April 30 Wednesday

Pack the night before, Get up, Put suitcases outside room, eat, bus to airport and go home.

Shanghai traffic – accidents waiting to happen

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And on the way to the airport it did happen. All we could think about was the police holding us up until we missed our planes but none of that. They got the info they needed and let us go. Since it was a brand new bus the driver probably lost his job but at least he didn’t get shot – I hope

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Impressions of Viking:

Very well organized. This was not their first rodeo. All arrangements were first class. All meals were wonderful, treating us to a variety of traditional chinese foods. More food than we could reasonably be expected to eat.Even the box lunches provided for the in china flights were good and we probably did not need them since we ate big breakfasts before hand and big dinners after.┬áProbably did not need the local guides in each city but I suspect that that was some kind of union(or their version of union) rule. Our Tour guide Larry was the best. Great english, great knowledge of China and enough knowledge of USA to cite similarities. None of the other groups complained about their guides but I can not believe they were as good as Larry. We lucked out. We got our money’s worth with Viking.

Impressions of Delta:

The upgrade to economy comfort was well worth it. Wish we did not have to backtrack from Chicago to Detroit before going on to Beijing but-oh well. On the way out of Shanghai we of course dumped our water bottles prior to going through security. Since we had time to kill before boarding we bought two bottles of Evian water for $7 each. After checking through the counter to board we walked around a corner and surprise!!! another security check where they took our expensive water. On the plane I asked for a bottle of water and was told only first class got bottled water(everyone else got cups of water). An attendant also said that we should have dumped the water at security and kept the bottle as they could have refilled it. I think Delta could have handled this better.

 

Impressions of China:

WOW!!! Big, great people, gone from communist to socialist with a lot of capitalist leanings but also a lot of government control. Wonderful culture, history etc. Food, western and chinese was excellent although I can do without chicken feet and fish eyes and tofu. Only used western toilets for the important stuff. Couldn’t figure out how to use traditional hole in the floor ones without fouling ones clothes. We stayed in western style hotels with all the amenities. The people with whom we came in contact, tour guides, hotel and restaurant staff, staff at visited sites and in stores were very helpful, friendly and not too bad in communicating. Far better than us in Chinese. China left me with a most favorable impression.

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