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Shanghai, Day 15

Shanghai, China

Our last day in China.
Free time in the morning went quick. Some of us walked along the Bund, others went to visit the Jade Buddha temple and the tea shop there. There wasn't much time since we had to leave at noon. If you weren't tired when you woke up, you were now.

As we were checking out we said good bye to the memebers who are traveling longer. We said good bye to Robert who was also staying a few days longer.

And finally we had to say goodbye to our national guide Sunny. He was our hero and our support, we were sad to say goodbye.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 29, 2005 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged China, Jade, Temple, Buddha, Buddhism, Pirated, Bund, Shanhai, JadeBuddhaTemple and Shopping

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Hangzhou/ Shanghai, Day 14

Hangzhou, China

It was a tight day, there was a lot to squeeze in.
We started by hiking up Phoenix Mtn. and see herbs there. This was the last hike, so naturally we had to get separated as a group in order to keep with the tradition. It was a nice day out and the trail was lined with new slate tiles all the way. Robert grabbed a couple of samples to show us on the trail and later on the bus.

During lunch we all decided that while Hangzhou is a niced city, we were ready to move on to Shanghai earlier and wanted to all have a formal, final dinner together.
So we revised the schedule a bit.

Next we visited the West lake tea farm. Along the drive you could see all the tea growing on the hill side. Here we met some of the local farmers who pick the green tea leaves and pan-dry it for 8 hours each day by hand. It's an arduous task and explained why the tea is expensive to produce. Then we met "Dr. Tea" who then explained all the benefits of green tea as well as the various grades there of. He was a total salesman with animated demonstrations. The teas though, tasted nice. Of course, we had to buy some, since it is hard to find good quality tea in the US.

We then had to hurry to catch our boat ride on west lake. The day started off beautifully and continued that way while we were out on the water, the weather was perfect. The ride offered nice views of the surrounded hills which were dotted with pagodas and temples. In the distance you could see the modern city, a drastic contemporary contrast to the ancient buildings. It was a perfect snapshot of modern China.

After the lake, we had about an hour to squeeze in any last minute shopping at the promenade in town. there were lots of paintings, textiles, handcrafts and snacks to be had. So much to buy, so little time.

Then it was our last 3 hour bus ride to our final destination: Shanghai.
The city was all lit up. Shanghai is a city with the height of NYC, the width of LA and the electric light overload of LV. Our hotel was located right on the end of the "Bund," an area along the river where on one bank there are all old European colonial buildings and the other all skyscrapers made during the last 10 years. It was a great drive and a perfect introduction to the chaotic city.

We quickly checked into our hotel, which was all Art Deco and made in the 30's. Then it was nice final dinner together. We were all able to fit at one large table this time. After many toasts and thanks to one another we called it a night. it was great to wrap up the trip together this way. So much had happened in the past weeks, you could barely remember all the events. At this point, the traveling had taken a toll and most of us were exhausted. We had to prepare for the next day, check out and leave Shanghai at noon. A few brave souls walked around the Bund and checked out Shanghai's night life.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 28, 2005 from Hangzhou, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged Food, China, Herbs, Medicine, Nanjing, TeaHouse, Mountain, Hangzhou, TeaFarm, Phoenix, PhoenixMountain, Herbal, Tea, Boat, BoatRide, Lake, ArtDeco and Bund

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“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” - Paul Theroux

Shanghai, China

Definitely didn't know where I was today. Took a tour to the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai's equivalent of the Eiffel Tower / Washington Monument / Empire State. I'm not big on touristy things. Although, there was a roller-coaster inside, which was literally one-minute long. Definitely not worth the 25RMB.

After that, we went to the water side, from where you could see the Bund on the other side of the river. (Once again, pointless?) We then headed to the People's Square (Ren2min2 guang3chang3). I was confused as to the purpose of today's travels. I truly don't know where we were today/what significance these places had.

Later the group Split up, and because only the Bank of China accepts traveler's checks, we had to find one. My group was Kat, Luolan, Lauren, Chris, and Niko. After a long hour or so at the bank, we had to eat, so we went to this noodle place, where after we all tried to order different things with our wonderful Chinese, five of us ended up with the exact same thing. It wasn't too bad though, so it wasn't an utter failure.

We then got some ice cream, which was different from American ice cream. Went into some shops, and then some malls and the most interesting thing all day: rode the metro several times. It was really fun, although we did get plenty of stares. Some of the metro stations are right cool, they have underground shops and restaurants and flashy colors. Not cool? The mouse that was running around. I scared everyone around me by yelling "there's a f!cking mouse in the metro station! x2. Even not cooler? The guy who first stepped on the mouse's tail with one foot to keep it from running then stepped on the head with the other foot, trying to kill it. He took his sweet time, you could see the thing squirming underneath the pressure of his foot.

Came back to campus, got a few minutes of rest, then got ready to go out to dinner at the Bund, which after much debate I decided to attend (although I was pooped out.)

Oh, for my faithful readers, last night the doorman that I can't understand came to my room and yelled at me for 5 minutes, saying something about my luggage, and then say something about a phone. I went downstairs with him: turns out that they called the dorm because they needed to get in, they were on campus and bringing my bags! I went outside to meet them in the van, they needed my report and passport so I had to run all the way back to the dorm. When I returned, they dumped my bags outside and left. I didn't have any money to give them; I felt bad but tipping isn't allowed here.

I only had one thought at this moment: MES AFFAIRS! haha.


went to the Bund, got dinner at a restaurant where our server had FREAK ears. She was cute at first, but then she turned into an evil elf at the end of the meal (it could have been because I kept whispering to everyone about her ears, and people would laugh/shudder in horror... or it might have been because we took forever to pay; I prefer to think of the latter).

Dinner at the Bund, we ate on the third floor of a restaurant. Do you know what that means? We walked up two flights of stairs, a moving dinner zoo for all the zhongguoren eating at the restaurant.

After dinner, we got some pijiu on the Bund. I really don't like beer, but it was buy one get one free, so I split with Sarah. Why buy one get one free? We figured it out: the Tigers (brand) were expired. Hao. Two beers later, we got on the metro to zhongshan gongyuan, we were loud and obnoxious, inviting all the stares that we got. We then ran to the next line, only to be told that the metro had closed. We took two taxis back home.

I think tonight we are going out to BonBon. Shi openbar de.

I hope we don't die.

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on May 31, 2008 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: Shanghai, China
tagged Bund

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