A Classic Tours Collection

2009 CHINA - Silk Road & Tibet (July 22)

Compared to past eclipse tours, China was easy to arrange because the eclipse was visible over a vast part of the country. Due to our early planning and pre-tour visits, we were able to select an exclusive and special site near Anji (Hangzhou). The site offered large platforms on top of a mountain overlooking a lake and observatory. However, the day before the eclipse, I was advised that our platform had been taken over by a Chinese television crew. After some tough talking from my end, the cameras were removed from our viewing platform. The next challenge came on the morning of the eclipse, when a Swedish group occupied our platform thinking it was theirs despite the large signage (unfortunately in Chinese) reserving it for us. The Swedes were nice, and after some hesitation, they moved to a different site. Although it rained or was cloudy over most of China, we were able to see most of the eclipse—the longest that will occur during our lifetimes—due to the high elevation of our location.

The tour included Kashgar and Urumqi, troubled areas along the Silk Road. We were one of only two groups in Kashgar (other being German), and we had the sights to ourselves. The locals were grateful that we came, and we had wonderful experiences. At no point did we feel threatened. Tibet was the icing on the cake, and a successful eclipse tour was completed.

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