China: Chendu, Lang Zong, Pandas and Pollution

 

China Part TWO
May 2009
Chengdu and the Pandas
We flew from SW China to Chengdu and were shocked that it is SO smoggy it hurts to breathe. I read that more than 1/3 of the air pollution affecting CALIFORNIA originates in CHINA! China is more than 4000 miles from Ca. The World Bank estimates that 700,000 people die each year from the air in China (San Francisco has 700,000 people!!) from LOST ON PLANET CHINA by Troost.
We did love the PANDA Research and Breeding Area. We saw about 20 pandas of all ages and sizes. Some were playing, some were eating. We saw RED PANDAS! They were all AMAZING! We took so much video and photo!! I can’t wait to upload our photos to share.

Lang Zhong
Ancient City that is still a real place!

Our favorite place in China so far is Lang Zhong (about a 6 hour bus ride from Chengdu). It is a real ancient city. It is not like Lijiang and Dali with so many tour groups and no real homes only shops. There are real people. We went twice to the tailor and had a great gesturing conversation. We also ate twice at the noodle shop. We watched the chef MAKE the noodles. It was so great that we videotaped him. We took photos of him and he took photos of US eating at his shop. We stayed in a 1000 year old hotel and communicated with the marketing director thru Google Translator!! It is a GREAT place to visit! Put it on your list!!

Three Gorges and Yangshou
Cruise along the Gorges
We were briefly in Chongqing, a metropolis of THIRTY-EIGHT MILLION PEOPLE! Yep you never heard of it and there are 30million people! There are over 90 cities in China with over 1 million people. China is just BIG! We had a great 3 day cruise on the Yangtze River to see the Three Gorges. It must have been more awesome before the Dam raised the water 100m but it is still incredible. It is still so HUGE!

We also sailed from Guillin to Yangshou on a bamboo boat to see the gorgeous and towering Karst formations! There is so much beautiful scenery to see in China AND we even had BLUE SKY!

More of China May 4-20
Seeing more of China: the good, the bad and the cute! Traveling in China is great and full of surprises.
We have seen so much and can’t wait to see more of China. It is amazing to take a 12 hour night train and realize that on the map you have not moved too far! It is such a BIG country. There are 30 beds in ONE car in hard sleeper on the night train! I felt that we climbed 90 feet up to the TOP bunk–third from the ground.
We have been lucky to meet and travel with so many great new friends. We can now even speak a few words of Chinese that they actually understand.

More soon!Lisa and George

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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