Our last stop - Beijing. We visited China (and Beijing) almost 20 years ago and Beijing was the only overlapping place on the two tours. Boy, has it changed a lot. The Olympic Park and the Birdcage Stadium are new, of course, but Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall were all duplicate stops for us. As some of the premier tourist sites in the world, the Chinese government has spent a lot of resources improving the tourist facilities at the sites. Another thing we noticed - on our first visit, there were very few Chinese tourists traveling to see their iconic places. That has totally changed. We stayed in the venerable Beijing Hotel, adjacent to the largest shopping area in Beijing and home to a wonderful fast food (Chinese-style) street. Scorpion on a stick, anyone?
As we finally completed the LONG trip home and arrived at our beloved Wenatchee Valley home, we were exhausted, but gratified, for the opportunity to see in depth such an interesting part of the world.