Later, we got on cruise, traveling down the Yangtze River and through The Three Gorges. In The Three Gorges, we saw these things called hanging coffins, which were in caves along the cliffs of the Yangtze River. The hanging coffins were put there 2000 years ago. Native tribes would lower the coffins down from the top of the cliffs and put them inside of the caves. They used to bury people high up on the cliff so the dead could be closer to heaven.
When we got off of the boat, we went to the city of Shanghai, which is one of the most modern cities in China. From Shanghai, we drove two hours to go to the old town of Xitang that was built around miniature canals. The town is famous because Tom Cruise shot the third Mission Impossible movie there, which is funny. Also in the town, we went to a button factory where we learned how people make buttons out of oyster shells. Stefan and I even got to make our own.
When we were in Shanghai, we went to a place called the Bund, which is a famous street that goes along the river. We also went to an acrobatic show in Shanghai. There were people riding motorcycles around a giant, circular cage. There was also a man who juggled huge, heavy, ceramic pots and balanced them on his head. They also did things like hoop jumping, gymnastics, and swung through the air from wires.
Since it's our last day in China, we thought it would be fun to make a list of things that are different in China, compared to America. Here's the list Stefan and I came up with:
1. No blond hair. We got our pictures taken A LOT!
2. Squat toilets.
3. Chinese characters, not letters. Our guide told us that most people know around 2,000 to 3,000 characters.
4. Chinese people only eat with chopsticks.
5. We didn't see many kids our age because in China, they have really long school days. They even go on Saturdays!
6. Some of the food was really strange to us, especially the scorpions, starfish, and seahorses served on sticks. We saw a lot weird food in a Beijing market.
7. There were lots of vendors selling stuff on the streets and in many stores, you bargained for it. If they wanted 10 RMB, you would offer five. They'd say "no," but when you would walk away, they would come after you and offer it for seven.
8. Most people are only allowed to have one child.
9. People eat lots of noodles.
10. Most Chinese people are Buddhist.
We had a great time in China meeting new friends and especially going on a National Geographic Expedition. Now we're off to Japan and are going to have a great time there too. BTW, if you're wondering what I'm holding up, it's a painting I did on rice paper. Read Stefan's post to find out more.