China – Day Six: Chengdu, Part III China Itinerary with Kids.

Already! We're onto part III on our China itinerary with kids; Chengdu. And it’s a vast city of vast contrasts. What's That Thing?! We flew in at midday and had an English driver meet us at the airport for the transfer into the 'city centre'. What struck us immediately was the e*n*o*r*m*o*u*s building that is The Global Centre, the biggest building in the world. Its footprint is a massive 1.7 miles square. To put that into context - that's 20 Sydney Opera Houses that could fit inside the ...

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China – Day Seven: Pandas in Chengdu and a Giant Buddha

Another glorious weather day (27C) and this morning, Pandas in Chengdu. Aka Panda heaven! NI-NI-TASTIC First and foremost, we spent time with Ni Ni, a six year old Panda who features in quite a few of the images I'm posting. We also saw the nursery, where the babies are kept until they're 18 months old, the time when in the wild their mothers leave them. The babies are now ten months old and this season's babies won't be born until June. THAT'S SOME BUDDHA! In contrast to the lively Giant ...

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China – Day Eight: Mt Emei with Kids

Mt Emei with kids today and another UNESCO site - we're honestly not on a mission! We'd originally thought we were going all the way to the summit. However, the summit was so misty this morning that people were reporting not even being able to find the summit's temple. So we decided only to go part way up via the bus and cable car, where it was mostly hazy but visibility good. It was still very humid and hot, rather than cloudy and freezing. Nevertheless, we had a great time strolling ...

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China – Day Nine: Dujiangyan Ancient Waterway Visit

Culture Sulk! We got brave today and split up, meeting back up at the airport. At the thought of the Dujiangyan ancient waterway visit (yet another UNESCO!), Miss GMT#2 had a meltdown. So Daddy kindly decided to give Miss GMT#2 a bit of a culture break and volunteered to take her to the Polar Ocean World, where they saw break-dancing seals instead! Miss GMT#1 and I went to Dujiangyan as planned. Her choice. That's my girl! What Is Dujiangyan? Dujiangyan is an ancient waterway system, ...

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China – Day Ten: Terracotta Army and Ancient Xi’An

Today is very exciting as it's the Terracotta Army and Ancient Xi'an we're exploring. Xi'an (pronounced she-ann) is where China (she-anna in local dialect) gets its name from. It's the ancient capital of China and you bump into ancient history about every 45 seconds or less. First today was a lovely wander around our awesome hotel The Tang Dynasty Art Garden Hotel. Very reasonably priced again but very old and authentic. Indeed, it's right by the Wild Goose Pagoda as you can see in some ...

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China – Day Eleven: Yuntaishan Geopark in a Day

Yuntaishan Geopark in a day? Yes - it can be done and yes, it is absolutely worth it. I'd wholly recommend trying to accommodate it in your itinerary. And is it suitable for kids? Again - yes. Yes, yes, yes !!! Bullet Train We travelled early this morning from Xi'an to Zhengzhou by bullet train and that was pretty awesome. I'd highly recommend it to anyone travelling China. Ridiculously reasonable fares and just very smooth and no hassle. If I'd had that knowledge prior, we wouldn't be ...

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China – Day Twelve: Beijing Begins

And so Beijing begins! Arriving We only arrived at 2pm, so headed off for a late lunch at 3pm. We thought we'd try the Hutongs for some food ... it was interesting 😂 nothing recognisable except cabbage; essentially like a Mongolian barbecue where you choose your own (strange) ingredients and they heat it up in soup for you. It was actually pretty good, if a bit spicy (and I eat raw chillies and add chilli sauce to everything). Needless to say that Mr. GMT had to take Miss GMT#2 for a ...

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China – Day Thirteen: Temple of Heaven & Jingshan Park

Today It's time for the Temple of Heaven and Jingshan Park. Temple of Heaven The threatened clouds hadn't formed much this morning, so we decided to go to The Temple of Heaven, or the Heavenly Biscuit Barrel as we now call it! It's stunningly intricate in its' architecture and decoration. It has huge surrounding grounds and secondary temples and is one of the largest temple complexes in China. It's again incredibly old, having been built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, built for the Emperor ...

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China – Day Fourteen: The Great Wall, Kids

The Great Wall Kids !!!! What can I say? It's the Great Wall kids! Ever since I was a little girl and my Grandpa told me tales of the world and showed me his fabulous collection of National Geographic books, I have wanted to visit this place. In fact, it was the primary motivator for me looking into China as a destination. And it didn't disappoint. The Great Wall is 5,500 miles long, took 2000 years to build and started in 221BC. 400,000 soldiers plus 400,000 labourers built it. The first ...

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China – Day Fifteen: Hutongs and Birds Nest Stadium

Exploring The Hutongs We leave at 16:45 today (2 and a bit hours time) but not wanting to leave any stone unturned, we went out to the Hutongs, via a few parts of the Forbidden City. The Hutongs are awesome for being in the very heart of a major world city. Many of them were destroyed by Mao in 1949 as they were uninhabitable, but those which remain are restored and fascinating. These are narrow alleys with lines of Shiheyuan - old low roofed houses, which are shared by old Beijingers. ...

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