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Travel Bucket List: Countdown to China

Travel to China and you’ll stand on some of the greatest moments in history, see thousands of years of ancient treasures, and experience some of the world’s most distinctive cultures. And guess who’s traveling to China?  Woop, woop!  Thumbs pointing inwards — that would be me! Countdown to China, baby!

Travel Bucket List: Countdown to China, Shanghai - Pudong Photo: Mandarin Journeys
Travel Bucket List: Countdown to China, Shanghai – Pudong Photo: Mandarin Journeys

Countdown to China

I will be traveling (in comfortable heels) with 4 very talented women journalists/bloggers who, like me, will be experiencing China for their first time.  Even better, this girlfriend getaway will be guided by the capable local China experts at Mandarin Journeys.

My first experience in Asia was my travels to Thailand a few years ago, and I admit I became hooked on the culture, history, and the friendly people, although Thai food was a bit too spicy for me.

Our Chinese journey begins in Shanghai. Let me share some teasers of our upcoming China group tour:

  • We’ll get a bird’s eye view of downtown Shanghai and the Huang Pu River below, from the 100th floor observation deck of Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC). Gulp — is this a hair-raising climb like the Hong Kong Skyscraper daredevils?
  • Another tour of the city will be while riding in a vintage sidecar motorcycle tour – hello, GoPro!
  • We’ll get a taste of Shanghai when our local guides introduce us to China’s culinary culture with local food tours and home-styled cooking classes.
  • Shanghai Acrobats – how do they do that? I haven’t been that flexible since I was 10!
  • Tai Chi or Kung Fu in a park where I’ll channel my inner Bruce Lee, more likely my inner Kung Fu Panda.
  • Yu Gardens, a maze of Ming Dynasty landscaping, completed in 1577, with pavilions, elaborate rockeries, arched bridges, and goldfish ponds, and, of course, an undulating dragon wall.
  • Jade Buddha Temple – because when in China, travelers visit a temple, just like when in Rome, your must-see religious architecture is the Vatican and the Roman Catholic cathedrals.

    vintage motorcycle sidecar tour of Shanghai, China
    Mandarin Journeys had me at vintage motorcycle sidecar tour of Shanghai, China. Photo; Mandarin Journeys

And that’s just the first couple days of my China experience with Mandarin Journeys. From Shanghai, our journey continues toward Lake Taihu, the bamboo forests of Moganshan, and Hangzhou

Who knew when the world celebrated the Chinese New Year just a couple of weeks ago (February 19, 2015) that I would soon be checking China off my travel bucket list?  The Year of the Goat is apparently my year to explore China.

Now my pre-trip research begins.

I’ll pull on my big girl foodie boots and explore culinary Denver to finally discover the best Dim Sum in the Mile High City.

Video below — teasers from Mandarin Journeys of our upcoming China culinary experiences

I’ll start getting lost in the Google maze of clicks and photographs of the Internet. I’ll read guidebooks and historical fiction. I’ll watch documentaries, YouTube videos, and movies to feed my visual need for inspiration of China.

How do you prepare for your bucket list travels? I’d love to hear your tip(s), please comment below.

Follow my blogs at blog and for teasers for my end of April travels to China, and follow me and my fellow sojourners on social media with #bucketlistchina

Disclaimer: Mandarin Journeys is providing the upcoming luxury guided China tour in April for review purposes; opinions expressed are my own.

1 thought on “Travel Bucket List: Countdown to China”

  1. Hi Diana,
    While you are in China, ask if they can supply you with a weekend in Ulan Bator. Our sources say 2-3 nights can be a terrific add on, and by the way the best cashmere now comes from Mongolia. We added this option to one of our adventure trips for women.

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