Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beijing Auto Show

The Beijing Auto Show is the capital's premier auto exhibition, at which auto makers make important announcements. This year's was no exception. Lamborghini, the Italian manufacturer of fast, expensive cars, announced it was going  to make a sports utility vehicle (SUV). The vehicle, as pictured in the article, sure didn't look like an SUV to me, but more like a jazzed up sedan.

I went to the Beijing Auto Show one year when I lived there. It was interesting to see all the cars made in China, including Jeep, Buick and Mercedes. Beautiful young Chinese women, in gorgeous clothing, adorned the cars, all except for one vehicle that I never thought to see at a car show. It was a tank, complete with guns.

I need see a couple of vehicles that I could have afforded. One was a Jeep, a vehicle that I have always wanted but could never afford at home. The Chinese-made Jeep cost about $4,000 new then. When I asked Chinese friends why it was so cheap, they told me it was very difficult to get parts and service work done in China. Regardless, if I had been brave enough to drive in Beijing traffic, I would have gotten one.

The other vehicle I liked was a tiny van that looked like a breadbox, but still had room for six or so people, making it popular for use as a taxi. I remember one night we got nine people in it. It was very crowded, of course, but it was late at night, and we'd already been waiting 20 minutes for a taxi and had no idea when the next one would come along.

The van was about half the size of one of our mini-vans, I wanted to stuff one in a suitcase and bring it home with me.

What's your favorite car?

Are you going to China?

If you're planning a trip to China, please check out my website, Cheryl's China, and feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Special disount on VTT tours

Visual Travel Tours logo
Virtual Travel Tours, for whom I have written nine travel tours, is offering a special discount on tours they are selling; this includes the nine tours I've written for them since 2008.

These tours are downloadable either to your computer or to mobile media so you can use them to follow the tours as they are written. Here's a list of the tours on China I've written; the top two are my best sellers.
  •  China’s Great Wall: walking on history. This tour covers several sites, mostly in the Beijing area, on the Great Wall. The Great Wall is probably the number one attraction visitors to the Middle Kingdom want to see.
  • Imperial Beijing: Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Jingshan. This walking tour starts at the south end of Tiananmen Square, moves north to the Forbidden City and ends at Jingshan Park with a climb up Coal Hill for a view overlooking the Forbidden City.
  • Cuandixia: China’s village that time forgot was the inspiration for my ebook, Cuandixia: an ancient mountain village in China. I've been to Cuandixia twice and will go again. It's a great day trip out of Beijing.
  • Beijing for kids, a tour which resulted in the much-expanded Parents Guide to Beijing, which is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle
  • A walk through Beijing’s past which covers Beihai Park, Beijing’s most popular park that was once an imperial playground, and the hutongs, Beijing’s unique housing that is fast disappearing.
  • Western Beijing: boats, blooms and boots is a tour that takes in the Summer Palace with its marble boat, the Beijing Botanical Gardens and Fragrant Hills Park for a hike in the mountains.
  • Beijing: finding peace and quiet is a list of places you can visit when you’re overwhelmed by the crowds at the most popular tourist attractions. Because they aren't as crowded, they're some of my favorite places to visit in Beijing.
My non-China tours for VTT include:
  • Maryhill: Guarding the Columbia River Gorge. Maryhill is a fabulous eclectic museum that sits on a high gorge in Washington State overlooking the Columbia River. It was the first museum I ever visited and, hundreds of museums later, remains my favorite museum. Museum holdings include an astounding collection of Rodin art, dozens of chess sets from around the world, an amazing collection of Pacific Northwest Indian artifacts, and a replica of the British Stonehenge.
  • British Motorcycle Museums. This tour covers five of the top motorcycle museums in England, including the world's largest at Birmingham. If you're into British bikes, you'll need this. I had so much information left over after I wrote this tour, I expanded it into Motorcycle Museums of the United Kingdom, which includes information on more than three dozen museums in the UK that have motorcycles. It is available on Amazon Kindle.
VTT is offering a 10 percent discount on my tours purchased directly from their site.  The discount also is available on all tours they offer, but you must use this special promotional code, clp20, to get the discount.

Are you going to China?

If you're planning a trip to China, please check out Cheryl's China, my new website which is getting rave reviews. If you have questions about travel in China, especially Beijing, please feel free to email me.