Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back to the Motherland

We arrive in chilly Shanghai at 11 in the morning and took a bullet train to an interchange. The faster-than-a-bullet train gets us there in 20 minutes, zooming pass the cityscape at 450 miles per hour. I do not enjoy speed and I do not look out the window, especially when the tracks tilt itself in an unnatural form against gravity.

Checking in at the Le Tour Travellers Youth Hostel, I realise the airconditioning in the lobby is not switched on and yet the temperature is perfect. Everyone told me it was summer. That the temperature is similar to ours, without the humidity. They lied. Clever me, I packed only tank tops and a thin Nike sweater.

In Beijing we stayed at Beijing Youth Hostel. Both the hotels in Shanghai and Beijing are clean and central, way above our expectations. All in all, we all agree that the whole trip earned 10 points, with highlights being the Great Wall of China, walking on The Bund at sunset while enjoying the cityscape, and the visit to the Forbidden Palace.

Initially, I had intended to write a full account of our vacation but I think the pictures should do it.

A larger-than-life white-light art piece of a Dior handbag. It is displayed in a large glass cube on Nanjing Road, the main shopping district with the likes of Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Dior, Tom Ford, etc.- really posh.

Nanjing Road is the world's longest shopping district, around 6 km long, and attracts over 1 million visitors daily.

Also on Nanjing Road is this massive Louis Vuitton luggage, built as a temporary showpiece attached to a building. Yes, it was surreal.

 One of the buildings on The Bund, the lights for the buildings along the whole stretch of street come on at 7pm.

The view of Pudong city from The Bund at night.

Our first breakfast in Shanghai : really yummy noodles in soup topped with a big fat juicy piece of pork.

All cabbies have this perspex-like screen to protect them from God knows what...

We bought some smelly tofu at the street market, it was not so nice so had to throw it away after one bite :(

Bridal headgear with Mongolian elements at the Museum of Shanghai, very Amidala indeed.

Gold pieces that were used as currency, a long long time ago.

One of the world's rarest coins.

Rooftops at the French Concession, a modern upmarket part of Shanghai lined with coffee bars, artist studios and local designers.

Buildings along the Bund.

Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai. The temple-like structures are mostly restaurants. 

The panfried version of the Shanghainese Siaw Loong Pau.

Shanghai World Expo - The exterior of the pavillions are magnificent. Sadly, that's all the praise I have for the expo. Architecturally, some of our favourites are Spain, Australia and Holland.

The UK pavillion is my favourite, I love the bristles that protrude out of the structure.

China has one of the largest pavillions but the queue was too long so we did not attempt to wait in line.

Queue for one random pavillion.

Malaysian pavillion.

Forbidden Palace.

Barbecued starfish, scorpions and seahorse on display.

Caramelised fruit on skewers.

Steps leading up to one of the palaces in the Forbidden Palace grounds. The steps are for the normal folk and the engraved centre bit is only for the Emperor.

The Great Wall of China. We drove 140km from Beijing to the starting point of Jinshaling for the 12km walk. From Jinshaling we ended our journey at Sematai within 4.5 hours.

Yes, we walked all that...

... and we completed all that. 
Some bits were frustratingly steep, especially when there were no steps/stairs at a more than 45 degree angle upwards. Looking back now, I can say that it was actually fun.
Even with the amount of water we consumed, for reasons unknown to us, the desire to visit the loo evaded us during the whole walk. I find that rather amazing.

1 comment:

mangocheeks said...

Spectacular photographs. I love the way the colours of the pavilion are captured.


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