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Europe On Fifteen Hundred Yuan A Day

China Tourist

First Posted: 04/12/11 06:51 PM ET Updated: 06/12/11 06:12 AM ET

The New Yorker:

For several millennia, ordinary people in China were discouraged from venturing beyond the Middle Kingdom, but before the recent New Year's holiday--the Year of the Rabbit began on February 3rd--local newspapers were dense with international travel ads. It felt as if everyone was getting away, and I decided to join them. When the Chinese travel industry polls the public on its dream destinations, no place ranks higher than Europe. China's travel agents compete by carving out tours that conform less to Western notions of a grand tour than to the likes and dislikes of their customers. I scanned some deals online: "Big Plazas, Big Windmills, Big Gorges" was a four-day bus tour that emphasized photogenic countryside in the Netherlands and Luxembourg; "Visit the New and Yearn for the Past in Eastern Europe" had a certain Cold War charm, but I wasn't sure I needed that in February

Read the whole story: The New Yorker

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Filed by Cara Parks  |