A Travellerspoint blog

Tall Buildings and the Venice of China

Day 3 - Shanghai to Suzhou

sunny 27 °C

Early start with a Chinese breakfast of wonton soup and dumplings and then off to the Shanghai World Financial (or as we know it "the bottle opener") look out at the 100 floor level. It rises up 474 m and the building next to it is still under construction will be at 634m. Amazing look out and you get a great picture of how congested Shanghai is with apartments. The trip up only takes 60 seconds.
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We then moved onto the task of buying a bullet train ticket to Suzhou and fortunately Jen's work colleague Huiliang escorted me to the train station and bought the tickets for us. The picture that would have faced me was an information board totally in Chinese and another 500 other Chinese standing in line and no one speaking english. We said goodbye to Huiliang who we cannot thank enough for his hospitality, help and being a great tour guide. We then experienced the Chinese mass surge of getting onto a train and somehow we were the last 2 to get on but made it in time, Jen and I need to learn the art of push and shove and forget about space. Talk about technology, this train travelled at 293km / hr, 30 minutes later and at a cost of $8 each. Arrived at Suzhou and met up with my friend Angela and dropped our bags off and went to the Administrators Garden.

Suzhou is called the Venice of China, full of canals and is also Angela's home town. She told many stories of her growing up there with her Grandmother. Stories like dropping watermelons down wells to cool them and then bring water up to the surface. The gardens were lovely to meander through pathways, buildings, rock formations and went through a massive bonsai garden with some bonsais over 3 m tall.
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From there we went to Pingjiang Road and strolled through for about 2 km's along a single street of little shops, food stalls and restaurants, sampling treats as we go. One thing both Jen and I wanted to experience on this trip was to eat street food as much as possible so we bought a series of little snacks that were just delicious. We also had dinner in a very traditional local restaurant made up of rice cakes, dumplings, chicken and some small little sweet fermented rice balls.

It was great to catch up with Angela and just chat and having her around showing us her local town was a great privilege.

Tomorrow its Tiger Hill and the Water Gardens. Also a note Facebook, Google and some web sites are being blocked in China by the Government, go figure!

Posted by tszeitli 15:38 Archived in China Tagged gardens food traditional train suzhou Comments (1)

Spectacular Shanghai!

Day 2 - Shanghai Sight Seeing

sunny 26 °C

Start of our sight seeing adventures and after a sleep in, hotel buffet breakfast and got some money we got picked up by Jen's work colleague, Huiliang. Not quite sure what to expect, he took us to the Bund side of the Huangpu River opposite side to the financial district. The Bund is a walk along the river's edge and along the road that has has all the old colonial buildings restored and basically used by the banks and financial institutions.
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You get a great view across the river of the iconic buildings of the financial district buildings; Oriental Communications Tower, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Centre (474m tall which really looks like a bottle giant bottle opener), Shanghai Tower (632m second tallest building in the world).
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Local tourists everywhere but just an overall nice feel about the place. Huiliang was fantastic in guiding us and a wealth of information.
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We did the 1 hr cruise up and down the river and gave us a close up view and amongst the constant stream of ships and barges that use the river. Jen is now really getting to used her new camera and taking some great photos and the weather could not have been better for what we did.
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Caught a taxi back to near our hotel to have some pre dinner drinks and the good news is beer is cheap. He took us to a local restaurant with traditional food from Shanghai. One word - Delicious! Fried deep sea fish, fish with peanuts, drunken chicken, bbq beef and local style Asian greens.
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This was accompanied with a local rice wine.
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And I met an old friend
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Tomorrow we plan to go to the top of the "Bottle Opener", 472m sky scraper!

Posted by tszeitli 16:45 Archived in China Tagged food river cruise shanghai Comments (3)

On Our Way

Day 1 - Brisbane to Shanghai.

rain 16 °C
View Tom & Jen's "Continental Drift" on jkerkin's travel map.

We finally got packed, Rick graciously dropped us at the airport and started on our 110 day travels. Great relief to get on the plane and just shut off home life, well for a little while, and just enjoy each day as it comes. We now need to get into travel mode, check your passport 10 times, check you have all your bags, where is my next stop and hotel, food, get money, pack and unpack your bag etc, etc. Sounds simple! Its been 20 years since I "back packed" and a lot has changed. Looking forward to seeing how China has changed since I lived in Beijing for 6 months in 1995.

We arrived in Shanghai, after a short stop in Singapore Airport, our driver was there and we finally arrived at our hotel at 12.30 am, 14 hours of travel, and looking forward to a shower and sleep. Fortunately Jen has Platinum Virgin so we got lounge access and priority access onto the planes. Overall no missed flights, got through customs, got our international roaming phone working and got to our first hotel.
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Posted by jkerkin 14:51 Archived in Australia Tagged china holiday plane shanghai airports inn Comments (9)

Pre-Flight Jitters!

Packing Time

sunny 26 °C

Ok everyone, our first blog. We have shut down from work, house just about ready and its pack the bag time, Could be a late night but just looking forward to getting on the plane. Lots of pressure on me to keep this blog happening and try and see if I can load photos and maybe even on the GoPro courtesy of the YC's wedding present. Leaving with Singapore airlines with a 2 hour stop off in Singapore and then onto Shanghai.
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Posted by tszeitli 03:33 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Welcome to our Travel Blog

In two weeks we embark on our Epic Adventure...T-14 and counting! The excitement is building.

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'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!' [Goethe]

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Life is not about the Destination, its about the passengers you travel with.

Posted by jkerkin 16:21 Archived in Australia Tagged honeymoon adventure countdown Comments (1)

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