn't hurt someone then it is ok, but I do not agree with this as alternative medicine...only as compleentary medicine, or in addition to Western medicine.  I think that technology has helped us a lot and to ignore that is harmful in some cases.  However this is tradition for them and so what they choose is their decision.  The elderly really did not want technology, however with technology comes regulation and I found some hospitals to be old and dirty and honestly scared me.  The risk of infection in unsterile conditions made me cringe, but I guess this is also the American in me talking.  As for the herbal remedies, wow.  I do not agree with some of the uses as an RD as these were not really measured out and more like thrown together, like witch craft almost!  I know these people were experts in doing this, but I am not sure they check to see what interacts with what and things of that nature.  But they have been doing this for years and they have a decent life expectancy, so they must be doing OK.

Q: Andrea from Andrea's Wellness Notes asked: What was your most memorable experience/moment/encounter in China? Can be big or small... Thanks for sharing this trip with us!

A:  There are 2 things.  The first was climbing the Great Wall of China.  This was an amazing climb (I only did a section) and a great view.  This can't be beat.  The second was visiting a panda reserve in Chengdu where I was able to sit next to a 3 year old panda and actually pet it.  I will have some pics of the pandas, but the one of me is in storage.  It was so amazing to be there.  They are not fuzzy like you would think.  They are actually bristley or wirey.

Q: Astra from Food for Laughter asked:  The amount of sodium consumed is astounding! Whoa! Do any studies show if the Chinese population experiences negative health effects from such a high sodium intake?

A:  I thought this was high too and it is.  They told us that only as of recently (at the time in 2005) did they start to see the effects.  The seemed to see more of a correlation between the increased health problems and more American foods, or leaving the traditional diet.  They were seeing more health problems as a result of an increase in obesity.  Many people still ride bikes for transportation so I think this activity helps keep health in check.

Q: Sophia from Burp and Slurp asked: Is it true that the pollution is really, really bad? And how's the public transportation?

A:  The major cities had bad pollution, but the government claimed they were working to reduce emmissions and clean up the current problem in an effort to not have it as bad for the Olympics.  In rural areas it was not nearly as bad.  There was just a lot of people in the cities and they are a growing industrial force and therefore lots of things being spit into the air.  I think they know it's a problem, but it is a matter of fixing it in a reasonable way.  I think it will be hard to clean up all the way, but trying will help.  I will say I never felt sick or tight lungs being there.  As for the transportation I know many people rode bikes.  I never went on any buses because we had a chartered bus.  I think it seems like a good way to get around, but the bike was the really a popular mode of travel.

QUESTIONS:  If anyone else has questions, let me know and I will answer them on my next China post.  What was your favorite travel moment or experience?


Simply Life said...

Wow what an amazing experience!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I love this series!!! Thanks for the Q & A!

My most memorable travel experience was the summer I spent in Southern France when I was young...

Beth said...

I didn't know you have a purse obsession! Me too! I buy one from every place I travel, so I can always remember the trip with the bag.

Can't wait to see more of this trip!

I don't know if I have one favorite travel experience...I love them all!

MelissaNibbles said...

Fantastic pictures. Thanks for sharing your experience :)

Melissa said...

My favorite travel experience was this past summer in France. We stayed in a VERY small town in Southwestern France in an old Templar meeting house. Surrounded by fields of sunflowers, it was amazing!

Julie said...

wow beijiing looks fabulous. you've had some really great experiences girl! you're so lucky :) climbing the great wall must have been the experience of a lifetime. can't wait to hear more!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

GREAT answer to my question!! I think I would have said the exact same thing. It's hard for me to justify the sole use of TCM when there are so many Western Medicines that have been proven to work and save lives, through vigorous scientific studies. I think using it as a complimentary treatment makes much more sense.
My mom once went to a chinese "accupunturist/doctor" and came home with this REALLY expensive tea he "prescribed" her. It smelled AWFUL and she didn't have a clue what was in it. She drank it for days, and said she felt better, but I think it was all a placebo effect.

Your comment on my blog made me laugh. SO MANY times I have wanted to say something to people about perfume or cologne, or lack of deodorant!! Those have all been issues at my gym. I feel better complaining about noisiness than smell, I guess some people can't help it. Of course perfume and cologne are a different story...

Anonymous said...

I love that you have gotten to experience some many cultures, even being overseas now.
Thanks for the Q and A.
My favorite travel experience was when I studied abroad in Italy. I ate amazing food and made great friends.

Mari said...

That is such an amazing experience! I hope that one day, I can travel like that. I would love LOVE to see the Great Wall

Luray va accommodations said...

This is a great wall of china and it is the oldset and the most renowned wonder of the world and it has got a rich history behind this wall. It is a great adventurous wall and a best destination for the international tourists.

Shannon said...

Wow! What a lot of history!

Petting a baby panda would also be on my most memorable list. How amazing is that!

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