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Impressions of China

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3 | Observations
(click any image to enlarge)

Yangtze River - Day 1

We got on the boat yesterday afternoon. We have a glorious stateroom, one that has an enclosed, private viewing area looking out in the direction the boat is going. And, great good luck, the couple in the companion stateroom (there were only two on this floor) was a couple we had met earlier and really liked. Since we had had such an early start the previous day, we slept well our first night on board and got up at a reasonable hour. This cruise is much like the Greek Island tour I took years ago. The boat travels day and night but stops during the day to visit some points of interest.

Today we visited the city of Wanzhou. This city is said to be the one impacted the most by the flooding caused by the Three Gorges dam. Some 300,000 people in Wanzhou have been or will be relocated by the government (out of about 1.2 million people who have been affected and need to be moved).

There were three stops in Wanzhou. The first was a kindergarten. We were supposed to watch the children do their lessons but they were too excited by the visitors to pay attention to that. Instead, they were enthralled by digital cameras and kept wanting to see themselves after a picture was taken. Since there were so many people from the cruise taking pictures, kids were climbing all over the place. But it was probably a good break for them. They go to school from 7:30 Am to 4:30, with meals and sleeping (nap) cots provided.

Next stop was a farmers market. We had already been to one but these markets always provide a great locale for colorful local photographs. This market was smaller than the one we went to yesterday but was in a very urban area. The farmers come in each day and sell their goods in an enclosed area and also from curbside.

Finally, we visited the home of a relocated farmer. He's at the left. We had declined to see a similar event in another city because we felt that it would be too staged. In fact, this visit was interesting. Relocated people are given money for their farm or home (the government owns the land), given or trained for a new job, and given outright a new apartment. Apartments are still luxury items in China, and families that aren't being relocated have to save for years before the can afford one. Unfortunately, the new apartments built to house the relocated residents are either poorly constructed or badly maintained. The apartments are sparsely furnished and the people don't have many possessions. One possession, though, was quite interesting. This man's son had been given a big photo of San Diego by a previous visitor, and it was hanging all by itself in the son's bedroom. Small world.

     

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3
Observations


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC