C H I N A,  Oct 9 - 30, 2005 
A tour sponsored by Rensselaer Alumni Association

Basil Whiting's 
Summary


Photo thanks to Charlie Bucci

Wes and Kathy Hains
  slide show

Ferdinand & Clare Boyce
web site

 My video clips

Click a thumbnail below to see its enlargement.  Use your back button to return to this page.
For faster viewing, I've grouped some thumbnails into .mov files, viewable with Quicktime

Beijing - Tian 'anmen Square and Forbidden City - view as an .mov file or click on thumbnails
Lunch was at the Imperial restaurant at Tian 'anmen Square

10090011.jpg (47607 bytes) 10090012.jpg (48621 bytes) 10090014.jpg (43595 bytes) 10090016.jpg (38090 bytes) 10090018.jpg (34435 bytes) 10090019.jpg (57756 bytes)
10090020.jpg (41000 bytes) 10090021.jpg (50101 bytes) 10090022.jpg (50689 bytes) 10090024.jpg (43227 bytes) 10090025.jpg (59294 bytes) 10090026.jpg (48111 bytes)
10090027.jpg (58513 bytes) 10090028.jpg (59225 bytes) 10090029.jpg (74561 bytes) 10090030.jpg (56642 bytes)

DSC_5StarToilet_sign.jpg (61428 bytes)
Arthur Cohen's photo of a 4 star toilet sign.
Sometimes we assigned our own star ratings.

The welcome dinner (Peking Duck) banquet was at a local restaurant that can serve 2000 dinners on 5 floors.  The duck was carved and served in an elegant presentation.  Click on the photo to view an .mpg file of this ceremony.


Photo by Shannon Bielaska

Ming Tomb, Way of Spirit, Chang Tomb, and just Two Hours on the Great Wall - view as .mov

10100031.JPG (58574 bytes) 10100033.JPG (60098 bytes) 10100034.JPG (60070 bytes) 10100036.JPG (62049 bytes) 10100037.JPG (47641 bytes) 10100038.JPG (41983 bytes)
10100039.JPG (62395 bytes) 10100040.JPG (59374 bytes) 10100041.JPG (51362 bytes) 10100046.JPG (54366 bytes) 10100050.JPG (56722 bytes) 10100056.JPG (43381 bytes)

 

Meeting with Beijing Chapterby Bob Forman, President, Rensselaer Alumni Association
These next three paragraphs are taken from Appendix 1 of Basil Whiting's Summary, with photos contributed by one of the Chinese alumni at the dinner in Beijing.

"On October 12th Kelly Wei arranged a private dinner for our first International RPI Alumni Conference. This was an opportunity for our group to meet with members of the Beijing Chapter. Beginning in 1993, the Lally School had a specialized MBA program focused on China. Most of the members of the Chapter are graduates of this program. Now these young Alumni, mostly in their 30s have assumed a leading role in both government and industry.

Twenty of the members of the Beijing Chapter joined us for a buffet dinner. At dinner the Beijing Alumni split up so that they had a presence at each table. I had the pleasure of having dinner with Xu Shufeng and Johnny Zhang. Shufeng is the Chairman of the Hebei District CATV station. His daughter Bing Xin Xu is currently an MBA student at RPI. Johnny Zhang has the responsibility of developing a healthcare practice for Intel in China. Guobin Zhao acted as our host and master of ceremonies. Guo is the founder and Chairman of a training company. It was a wonderful opportunity to swap RPI stories and for us to learn from some of those who were making the China miracle happen.

To commemorate the occasion I presented a copy of Gavin Menzies book 1421 which describes the voyages of Zhung He and his exploration of the east and west coasts of North and South America to Graham Wang. The book was signed by Dr. Jackson. Graham is the Chairman of the TEDA Chemical Industrial Park at Tianjin. TEDA is one of the economic development zones that have been set up by the Chinese Government to develop industry in China."

001_1room.jpg (36419 bytes)
Pre dinner cocktails
002_Formans_andGuest.jpg (40108 bytes)
Formans and Wang
003_Shirley.jpg (54585 bytes)
Shirley Gloss-Soler and guests
004_who.jpg (33027 bytes) 005_CharlieByrne.jpg (24915 bytes)
Charlie Byrne
006_MatthewBielaska.jpg (25233 bytes)
Matt Bielaska
007_CraigViale.jpg (31658 bytes)
Craig Viale
008_CharlieBucci.jpg (32660 bytes)
Charlie Bucci
009_RichardHeidel.jpg (37571 bytes)
Richard Heidel
010_gift_book.jpg (21192 bytes)
Presentation of gift
012_Forman.jpg (38978 bytes)
Bob Forman and guests

Our third day in Beijing included a Pearl Center and Summer Palace, followed by a Hutong Tour by bicycle rickshaw through Xuanwu District, with a visit to a Chinese home with tea and talk.  It was all so interesting we didn't get any still photos (Wes and Kathy did, though - Thanks!). 

Summer Palace - view as .mov

10110057.JPG (59092 bytes) 10110059.jpg (62479 bytes) 10110060.JPG (62804 bytes) 10110061.JPG (58457 bytes) 10110062.JPG (52792 bytes) 10110064.jpg (49046 bytes)
10110066.jpg (63122 bytes)
Longest covered
walkway in the world
10110067.jpg (62782 bytes) 10110068.JPG (61259 bytes)
Marble boat
10110069.JPG (58909 bytes) 10110070.JPG (333854 bytes) 10110071.JPG (401039 bytes)

Attended the Peking Opera in the evening.
We flew from Beijing to Xian aboard China Eastern Airlines.

Xi'an - view as .mov
Attended the Tang Dynasty dinner banquet/performance.  It was very much like a Las Vegas thing.  On the return to the hotel we saw lights and activity in the public square, so we joined in.   Folk were singing and dancing and were very welcoming to us, clearly recognized as foreigners.  Check the video (.mpg) section for this clip.

The next day we toured the city wall and Little Wild Goose Pagoda, had a dumpling banquet (18 varieties!) for lunch, and toured the Terra Cotta Warriors.  One of the three farmers who discovered the terra cotta army was on hand to autograph the souvenir book.  Of course we bought one.

10130073.JPG (29792 bytes)
Little Wild Goose Pagoda

10130219.JPG (79272 bytes)
View from
hotel room

10130215.jpg (53688 bytes)
View from
the city wall

10130216.jpg (29466 bytes)
Jade carver

10130217.jpg (55720 bytes)
Jade piece

10130218.JPG (59968 bytes)
Defachang restaurant
offerings
10130223.JPG (61046 bytes) 10130220.JPG (71297 bytes) 10130221.JPG (66928 bytes) 10130222.JPG (71877 bytes) 10130225.JPG (48237 bytes) 10130228.JPG (36478 bytes)

The flight from Xian to Hangzhou was on Air China

Hangzhou - view as .mov
Walk through Wuagang Park and  Cruise on Western Lake. Visit to a Tea Village
Lingyin Temple built in AD 326.

10140229.JPG (58807 bytes)
Carving in the
hotel lobby
10150231.JPG (62529 bytes) 10150232.JPG (40552 bytes) 10150233.JPG (57935 bytes) 10150234.JPG (79924 bytes) 10150236.JPG (38252 bytes)
10150237.JPG (81399 bytes) 10150238.JPG (69507 bytes) 10150240.JPG (33212 bytes) 10150242.JPG (53226 bytes) 10150243.JPG (62359 bytes)
Albino
10150244.JPG (51583 bytes)
Terraced tea farm
10150245.JPG (61118 bytes)
Farmhouses
10150246.JPG (66408 bytes) 10150247.JPG (78466 bytes) 10150248.JPG (60548 bytes) 10150249.JPG (59757 bytes) 10150250.JPG (55150 bytes)

The next morning we visited the Huqingyutang Traditional Chinese Museum (now a famous Chinese Medicine shop).
Took a train from Hangzhou to Shanghai.   

               There's a hard seat section and a soft seat section.  
Guess which one we opted for?
  DSC_SoftSeat_sign.jpg (69427 bytes)

Photo thanks to Arthur Cohen.

 

Shanghai
Visited a Children's Palace, the Bund on the Huangpu River, then the Shanghai Museum  and Old Town.
At the Children's Palace, Debbie instigated a singing thank you to the children for their performances.  It was fun.

10170253.JPG (61401 bytes) 10170254.JPG (43357 bytes) 10170255.JPG (37870 bytes) 10170257.JPG (52199 bytes) 10170259.JPG (54213 bytes) 10170263.JPG (59569 bytes)

Saw the Shanghai Acrobatic Show in the evening. WOW!    

     
      And the Bund at night is another WOW! 


Photo by Arthur Cohen

And WOW! -- Charlie's Angels


Photo by Shannon Bielaska

 

A 2 hr drive to Suzhou to visit the Master Garden of Fishing Nets, the No. 1 Silk Spinning Factory, and then a boat ride along the Grand Canal, and Tiger Hill

10180267.JPG (62278 bytes) 10180268.JPG (62654 bytes) 10180271.JPG (97711 bytes) 10180272.JPG (85541 bytes) 10180274.JPG (63097 bytes) 10180275.JPG (54563 bytes)
Silk Cocoons
10180277.JPG (56183 bytes) 10180278.JPG (62347 bytes) 10180279.JPG (50287 bytes)
Grand Canal
10180280.JPG (63258 bytes) 10180281.JPG (62973 bytes) 10180282.JPG (61394 bytes)

Fly Shanghai to Yichang on Shanghai Airlines.

Farmhouse along the road to Yichang
Not so rich as the ones we saw in Hangzhou, but friendly occupants.  The men were impressed with Basil's height.

10190283.JPG (40153 bytes) 10190284.JPG (45220 bytes) 10190285.JPG (51933 bytes) 10190286.JPG (56475 bytes) 10190287.JPG (62323 bytes) 10190288.jpg (42669 bytes)

 

Yichang - Three Gorges Dam Site
Embark on Victoria Star and sail through 4 of the 5 Gorges shiplocks.  
Because of dry season, the water level is lower than needed for the last lock.
Sail through Xiling

10200289.JPG (55138 bytes) 10200292.JPG (56465 bytes) 10200293.JPG (60975 bytes) 10200296.JPG (74547 bytes) 10200297.JPG (59580 bytes) 10200300.JPG (57273 bytes)
10200301.JPG (61236 bytes) 10200302.JPG (49639 bytes) 10200303.JPG (46628 bytes) 10200304.JPG (44307 bytes) 10200305.JPG (50343 bytes) 10200306.JPG (56811 bytes)

Yangtze River (pronounced "Yonks" by locals)
Excursion to the Daning River (Little 3 Gorges)
Passed through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge

10210075.JPG (207126 bytes)
Stalactites
10210079.JPG (208096 bytes)
Singing in the gorge
for tourists
10210082.JPG (212290 bytes) 10210083.JPG (61469 bytes) 10210084.JPG (56205 bytes)
175 M marker tells where the water will rise to after 2009
10210085.JPG (59516 bytes)
10210086.jpg (60817 bytes) 10210087.JPG (61454 bytes) 10210090.JPG (52925 bytes)
Recent bridge built for 150 M will have to go as limit changed to 175 M
10210094.JPG (62307 bytes) 10210095.JPG (38418 bytes) 10210096.JPG (63883 bytes)

Yangtze River
Visit to Shibaozhai and Red Pagoda which rests against the massive rock behind it.

10220098.JPG (62358 bytes)

Mary_RedPagoda.jpg (49115 bytes)
Shannon snapped this one of me on the top floor of the Red Pagoda
Thanks Shannon!

10220100.JPG (48709 bytes)

10220101.JPG (60087 bytes)

On our last night aboard ship the Forman's threw a party in their luxury suite with private deck. CLICK HERE to see some photos, plus our group's performance later in the evening's entertainment.

Chongqing
We were held up on the river two hrs outside Chongqing because of fog.  While this probably inconvenienced the boat crew, we had plenty of time for our day in Chongqing.  We visited Erling Park (6 pandas) and the Stilwell Museum.

10230106.jpg (63794 bytes) 10230107.JPG (60320 bytes) 10230108.JPG (63701 bytes) 10230110.JPG (60195 bytes) 10230111.JPG (52004 bytes) 10230112.JPG (57537 bytes)

Flew from Chongqing to Guilin on Xiamen Airlines

Guilin
Full day cruise on the Li river.  Dry season.  Water level shallow.  Boats scraped bottom and all snafued up.  It was hilarious.  Boats bumped boats,  crewman took turns poling, even the captain.  At one point the captain visited a neighboring boat from which he was politely shooed away.  See the clip (an .mpg file)  HERE.

10240114.JPG (48274 bytes) 10240115.JPG (58326 bytes) 10240116.JPG (57383 bytes) 10240118.JPG (19510 bytes) 10240119.JPG (55314 bytes) 10240120.JPG (57106 bytes)
10240121.jpg (55919 bytes) 10240122.jpg (58393 bytes) 10240124.JPG (53184 bytes) 10240125.JPG (26792 bytes) 10240126.JPG (61146 bytes) 10240127.JPG (53160 bytes)

Night falls -- photo by Arthur Cohen

Because of delay at start, we exited river early and had a 2 hr bus ride back to Guilin.  This actually was better than the original plan to visit a market and take faster roads home.  We got to see alot of farms by the smaller roads.  Whole families working at dusk in the fields.  Even children raking the drying corn in the courtyards.

Visited Reed Flute Cave and Seven Star Park before leaving Guilin the next day.

10250128.JPG (59159 bytes)
Tai Chai in the Square every morning

10250129.JPG (50638 bytes)
Sun and Moon Pagodas

10250130.JPG (62071 bytes)

Flew from Guilin to Hong Kong, considered an International flight

Hong Kong
Island tour included Repulse Bay and Aberdeen Fishing Village, Sampan ride, and a cable car to Victoria Peak.
We had time for a leisurely walk on the promenade on the "Avenue of Stars" and Charlie took a picture of Jackie Chan's handprints.
In the evening we joined the "Hong Kong by Night" tour which included a cocktail party boat ride in the harbor followed by dinner in a local hotel.

At this point we've used up our two flash cards and have switched to a throw-away camera. 

The next morning we were on our own and so walked to the Museum of History, passing through Kowloon Park on the way.  The Museum has an excellent, nicely organized exhibit of China history,  plus a special display of waterway and overland routes by which East met West.

10260131.JPG (55830 bytes)
Victoria Peak
60470001.JPG (39358 bytes)
House boat
60470004.JPG (50040 bytes) 60470006.JPG (55294 bytes)
Smiles all around
60470007.JPG (60255 bytes) 60470010.JPG (53993 bytes)
Signs of Prosperity
60470015.JPG (30331 bytes) 60470017.JPG (43614 bytes) 60470019.JPG (46606 bytes) 60470020.JPG (39511 bytes) 60470021.JPG (40005 bytes) 60470022.JPG (52400 bytes)
60470024.JPG (44947 bytes)
Swim lessons in one of 4 pools in the park
60470025.JPG (53150 bytes) 60470027.JPG (61523 bytes)
Pedestrian overpass
60470028.JPG (57618 bytes) 60470031.JPG (38457 bytes) 60470032.JPG (55193 bytes)
Wedding

Our farewell dinner was Western style in a private room of our hotel.  CLICK HERE for those photos, plus Kelly Wei's farewell.

Bangkok

Most folk went home from Hong Kong, but eight intrepid tourists went on to Bangkok.
Thanks to Shannon for these photos.  View as an .mov file, or click a thumbnail to see enlargement

sloppymuck.jpg (75152 bytes)
In the sloppy muck
inthepond.jpg (44455 bytes)
In the pond
Dave_Eileen.jpg (49238 bytes)
Dave and Eileen
Pedro_Shirley2.jpg (44003 bytes)
Shirley and Pedro
Pedro_Shirley.jpg (55266 bytes)
Shirley and Pedro 
out of the pond
Wes_Kathy.jpg (63000 bytes)
Wes and Kathy
Shannon_Matt.jpg (60761 bytes)
Matt and Shannon


"Here are a few more, of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The buildings were just breathtakingly gorgeous! Unfortunately, these pictures don't catch the true beautiful colors and the gold leaf, and especially the tiny mirrors that were in the hand laid mosaics on each building. Every building was more beautiful than the last one."
--
Shannon

  View as an .mov  file, or click a thumbnail below to see its enlargement

mainbldgs.jpg (31124 bytes)

statues_remainsofkings.jpg (46985 bytes)

templelibrary.jpg (59033 bytes)

temple.jpg (29809 bytes)

Buddha_ashesbldg.jpg (35037 bytes)

Recap
This was a Vantage Deluxe tour.  All hotels were 5 star.  Pure bottled water was always available.
Some sickness did occur of course, but nothing a seasoned traveler couldn't handle.

Our tour manager met us at the airport in Beijing and accompanied us throughout every day.  She was extraordinary in every way.  She took care of every detail, remembering who doesn't like fish (me) to arranging at the last minute for two separate dinner groups when some wanted to see the waterfall display and others wanted to eat early.

There were 5 internal flights on as many different airlines,  and one train ride.  No luggage or tour members were lost. 
When it was critical to leave on time and someone was late a local guide took the latecomers by taxi, so no one was inconvenienced.

These are mostly Charlie's stills and my videos (which I'll be reworking all winter).  Thanks to Arthur Cohen  and to Shannon Bielsaska for their contributions.  Hopefully others will fill in areas we missed.  Check back from time to time.