Subject: Re: China
Dear Lauren and fellow ziners,

I went to China in 1996 for 24 days with a large tour.I'm not as adventuros as your son.I'm sure we needed a visa.

Does your son or his friend speak manderin? Very few people spoke english when we were there. At the time we were there it was very difficult to travel without a government guide. Do you have a good travel agent to guide them? I enjoyed the smaller cities like Suzhou,Hangzhou,and Guilin more then Shanghai. I wish we had gotten to Kunming.

Just like other large countries, I felt the people in the south were more friendly then in the north, I think it goes along with the weather and industry. Also,large cities are large cities. You see the people closer on a smaller scale as you get to less urban surrondings.

We did the river cruise from Chongqing and saw a lot of activitiy on and from the water which was very interesting.

Having said all that,I would recommend reading all kinds of tour guide books to see where they go and choose what interests your son and his friend the most.China is a large country with lots to see. Also,I read many books about life in China before I went, which made the trip more interesting to me. I'll try to answer what questions I can.

Wilma from frigid Kansas City