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No Vacation Required Podcast

For fulfillment fanatics interested in traveling deliriously, living deliberately, and working virtually.

Showing the Good China

NVR Guys

We're still trying to sort out our thoughts on China. It's a country with a lot to love and a lot to, well, not love. Firming up an overall opinion isn't easy. Here are some final photos that help to round out the (mostly good) story of our experience.

First up, let's start where we ended. On our very last day, we were able to make it to the Great Wall.

Great Wall
Great Wall
Great Wall
Great Wall
Great Wall

Had we not had sickness in the house of NVR, we would have stuck to our plan of spending several days at the Great Wall, doing what we love most while on the road – hiking and exploring.

Even going for a day, though, allowed us a break from watching the sun wrestle with the smog in Beijing.

Beijing - sun fighting with smog

On a good (clear!) day, though, there's a lot to like about Beijing. We already talked about loving our hutong experience, and we enjoyed uncovering surprises like this, the Drum Tower, as we roamed around. Yes, that's a blue sky.


We were looking very forward to the high speed train between Beijing and Shanghai. While at 200mph, the speed was incredible, the experience was mostly ordinary.


Shanghai's skyline – especially at night – was a big highlight for us. We even scored a hotel room with quite a view. It was a pretty decent place to be sick; we could have been camping.

Shanghai hotel
Shanghai skyline

Being in the country during Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day was both maddening (frenzy) and exciting (activity). The lantern dial was turned to "high" (they were everywhere) and we enjoyed celebratory mooncakes and dancing at every turn.

Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake
Dancing in the streets - Shanghai

Although China is not a place we'd want to live, we were happy to find incredibly easy transit systems (and even an Apple store at which we could pay our respects).

Beijing metro

Beijing metro

Honoring Apple

But, let's face it, every great Kent and Caanan adventure revolves around food. China delivered in that category. There isn't a scary alley we wouldn't go down for a good meal.

alleyways to eats
Shanghai food
noodles - Beijing
China dumplings
Beijing noodles