After Diqing/Deqin/Deqen, we worked our way back to Zhongdian/Shangri-La/Gyalthang, then flew to Kunming (for some reason, we went first class, which was a nice surprise), then back to Shanghai (where we were upgraded to executive suite by the Hengsheng) and on to London.
One thing we added to the itinerary on the way back to Shangri-La was a stop at the Half Moon Bend of the Yangtse. In fact, as Alex points out in the video below (sorry about the background noise), at this stage it is actually called the Jinsha River.
After another excellent meal at Bhaskar Resto, it was goodbye to Alex and Mr Chung, and goodbye to China.
The China trip was wonderful, with lots of unexpected, but nice, surprises. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. The food was great. We were never hassled and never saw any aggro or drunkenness. We noticed that some Chinese seem to have a very amusing sense of humour – and can often see the funny side of things. For example, when our minibus guide for the day for the Lake Erhai trip was trying to tell us how to get back to our hotel, but became lost for words because his English was not that great and he was reduced to pointing and saying, with a smile, “Go!”, the whole minibus instantly burst out laughing.
One of the many things that impressed us was the amount of construction going on, not just in the cities, but the towns and villages as well. Everywhere, so it seemed, people were building new houses, and often good quality houses. Another thing we noticed was how labor intensive everything was, from the railways, to digging the fields or constructing roads. The wealth, and dress-sense, of the younger generation in Shanghai, Kunming and Dali also impressed, though they seemed very attracted to shops selling tat. If you’re into boutique clothes shops, then the cities in China will suit you. We were told that China now produces about 7 million graduates each year – an amazing figure. We didn’t see many bookshops, and saw no gossip magazines. We came across various people who were travelling on the cheap, many more on organised bus trips, and a few like ourselves.
Sanya China Travel, who helped us plan the trip and who did most of the bookings, were super.
Many thanks to all the people who helped us.