Extra pictures and videos from trip

In Laos it was fun to see these young girls fishing in the morning. If you look closely you will see the net is connected to the bottom of the four sticks.

P4040360

They caught a few small fish.

http://www.littlejoanie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Trip-to-Asia-with-Laura-184.flv
P4040352

The little boys hid their play swords for the picture.

P4040362

The scenery in Laos was so breathtakingly beautiful.

P4040393

Watch what climbs out of the water!

http://www.littlejoanie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Laos-boat-ride.flv

Inside the cave.

P4040387

Little children near the cave.

P4040398

The baby pandas at the zoo.

Trip to Asia with Laura 098

It was a first for me to see the pandas so active.

http://www.littlejoanie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Pandas.flv

One of the royal colors in Thailand is pink, so fun to see the  chairs in the airport pink,

Trip to Asia with Laura 061

and also some of the cabs.

P4060445

Exotic food from our trip

Laura had a fabulous time trying out all the different regional foods.

Cheese and tomato salad at the Russian Restaurant.

Trip to Asia with Laura 082

Egg and spinach dish in Thailand.

Trip to Asia with Laura 010

Eggplant in Laos

Trip to Asia with Laura 015

Not my favorite.

Trip to Asia with Laura 016

Soft shell crab in Hong Kong

Trip to Asia with Laura 060

We loved the excitement of opening the box lunches on the airplanes.

Trip to Asia with Laura 054

A perfect meal for the food pyramid.

Trip to Asia with Laura 055

Mark and Laura only needed a dozen of these cute little waters.

Trip to Asia with Laura 056

Delectable hot chocolate in Hong Kong.

Trip to Asia with Laura 064

Initialed apple in Changzhi.

Trip to Asia with Laura 175

Restaurant meal in Laos of soup, look at all those healthy greens to add to the soup.

P4030306

Laura enjoys her day in Beijing

It was fun for me to show Laura around my stomping ground in Beijing.

She started the day with a pedicure at Ruby’s.

Trip to Asia with Laura 085

Next a tasty snack of candied strawberries. A first for me, and boy were they delicious.

Trip to Asia with Laura 086

A walk past the United States Embassy, where there are daily lines of Chinese citizens trying to get a travel visa to the United States.

Trip to Asia with Laura 115

Shopping at The Place.

Trip to Asia with Laura 081

We requested a cot at this hotel for Laura. Laura is tiny but not that small.

Trip to Asia with Laura 079

Her new bed.

Trip to Asia with Laura 087

A fun day touring Changzhi

Laura had a wonderful time in Changzhi as we spent the day eating and shopping. Great for Laura as she is small enough that the shoes and clothes fit her.

Laura standing with Xueer and her friend Lisa.

Trip to Asia with Laura 118

We enjoyed a lunch of noodles that are made by a Dong Bei family (people from North East China) which is where Xueer and Lisa are from. So a favorite for them.

Trip to Asia with Laura 117

The owner liked Laura so he dropped an extra 10 little hard boiled quail eggs in her bowl. I rather enjoy them so Laura shared some with me. We each got a bowl for $1.50 but too big for Laura and I to finish.

Trip to Asia with Laura 116

A stop at the local grocery store for some pineapple.

Trip to Asia with Laura 142

Very interesting to watch them use a special knife to trim the pineapple.

Trip to Asia with Laura 144

Laura joined me on my morning walk thru the park. Laura decided she needed a rest.

Trip to Asia with Laura 145

Another view of the park.

Trip to Asia with Laura 182

A busy Changzhi street with a donkey added  to the mix. Laura really enjoyed watching all the donkeys trot up and down the street.

Trip to Asia with Laura 146

The day ended with a delicious Chinese dinner.

When we arrived in Changzhi I was surprised that the weather was still soooo cold. So we all wore coats in the restaurant and Laura learned what it was like staying in a cold apartment.

Xueer, Joan, Laura, Lisa

Trip to Asia with Laura 122

Laura holding her electric blanket that she used at the apartment. Luckily we are about the same size so she could borrow some of my warmer clothes to wear. I have heard that this is the coldest April they have had in 10 years. Great. Anxiously waiting for spring to arrive.

Trip to Asia with Laura 169

Day trip to Macau China

One afternoon while in Hong Kong the clouds set in so our sightseeing from the mountain tops was limited so we decided to make a short trip to Macau by super-jet boats. We were there in an hour.

P4090487

Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China since 20 December 1999, and, like Hong Kong, benefits from the principle of “one country, two systems”. The tiny SAR is growing in size – with more buildings on reclaimed land – and in the number and diversity of its attractions. The greatest of these continues to be Macau’s unique society, with communities from the East and West complementing each other, and the many people who come to visit. The first people to settle Macau were Portuguese.

Macau is turning into a small Las Vegas as many people travel there to gamble since it is against the law in China. I wanted to check out the Venetian Resort as I heard it was the same as the one in Las Vegas.

P4090485

In many ways it was identical except that all of the gambling is out of sight (behind the short walls behind Laura and Mark).  So more family friendly as the children are unable to see any of the gambling. You were not allowed to take pictures so I took this one going up the escalator. (quick get away)

Trip to Asia with Laura 070

I almost thought I was in Las Vegas until I saw the signs written in English and Chinese

Trip to Asia with Laura 069

On the jet boat we paid a little extra so we sat upstairs and received a meal during the short one hour ride.

P4090483

Laura wasn’t too sure if she wanted to eat the fish dish with rice. I thought it was quite delicious. Mark and Laura loved the small containers of juice :) They would have liked many more.

Trip to Asia with Laura 068

It was a fun afternoon outing and would love to go back again.

Pictures from Hong Kong

We had a wonderful time in Hong Kong even though the weather was a little cool and rainy. When it rained we just went inside and shopped. No complaining!

The sky cleared in the evening to see the beautiful sky line which was great.

P4080460

We had to pose for at least one picture.

P4080462

Laura treated us to a delicious seafood dinner.

P4080454

Trip to Asia with Laura 063

In the morning we walked around the park.

P4090478

Loved all the colorful flowers and scenery.

P4090482

Even the turtles were looking for a sunny spot.

Trip to Asia with Laura 067

We took the trolley streetcar to the top of Peak Park but just to overcast to see the city. Laura will have to return to see the amazing city view.

P4090489

A visit to Gaohe Mine, to see Mark at work

It was very important for Laura to see the mine where her dad works and the reason that we are in China.

Mark’s driver picked us up  for the 20 minute drive so we could tour the  buildings around the mine and have lunch with Mark.

Mark’s office is on the third floor of this building. Any building in China does not require and elevator if under 4 floors, Mark gets his exercise every day doing the steps.

Trip to Asia with Laura 129

The mine employs 3,000 people and is 1500 feet deep.

Trip to Asia with Laura 178

The conference room where the daily morning meeting takes place. The front table where Mark sits must be 20 feet long, and as many as 100 people might attend this meeting.

Trip to Asia with Laura 125

The screen can be seen from the conference room.

Trip to Asia with Laura 126

The screens show what is happening continuously underground.

Trip to Asia with Laura 127

The billboard shows the final plan for the mine.  Laura noticed many billboards around the country side showing different companies.

Trip to Asia with Laura 131

One of 3 dormitories for the employees.

Trip to Asia with Laura 134

The hoist building and silos.

Trip to Asia with Laura 132

The hoist to transport the men and coal from the ground. Women are not allowed underground.

Trip to Asia with Laura 133

On the way home, our road was blocked so Laura and I enjoyed the detour through the small surrounding villages. So instead of the 20 minute drive, it took an hour.

Trip to Asia with Laura 136

We drove through lots of mud and dirt.

Trip to Asia with Laura 137

Laura and I enjoyed our lunch. I had rice and Laura picked the noodles, along with many other vegetable side dishes.

Laura and Joan see how pottery is made

Today Laura and I took an hour drive (from Changzhi)  to Gaoping to see the famous “Dong Fang Black Pottery”. It  is made from special clay found in the local river.

Trip to Asia with Laura 149

Fascinating to watch them mold a piece of clay into a beautiful vase in a matter of minutes.

Trip to Asia with Laura 152

After the pottery is molded and has dried for 4 days, some of the pottery is carved out with small knives.

Trip to Asia with Laura 148

Very beautiful intricate patterns are drawn on the pottery.

bowl

Here they are putting small pieces of clay into molds for Buddha’s fingers.Trip to Asia with Laura 155

The clay is baked at a very high temperature to turn it black.

Trip to Asia with Laura 156

Mark and I visited this store a few years ago to check out the pottery, but you can imagine my surprise when Laura said, “Look, mom your picture is on the wall.”

Trip to Asia with Laura 158

Trip to Asia with Laura 159How could we not by more pottery.

Trip to Asia with Laura 189

Laura and Joan visit the Beijing Zoo

A trip to China is not complete without  a visit to the Beijing Zoo to see the pandas.

Trip to Asia with Laura 088

Trip to Asia with Laura 094

Trip to Asia with Laura 089

Trip to Asia with Laura 096

Trip to Asia with Laura 108

The zoo was a great deal with a $3.00 entrance fee. It was worth the extra $1.50 to Laura to view the penguins.

Trip to Asia with Laura 106

Trip to Asia with Laura 101

Bangkok, Thailand

After leaving Laos we spent one night in Bangkok so we were able to take in dinner and a little sightseeing  of the beautiful city.

P4060430

Bangkok is filled with many Buddhist Temples.

P4060436

P4060440

We walked along the flower market street which was beauty to the eyes and heaven to the nose.

P4060444

They separate the marigold petals to make flower rings for offerings at the temples.

P4060446

They make these flower rings to decorate your home.

P4060443

We decorated our hotel room.

P4060448

Laura fell in love with all the multi-colored orchids.

P4060447