Migration, Beaches and Tea
Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
24Trip End Apr 15, 2011
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Today we had a short visit to the smaller city of Xiamen. This city has about 2 million people living in it. It is a seaside town with a long history and again, many modern high rise buildings. We visited a museum that detailed Chinese immigration around the world. Although most of it was in Chinese, you could still get a feel for the lasting impact of that migration. We then went to the Nan Puteo temple. As it was a Sunday and it was very crowded. This is a renowned temple in China and was very colorful and interesting. Our guide was inexperienced and still learning English so I did not understand everything that was going on there but it was still fascinating. We then drove along the shore which is clearly being developed for tourism. The town has a huge cruise ship terminal and many new large new hotels along the beach. The beach itself was beautiful, even if the weather was a little gray. After our drive along the beach we went to a teahouse. Never been to anything like this. It did appear to be set up for tourists. It had many rooms and they took you into a room and made 5 different kinds of tea. It was all very good and very different than anything I have seen in Minnesota. The tea was in compact balls which they steeped very quickly in water that was not quite boiling. Of course they then wanted to sell us tea and it was very expensive ($30 per box). We passed on that opportunity. However most of the people in the teahouse appeared to be Chinese tourists and they were buying tea. It may be cheaper for them. The Chinese government has a stated policy that non-Chinese tourists will pay more for everything than the Chinese.
This town was very interesting in that it was not as urbane as Shanghai or Beijing. The people apparently don't see many westerners in person as they wanted to have their pictures taken with us and would say "hello" and giggle when passing us. We then bent back to the ship and set sail for Hong Kong, which we will not reach on Monday evening, 12 hours earlier than scheduled.
I am having trouble putting pictures on the blog as the internet service on the ship is so slow. I am taking lots of pictures and will organize them and show them to anyone interested on our return.