Exploring Asia Overview
Cathay Pacific B777-300ER Business Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge Review: The Cabin at HKG
Cathay Dragon A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Beijing
Lodging Review: Regent Beijing Hotel
Beijing: Dongcheng District
Beijing: The Great Wall
Beijing: Run-ze Jade Garden
Beijing: The Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs
Beijing: The Legend of Kung Fu
Beijing: Tiananmen Square
Beijing: The Forbidden City
Beijing: Hutong Tour via Rickshaw, Tea Tasting, Flying to Xi’an
Lodging Review: Hotel Shangri-La Xi’an
Xi’an: Qing Dynasty Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi’an: Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
Xi’an Wrap-Up, Flying to Lhasa, Lhasa Home Visit
Lodging Review: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
Lhasa: Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market
Lhasa: Canggu Nunnery and Sera Monastery
Lhasa: Potala Palace
Leaving Lhasa and Flying to Chongqing
Cruising the Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam
Jingzhou City Walls Tour
Wuhan: Hubei Bells Performance and Provincial Museum
Shanghai: Shanghai Museum
Lodging Review: Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai
Shanghai: Old Shanghai and Yuyan Gardens
Lodging Review: The New Otani Tokyo Hotel
Tokyo: City Tour
Mt. Fuji and Hakone Tour Returning by Shinkansen
ANA Suites Lounge Review, Tokyo Narita
All Nippon Airways B777-300ER First Class Tokyo Narita to Houston
Our stop the next day was in Jingzhou (jing – zhō) where we could choose to go visit an elementary school that Viking helps support or we could go visit the ancient city walls. Of our immediate group of 12, 7 went to the school while the other 5 of us went to the city walls.
Today Jingzhou has just under 6M inhabitants but “only” about 1.2 live in what we’d consider the metro area. Due to being situated right on the river the city has been a transportation hub and distribution center for 6000 years.
Our bus took us to the visitor’s center and we began the easy walk toward the city walls. On the way there we stopped to look at this picturesque bridge.
This gentleman was keeping an eye on everything going on in the park but I never did figure out his name.
The city walls were first built during the Han Dynasty which covers the first and second centuries AD. But the walls we see now were rebuilt during the transition from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty in the mid-1640s.
The walls today are about 3.75 km long though only about 1 km is available to walk atop.
Originally there were six gates though three have been added in modern times. There are also four caves for soldiers to hide in – though the “soldiers” depicted below have no need to hide.
The view atop the wall shows the residential area surrounding the park yet you can see in the distance that the city center is becoming just like many of the other major metro areas in the country.
Of course there were gift shops near the exit so we stopped in to see what there was to see.
Our bus took a different route back to the ship and it was then that we noticed this giant statue of General Guan Yu (who we’d also seen in the shrine atop Shibaozhai). The pedestal alone is 10 m/32 ft and the statue is 48 m/157 ft high. For scale you can see a lamp post in the center and at this angle it barely tops the pedestal. Guan Yu is said to have built the city of Jingzhou with earth in the Three Kingdoms period, which was the time between the Han and Jin Dynasties in the late 2nd to late 3rd centuries AD.
Once we were back on the boat we had another relaxing afternoon as we cruised to our final port on the river, Wuhan.