Thanks for visiting Dodger Sims, the author of this site is currently on a two week vacation to China. In 2008, I visited these wonderful places in China with my family. The highlight of the trip will be visiting wonderful sites such as The Summer Palace, Beihai Park and the quaint and narrow Hutongs (ancient alleys) of Beijing. In Beijing, our hotel will be right next to the Bird's Nest (Olympic Stadium), so a tour will likely be in the works. The last time we visited, it was three weeks after the Olympics were over and they were charging US$100 per person to tour the stadium. My guess is that the entrance fee is more like US$10 nowadays. They are actually having trouble finding a use for the stadium and a plan is in the works to turn it into a shopping and entertainment center.
In the neighboring Hebei Province, I will be visiting the beautiful Baiyangdian Lake, which is filled with blooming lotus flowers. A stopover in Handan to visit family and friends and to of course devour some Hot Pot, Dan Dan Mian (Spicy Noodles) and jiaozi (dumplings), while making a trip or two to the many beautiful parks the city has to offer. The parks in the US just cannot compare to the parks in China. Many of the parks, like Congtai Park in Handan are built from ancient fortresses, with many small picturesque lakes, rock and flower gardens and magificently crafted stone bridges built in the surrounding area. Many of the parks with man made lakes have huge water shows, similar to what one would see in Las Vegas. Congtai Park also houses a large amusement area for children, paddle boats, and a small zoo where you can hand feed monkeys and a large flock of pigeons. One thing you don't see in parks in China are basketball and tennis courts. Every now and then I spot an outdoor basketball court or soccer field, though they are pretty rare. They are usually packed, as both basketball and soccer are very popular in China. I've only seen one tennis court that was in decent shape in China, and that was at a five star hotel we were staying at in Beijing three years ago.