Thursday, September 09, 2004

In an earlier post from Wurzburg, Germany, I noted that Chinese are rapidly becoming the world’s most ubiquitous tourists. This can only increase with further relaxation of travel restrictions on Chinese tourists traveling abroad starting September 1. Chinese are now the fourth most numerous tourists in France, and French officials are predicting that within two years they will be number one. And they like to spend money, an average of 247 Euros a day, second only to the Japanese and ahead of skinflint Americans and British. French hotels are starting to add Chinese Language TV stations and Chinese breakfasts in addition to the time honored Continental offerings.
From Berlin (Germany) I winged eastward to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, via Moscow. In Mongolia my first stop was the new Buddhist temple being constructed at Terelj, about 30 miles north of the capital. Since I was there last the 108 stone steps leading to the terrace of the temple have been completed.

Looking down over the 108 town steps leading to the new temple near Terelj