Imperial Voyage – Asian Horizons China Tour
David and Eileen McCall share their experiences on their Asian Horizons China Tour – the 18 day Imperial Voyage.
Our visit was a revelation in many respects. Firstly the size – vast – we kept flying from one place to another, one hour, two hours and still in the same country – not something you can do in UK !
Next the size of everything – acre and acre of enormous high-rise buildings, wide roads, with American-style flyovers, hundreds of cars, more scooters then we have EVER seen before (carrying a mindboggling range of things as well as mere people – one lady was lost amongst a mountain of balloons.
Quite how she could see I don’t know) The sheer number of people everywhere – I think we saw all 1.3 billion! The Chinese people have wonderful spatial awareness, both personally and whilst driving.
It took some time for us to stop covering our eyes or bracing ourselves for the inevitable collision – which never came. During our stay we had some wonderful drivers, and also an interesting variety of guides. All of them were kind, helpful and very informative: they wanted us to enjoy our visit and did their best to make things go smoothly for us.
At times we felt like royalty, as each time we emerged from a restaurant, temple, garden or palace our transport glided up to us. We have our special memories: we enjoyed the famous landmarks, the Forbidden Palace, the vastness of Tiananmen Square, but it was the graceful beauty of the Summer Palace that enchanted us.
Gardens of all kinds were a delightful feature of our visit; I loved the rooms and tempting glimpses of the Lingering Garden, and we had the most magical evening progressing round the Master of Nets garden, whilst being entertained by music, song and dance – an evening to remember, as was our Sound and Light show in Yangzhou.
As we entered we were given plastic macs, and how useful they were. During the performance we sat like drenched pixies watching nature provide a much more dramatic backdrop as lightening highlighted the jagged peaks to perfection. But the show went on, and wonderful it was – an evening it will be hard to forget.