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Old 05-18-2009   #1 (permalink)
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China experience: Shanghai area

I had a chance to visit Shanghai for a business trip, took some days of my own and wanted to share few pics on the area. I didn’t know what to expect but China took me by surprise, in a good way! I would love to go back on a proper holiday.

We arrived early Saturday morning after 10 hour flight and the time difference was 6 hours less than home… Well, we decided to survive the full day to get into the “normal rhythm” (what ever that is/ was later on ). That weekend there was Formula 1 race in Shanghai, so the whole city was full of wannabe-F1-drivers – unfortunately most of them were taxi drivers. I tried not to watch forward once we were racing from the airport to the hotel...

The city is quite polluted as you can see in the foggy kind of air. But the amount of skyscrapers next to old blocks was amazing. There are 18 million people there…





We were too exhausted too go and see the Formula race live, but ended up having beers and watching the qualifications in the bar. We also visited the local Hooters (in my defence: I was with 6 guys… but it wasn’t as bad as I presumed ). We happened to witness the switch of the shifts in Hooters and it was something different. The girls were standing on the street on a line and the manager checked their appereance one by one (seriously… the armpits shaved, the panties fit…) I would never get to the office if this happened here . Afterwards the girls did some cheering songs and skipped



The next 6 days I attended our management training and was able to enjoy only the great food in the evenings. BTW, I have now tasted chicken feet, pork feet, snake, see cucumber, all kinds of intestines I don’t want to name etc. I found soon enough that you shouldn’t ask but taste first and decide then if you like it or not

The last weekend I had free time to walk around. More story to come as I sort out my pics!
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Old 05-18-2009   #2 (permalink)
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What a great opportunity! I am really looking forward to this...thanks!
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Old 05-18-2009   #3 (permalink)
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So, in the latter weekend I had free time to walk around. On Saturday I joined a tour to Suzhou; it is located in the area called Venice of Asia. There were only six of us; couple from France, man from US, me and a Venezuelan couple who lives in Cancun, Mexico – funny enough! We could share our experiences on Isla Mujeres etc

Our local tour guide told us about living in China and particularly in Shanghai. Interesting information was that the Shanghai men have a good reputation as excellent husbands, so many girls/ women from elsewhere in China move to Shanghai to pursue these men! Hint to all single women on the site

In Suzhou there is a garden that is part of UNESCO World Heritage: Humble Administrator’s Garden. The name comes after the man, who set up the garden. He worked whole his life for the government (emperor at that time) and once he retired he spent all his money in building this beautiful garden. His son lost it in gambling later on…





The moon gates bring happiness in life.





Beautiful place indeed – it was crowded as it was weekend but you could still feel the sense of peace and quiet. I myself felt like a rockstar; my picture is probably in tens of home photo albums as people wanted to get their picture taken with a Western looking person. They were also waving and smiling at me. Nobody asked for autograph though

Outside the garden there were people selling fruit.





From Humble Administrator’s Garden we went to Lion Grove Garden which is famous for the rock garden. Again breathtaking views.


Last edited by isomami; 05-19-2009 at 02:06 AM..
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Old 05-19-2009   #4 (permalink)
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After lunch on Saturday we visited Zhou Zhoang water village and took a gondola ride around. Again picture taking, waving and smiles… I understand people get used to that! Only the red carpet was missing

Anyone been to Venice? This place really was an Asian look-alike!








Last edited by isomami; 05-19-2009 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 05-19-2009   #5 (permalink)
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On Sunday I bravely took the map and did a tour on my own. First the market street that offered EVERYTHING, fake or real, who cares








On the market street there is the Shanghai City temple. On the temple yard people were burning coloured paper and sticks for good wishes, to remember passed ones, to say their prayers...



Next to the market street lays beautiful Yu Yun garden. You can’t believe that you’re right in the centre of an 18 million people city (unless you look very carefully )!



I have something odd going with these Chinese gates; they fashinate me





Can you feel the peace and quiet?



In the garden there was a young couple having their picture taken in old traditional custumes.

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Old 05-19-2009   #6 (permalink)
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wow, these are amazing! Thank you for posting, I have ALWAYS wanted to visit China, I hope I will get to someday.
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Old 05-19-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Great report...what an experience.
And how nice that everyone was so friendly.
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Old 05-19-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Cool pictures!
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Old 05-20-2009   #9 (permalink)
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wow, these are amazing! Thank you for posting, I have ALWAYS wanted to visit China, I hope I will get to someday.
As I said, I didn't know what to expect, but it was very positive experience. The culture differs so much from my own, so I kept on wondering this and that. We also had a chance to meet local people (students, workers, retired) and ask about their daily life. It always good to think things from other person's view... My image of China definitely changed for better.

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Great report...what an experience.
And how nice that everyone was so friendly.
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Cool pictures!
Thanks - there's some more to come as I find time to deal with picture files.
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Old 05-20-2009   #10 (permalink)
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Very Cool!!

Thanks
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Old 05-20-2009   #11 (permalink)
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I'm really enjoying this report! Loving all of your pics......what a great experience!
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Old 05-20-2009   #12 (permalink)
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The food markets were an interesting experience, to say the least… Fresh fish of all sorts



Veggies washed right there on the street side



Ducks waiting to get cooked No cold storages there, when it was about 20 degrees outside. I didn’t taste though but people were lining up… prejudiced European



And finally the cigarettes get the treatment they’re entitled to (says the smoker ): placed nicely in a vitrin.



A very modern rickshaw. Maybe he was gonna take her girlfriend out



Starbucks in an eastern style – I like this better than the one in Playa

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Old 05-21-2009   #13 (permalink)
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On my last evening I walked in Nanking road which is one of the big shopping streets. Chinese Vegas, isn’t it?





Overall, Chinese, or I should say Shanghai people seemed very friendly and eager to help even though the English skills weren’t that good. I had some “for the first time” experiences

For the first time I experienced that there’s no way to get myself understood… The Chinese letters have nothing to do with ours as you know. I showed the taxi driver the address of my hotel and he shrugged his shoulders. Everything and I mean everything needs to be in Chinese letters.

In the evenings I saw something I’ve never seen as evening hobby (or what ever time of the day, when I think about it) … People gathered in the parks for dances; there were groups rehersing disco dancing, tens and tens of couples practising waltz or such, young guys skateboarding and doing some kind of break dance… No bands or players just radios, cd players etc. And all in good harmony together. I needed to sit down and watch for a while. Didn’t take any pics though.

For the first time in a subway noboby, and I mean nobody looked like me… I really did stick out from the crowd. Interesting feeling to be honest, no all good but not all bad either

I definitely recommend China! This was it. Questions anyone?

Last edited by isomami; 05-21-2009 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 05-28-2009   #14 (permalink)
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What an experience and I love your pictures.
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Old 05-29-2009   #15 (permalink)
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What an experience and I love your pictures.
Thanks - I like them too
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