China Once, China Twice

What I had never planned to do

High end designer stores and shopping in China October 1, 2011

Xi'an - Ceiling in shopping center

As Bloomberg reports, two more developers have announced plans to build more of these high-end shopping malls and stores in China.

If you physically go out, there are two ways to shop in China.  You can price bargain back and forth with street vendors in the outdoor, or back-alley street market style of shops.

In high-end retail stores and shopping centers, there is no bargaining.

The retail rental space however, is based on a percentage of the store’s sales.

These same photos can be seen in an earlier post of mine here.  I have plenty more I might share later.  And by the way, only one  journalist has permission to use my photos.

Shopping mall in Xi'an

High end stores in Xi'an

A view from my hotel room

Again, another view from my hotel room

A shopping center in Xi'an


Mt Huashan and Gump June 8, 2010

Mt Huashan

Mt Huashan is east of Xi’an, added on to my first trip.  As one of the sacred mountains in China, I wanted to see it.

The most difficult part of this post, was deciding which photos to display.

In general, I seldom “photo shop” my photos.  I will crop, but I don’t get fancy attempting to create the perfect picture.

Some of these photos will show haze in the background.  Well folks, that’s real life, it was hazy at parts.  I won’t pretend it was all crystal clear.

Yet, I can tell you with absolute certainty, I felt peace, calm and at home on top of Mt. Huashan.

Gump was my assigned guide.  He was surprised when we arrived, had never been there without facing a long waiting line for the cable car ride up.  He seemed a little nervous.  I noticed it took awhile for him to get the cable car ride  tickets.

When he came back, Gump told me he was afraid of the cable car ride.  I never told him that I wasn’t real thrilled about it either.

Instead, the two of us got into a cable car and I held his hand.  I talked the entire, very long ride up.  I had Gump looking up at the breath-taking mountains, the trees, the sky, everything looking up was beautiful.  His hand tightened over mine each time our car did a little bump over a cable link.  I never stopped talking.  I made sure Gump was always looking up, never down.  Gump was precious to me.  He was real, he had fears, he was human.

In every country, we may look different, speak different languages but we are all real people.  We each have our own fears.

Click on the  photos to enlarge.  We were very high in the sky.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.


The cable car

My precious Gump

Trees on the way up

Going up

It was magnificent

Do not look down


Xi’an and The Terracotta Warriors May 15, 2010

The Terracotta Army

Imagine digging in your own backyard and you accidentally find over 6000 life-sized  terracotta figures.  It happened near Xi’an in 1974.  An army of warriors with weapons and horses were uncovered.  Buried underground for over 2000 years, each figure is unique.  For an in-depth history, visit  ChinaHighLights.

I have to wonder….  is there more of something not yet discovered?   I’ve seen the world’s longest wall in China and now this army found buried underground.

Here are the photographs I took that day.  Notice how umbrella’s are used, not for rain, but for protection from the heat.

Let's exit now, after viewing this beautiful tree


From Qingdao now in Xi’an May 10, 2010

Xi'an - Ceiling in shopping center

Xi’an was the next stop on my first trip through China, chosen because of its archaeological dig site.  Over 7000 terracotta warriors had been discovered in 1974.

The word “archaeology” had conjured up my imagination.  I expected the actual city itself to be old and archaic.

I was 100% wrong!

My three star hotel was surrounded by very high-end stores.    I did need to add some clothes to my wardrobe.   The cruise I had added onto my itinerary would require a bit of more formal evening attire.  I am the rare female who hates clothes shopping.   It was great when I found a nice small shop.  Two sales women simply put together the outfits I would need.

Crossing the big intersections in Xi’an was very easy too.  They have gigantic underground pedestrian cross overs, likely called cross-unders.  There was no fear of getting hit by a car or getting lost.

I went to bed my first night, and got up at around 11:00 pm; there was noise outside.  I found music, dancing and partying going on for hours right across the street!

Here are photos of the city I expected to be old and archaic.  You must click to enlarge on some of these!