Master Page of Carter's China Trip

 

In late July I took a three week trip to China.  It proved to be a very good trip.  I made notes everyday while traveling.  When I got home I started writing about what I saw and experienced.  I reviewed many of the photo books I bought while in China.  I looked at a few web sites.  As I pulled these scattered pieces together I realized they can best be coordinated on web pages.  So, that is how these pages came together.

I soon found that it would take many pages to tell my many stories.  So, this page is my master page, pointing to many smaller pages.  In general, the sequence of pages  follows my itinerary, but I make observations throughout.   Feel free to join my trip. 

The purpose of the trip was to participate in the Conference of the International Cartographic Association in Beijing and the pre-conference Workshop on Maps and the Internet in Guangzhou.  I also took a post-conference tour leading me back to the start. 

I flew to Hong Kong to start the visit to China.  I spent two days there adjusting my body and being a tourist.  Then I took the bus to Guangzhou in China where I participated in the Workshop.  Guangzhou was formally known as Canton.  After three days a group of us took the overnight train to Wuhan, where we visited colleagues at the University, saw the Yellow Crane Tower and the Yangtze River and ate exotic food.

 
 

China and its neighbors -- the red dots and lines represent my travels
map modified from the CIA Factbook web map of China

 
 

We took a 13-hour train ride to Beijing, crossing the North China Plain.  In Beijing I  took three tours and spent four days being a conferee.  The tours took me to many of the tourist sites in Beijing including the Great Wall.  These tours also took me to shops to make certain I had the opportunity to buy jade, pearls, cloisonne, tea and more.  The conference was very good for me and I interacted with colleagues from around the world.  My paper went well and got very good comments on it.

Throughout this trip I tried to connect to the Internet so that I could keep up with my email and communicate with my family.  So, I was continuously in search of Internet cafes.  This proved to be an interesting experience.

Except for one day of discomfort, I stayed healthy for the three weeks.  In fact, most of my colleagues had no severe problems.  This helped make this a good trip.

After the conference we flew off to Xi'an, the ancient capital of China.  Here we saw the old walled city and visited a Buddhist Pagoda.  The next day we traveled east to visit the museum of the terra cotta warriors.   And, we visited the Shaanxi Province Center for Surveying and Mapping.  While we were here we got to shop for silk carpets.

 
 

Zoomed map of area traveled in China. Red dots show cities visited.  Red lines show travel by bus and train.  

map modified from the CIA Factbook web map of China

 
 

Then our group of 24 person flew to Guilin, that area of China best known for the deeply eroded landforms rising out of the mists.  We took a boat trip down the Li River through the heart of the most attractive area.  On the way back we stopped to see rice growing in the fields.  Later we got to watch cormorants dive for fish by lantern light.  Oh, while here we were exposed to the opportunity to purchase salt-water pearls, Chinese tea and Guilin-style Chinese painting.

The last flight took us back to Guangzhou.  Here we visited the Guangdong Province Center for Surveying and Mapping and saw a couple of the few landmarks characterizing this rapidly growing city.

Then we took the bus back to Hong Kong.  Taking the bus from China to Hong Kong was not a good decision, we found out after the fact.  That evening I made up at a Rotary Club meeting in Hong Kong.  The next morning we boarded our United flight back to Chicago.

In O'Hare in Chicago I ran into old fiends I had not seen for ten years.  Finally, I boarded a flight back home to central Illinois.  This was the roughest flight of the entire trip for tornadoes were in the area.  But, I made it to tell these tales.

 
 

Continue to the next page in the sequence

Go to Carter's master page

 
 

Dr. James R. Carter, Geography-Geology Department,  Illinois State University,  jrcarter@ilstu.edu