Asia

Charmed by elephants and snakes

Posted by Eliza Myers in Asia on June 14, 2011

 
 

I think elephant might be my new favorite mode of travel. You get to enjoy the scenic view while being gently rocked as if in a boat on calm waters. Plus, elephants are extremely cute, which beats out many other modes of transportation. On my last full day of touring India, I rode one particularly…

 

A teardrop for all time

Posted by Eliza Myers in Asia on June 14, 2011

 
 

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore once called the Taj Mahal a teardrop that glistened “spotlessly bright on the cheek of time.” I felt these romantic sentiments accurately captured the delicate beauty of the great Taj Mahal. It all began with a love story, which I listened to in front of the Taj Mahal at daybreak. As…

 

A day of Mughals and monkeys

Posted by Eliza Myers in Asia on June 09, 2011

 
 

How can a building stay snow white for centuries? By using some of India’s stain-free white marble. This is how the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah in Agra still looks new after almost 400 years. The use of white marble, carved stone screens and colorful wall designs illustrate how this Mughal mausoleum was the precursor to the…

 

Rickshaw mayhem

Posted by Eliza Myers in Asia on June 07, 2011

 
 

“If you want to experience the sights, the sounds and the smells of “real” India all at once, the best way is a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi,” said Anil Bahal, my India tour director. So on my first day of touring India with Globus Tours, I climbed into a tiny rickshaw to let all…

 

Nine Thousand Words

Posted by Brian Jewell in Asia on March 01, 2011

 
 

This afternoon, I’ll board a plane in Shanghai and begin the 30-hour trip home. I leave China with a wealth of memories and images. We’ve seen and done so much more than I’ve had the opportunity to blog about here. So as a farewell gift, here are some of my other favorite images from this…

 

A Legacy of Art

Posted by Brian Jewell in Asia on February 28, 2011

 
 

So far, I’ve written a lot about China’s history, its imperial dynasties and how that heritage shows up in modern Chinese life. Today, though, we took a welcome break from history lessons to explore the Shanghai Museum, a free public institution that houses some of the best of Chinese artwork. Beautiful art is among China’s greatest contribution…

 

Eat Your (Ox) Heart Out

Posted by Brian Jewell in Asia on February 28, 2011

 
 

We’ve enjoyed a number of over-the-top meals here in China, including hosted dinners last night in Xi’an and tonight in Shanghai. Chris Lee, owner of China Plus USA, is very well respected here in China, and so when he brings a FAM tour on a visit, his tourism friends pull out all the stops. Last…

 

An Underground Army

Posted by Brian Jewell in Asia on February 26, 2011

 
 

  For tourists, Xi’an is best known as the home of the terra cotta warriors. Discovered by local farmers digging a well in the 1970s, the terra cotta warriors are part of the massive grave complex of Qin Shihuang, an emperor who ruled around 220 B.C. Previously, Qin was known in history for unifying China…

 

Dinner with a Dynasty

Posted by Brian Jewell in Asia on February 26, 2011

 
 

In Xi’an, a city of six million people in central China, the legacy of ancient emperors is still alive today. For many years, Xi’an was the imperial capital of China (the current capital is Beijing). After flying to the city this morning, we spend our evening attending the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show. The Tang emperors…

 

A Home in the Hutong

Posted by Brian Jewell in Asia on February 26, 2011

 
 

As a city, Beijing is a sprawling mass of high-rise buildings, many of them apartment and condo towers built to house the 19 million people who live here. But in the Hutong area of the city, just a block behind the skyscrapers on busy city streets, quiet neighborhoods and charming one-story homes maintain a semblance…