Oct 202010

Went around town checking out the local attractions.  Well, mostly checking out the Bund.  The architecture is very diverse.  Some of  you may know that Shanghai is an international business city.  The population is diverse and the the buildings reflect the different peoples that live here.  You’ll probably notice that many of the buildings are very european… that’s because they built them long ago.  I didn’t think the humidity could get any worse but today, it was raining when we stepped out.  When the rain stopped, the sun took over and all the rain that was on the ground started to vapourize.  It was trying to breath over a pot of boiling water.

After another day of walking, I noticed that my feet were really swollen.  They were like really plump, retaining a lot of water.  Must be the humidity…  For dinner, we went through these old alley ways that were transformed into hip urban shops.  I can’t believe the crazy amount of white people hanging out at the bars in this area.

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Oct 202010

Day 12 – Another day at the Expo, visited Canada’s pavilion.  Once again, misty throughout the day and poured again by the end of the day.  The air just can’t hold that much moisture I guess..

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Oct 192010

Nearing the end of the trip… well, there’s still 4 more days to go.  On day 10, we traveled via plane back to Shanghai for the World Expo 2010.  We spent the morning flying and landed in the afternoon.  In Shanghai, we stayed with my cousin Susan in a fairly big condo.  A condo that would probably cost somewhere in the million dollar range in Vancouver. There’s a view of the river and the riverboats.  Anyways, after we got settled into the place, we went off to a market, had a late lunch of KFC prawn burgers and went back home.

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Oct 192010

Day 9, we went to the emperor’s summer palace.  I actually enjoyed this place because it’s not like the the other palaces I’ve been to.  The summer palace was built into the side of a mountain so there’s rock everywhere.  Afterward, we went back into town only to find it pissing rain.  We took shelter in a shopping mall and ate in some Taiwanese noodle joint.  We stopped by a bakery in the mall for some snacks for the next day before we went back to the condo.  We needed the buns because the next day was another travel day.  We were on our way back to Shanghai for Expo 2010!

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Oct 182010

Day 8 – Went to back to Tienanmen square and went inside.  For those who don’t know, behind the red wall is the Forbidden City.  The place is freakin massive and a lot of it looked the same.

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Oct 182010

Day 7 – We took the super fast train from Beijing to Tianjin for some shopping.  In 2008, this train set the world record for conventional trains at 350km/h.  When I was riding it, the train topped out at 329km/h.  If this is just a conventional train on wheels, I can only imagine what the new Maglev line can do when it’s completed.  I think this was the first day where we didn’t go see any ancient sites, they were really all starting to look the same.  Some palace, temple, etc…  always built on top of a crazy number of stairs.

Once again, the weather was hot and humid.  Difficult to breath when the humidity is near 100% but at least it rained today.  That kinda made things better.

We had some mcdonalds, it tasted different but somehow better.  Maybe because China doesn’t have genetically modified cows, they’re kinda more natural.  After the shopping, we took the train back to Beijing and went to check out the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics.  The buildings looked amazing but sadly, they’re not really being utilized and they’re just rusting away.  After that, we went for some fancy hotpot with Kobe beef and walked back to the condo in the rain… wet wet rain…

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Oct 102010

Day 3, I was finally getting used to the humid air.  I thought that the gray haze over the air was pollution but then I realized that I live in Vancouver, been to LA and New York…  I know what pollution looks like.  It’s brown, not gray.  I work across the Burrard inlet and on a clear morning, I can see the nice brown cloud hanging over downtown Vancouver.  So… if it’s not pollution and smog, then what is it?  I can only guess that it’s humidity…  if it was smog, there would be acid rain but I see no signs of acid rain erosion on 30 year old cars…

Anyways,  day 3… it rained… a lot… but that wasn’t going to stop us.  We went into that museum that we walked by in day 2. It was like a museum of anthropology, mostly old artifacts, human evolution in China, etc…  There was even a few of the terracotta warriors.  After a few hours in there, the rain stopped.  We went back to the pagoda and walked around the grounds.  The large water fountain was still going during the day as well.  We went into the pagoda to get a view of the city from the top.  Funny thing happened after we left the pagoda.  There are a lot of these “tour guides” that hang around the tourist spots that always come up to you and ask if you want a tour… anyways, one of these guys came up to me and was being very persistent.  I told him that I couldn’t speak speak chinese and I guess he didn’t understand what I said and took it the wrong way.  Fisticuffs nearly ensued.

After we ate, we went to walk around the city wall.  There’s a huge wall that goes all around the city… well, the original city of Xi’an.  It’s quite interesting, all the older buildings are inside the walls and the new ones are outside the walls.  It’s an interesting mixture of old and new.  Got some pictures of some interesting snacks and Mcdonald’s pies that we don’t have… Banana and taro root.  We grabbed dinner afterwards and went back to the hotel.  We have an early flight in the morning to Beijing.

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