This was the first mayor voyage I made without my parents. It was 2002, around the time Lord of the Rings came out (hence my reading material). I went with my sister and some friends to a World Scout Jamboree in Thailand, and the trip began in this amazing country. We were in China for 10 days (2-3 days on each city), on a tour with a lot of people. Our guide spoke Spanish perfectly.
One thing you CAN’T miss is the Great Wall, one of the modern wonders of the world (it might be freezing if its winter, but totally worth it).
We spent three nights in Beijing, where we saw the main tourist attractions. On the afternoon of the first day, we went to the summer palace, where everyone was walking on the frozen lake. So this happened to me exactly as pictured, with my teenage self falling into the ice. Then a Chinese woman took me to a heated store (but I thought I was being arrested)
On our last day, we took a Rickshaw tour through the old houtongs. I liked it because it gave us a glimpse on how the Chinese live. We even entered to an elementary school, a house and several markets.
We took an airplane to the next city, where we saw the huge Army of Terracotta Warriors (I actually have a picture of one of them with my punk bracelet…teenagers…).
That afternoon, my sister and I tried riding a tandem bike through the city wall. It looks so easy in movies, but in real life it’s extremely difficult.
This is perhaps one of my favorite cities in the world. And the Yuyuan Gardens are definitely one of its highlights, with dragons luring over the walls (as I said, I was reading LOTR, so everything felt epic).
My sister got lost afterwards, so I got angry and bought a Starbucks coffee. Because there’s Starbucks in China too.