Mariam and I are in China at the moment. We started our trip almost four weeks ago in Beijing (former Peking), visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall before leaving by train to the ancient city of PingYao in Shanxi Province. From there we took another train to Xi’An to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors in all their splendor, moved to Incredible Buddhist mountain sculptures and caves in LouYang before continuing our journey to cosmopolitan Shanghai. From Shanghai we took another train to Hangzhou to cool off on a very beautiful lake. After this we moved inward and south to Changsha and then onto the famous National Park of Zhangjiajie where film makers Eric Hanson and James Cameron got their inspiration to make the 2014 film AVATAR. We are now currently resting up on the Li River near Yuangshuo, a tributary of the Yangtze River. Thank the heavens we didn’t take a cruise on this River after the tragedy that occurred last week.
Our original intention was to backpack our way through China and pay for our way by giving English lessons to the Chinese. We both are certified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Well, we were only able to get a tourist visa of forty days and most teaching engagements are for longer periods than a month. We now have to leave China on June 10 so we are heading south to Nanning and Hanoi in Vietnam. We may teach or do charity work through Foundation Maria Theresa. Exciting times for two retirees. Our expected return to The Netherlands is September 10, 2015, two days before our youngest son, Lawrence, turns 30.
Mark & Mariam Armitage