Good tours consist of more than just good tourist attractions, and our time in China was full of great experiences that stretched beyond the country’s historic sites. Highlights included a number of memorable meals and theatrical performances.
On the first night of our tour in Beijing, we enjoyed a traditional Peking duck dinner. The duck is roasted and then sliced into superthin strips and served with vegetables, wonton wrappers and dipping sauce.
Later, in Xi’an, the local tour company hosted us for a colorful and elaborate dumpling dinner that featured dumplings made with a variety of meats and formed into the shapes of flowers, ducks, frogs and other imaginative figures.
And at the Sheraton in Shanghai, the staff treated us to a luxurious Japanese dinner complete with raw cuts of sashimi and “wagyu” beef filets prepared on a “tepenyaki” grill.
Special evening shows also helped to enrich our understanding of Chinese arts and culture. The Tang Dynasty Dinner Show in Xi’an highlighted music and dance from the seventh to the 10th centuries with elaborate costumes and staging.
On our final night in China, the famous Shanghai Acrobats mesmerized us with feats of strength, balance and flexibility unlike any acrobatic act we had seen in the United States.