From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May Holiday 2010 – Day 2



We actually slept in a little and had a plan for the day. We took a 40 minute bus from our hostel to the ancient city of Chongqing. This area reminded us of many of the ancient cities of China we have visited. The gridded design of the city, slanted Asian style shingled roofs and thousands of shops selling just about handicraft and snack you could imagine. We spent a couple of hours wandering through the streets, enjoying some snacks, and even purchased some framed Chinese artwork at a local store.

A quick taxi across the city brought us to the People’s Square, which is surrounded by the Three Gorges Dam Museum as well as the People’s Hall, the symbol of Chongqing and quite an impressive building. We walked around trying to find a good restaurant for the famous Hot Pot meal. We have described hot pot before, but it is basically a fondue style chicken broth that is set before you. You then add some veggies and a variety of meats to the pot, wait a few minutes for it to cook, and dive in. Chongqing is considered the birthplace of hot pot, so we definitely wanted to partake in some while we were here. Most westerners will opt for the regular broth with NO spicy sauces. We like the yin and yang pot that is half spicy and half regular. The Chinese will usually opt for all spicy. Our hot pot restaurant in Shekou serves up a delicious yin and yang that really isn’t that spicy. We’ve learned that we can eat mainly from the spicy side. The Chongqing spicy recipe will set your mouth on fire. While we dipped into the spicy side, we actually had to dip our servings into the regular side to wash off some of the spicy. Yes, it was that hot. Being the only westerners in the restaurant, we enjoyed many stares, but also some great service from the staff, who were probably curious as to why we were there.

Our next stop was the Three Gorges Dam Museum. We opted to not to go the People’s Hall. The museum was wonderful and led you through 4 stories of the dam’s history as well as other exhibitions on the history of Chongqing, Chinese currency, and Chinese calligraphy. A Chinese art gallery at the top caught our eye as we purchased three unique framed paintings. You’ll have to see our home some day, but these paintings were done on very thin and transparent leaves with beautiful scenery of the three gorges we’ll pass through tomorrow.

Our next stop took us wandering around the city trying to find the cable car ride across the river. We took some pretty good video shots here that you’ll be able to see the city skyline pretty well despite its haziness.

We then headed back to our hostel to wait for driver to pick us up and take us to our cruise ship. We arrived on the boat at about 7:00. Interestingly, the cruise ship had their staff line up and greet each passenger while a small band played as you boarded the ship. We chose to book the Victoria Rose cruise ship. This is a ship in a fleet under the Victoria line. They cater to international travelers, and we felt right at home once we entered. Our cabin is a decent size and the facilities on the ship are very nice.

This ship will take us down the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges before finally arriving at the Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam in the world.

I don’t believe we’ll have a decent Internet connection on board, so almost all of this will probably be posted after the fact and once we are in Shanghai.
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