Although I have never been there, China has always had an unexplicable fascination for me. A synonymus for a world of its own, full of unintelligible traditions and values opposite, even hostile to the Western concept. Thus when we planned our 5 months trip through Southeast Asia, we decided to include at least a stop in Beijing and Hongkong.
Not only in Hongkong, China's economic powerhouse, were the contrasts stunning. Beijing also openy embraces the new system. And Xi-an in the Western province resembles one big construction site
It was a compromise because given the enormous distances and the rich cultural heritage, we knew we could have spent our time entirely in China and see nothing else. But we wanted to get at least a glimpse of what China was like. Would all people still ride bicycles and dress in blue workers' uniforms? We had so many pictures in our minds: Bertoluccis' little king in the Forbidden City, Mao's portraits, the Chinese Wall, the Terracotta Army, red flags, motionless soldiers, , the Tianmen square .
found a bit of all of this in Beijing. However, the greatest fascination was
to see how openly China beats the new drum of capitalism while struggling to
find a balance with its century-old traditions and, its Maoist heritage.