Ben & Phil
It was really a great trip and the cities are beautiful.Each of these two cities has something special and unique.
I loved the nature around Hong-Kong. I never saw such awesome landscapes and I was really surprised about that, because all I have heard about Hong-Kong before was that it is a high-tech city without any taxes for electronic stuff and with loads of huge skyscrapers and that the nightlife should be even better than in Shanghai… But nobody ever was talking about the nature. The feeling in Hong-Kong was really like having holidays and I´m really happy I made this trip. To be honest the only reason why I could do this trip was because I´m doing my internship in Qingdao! Qingdao is so cheap, if I think of the living costs and everything else. I couldn´t afford these experiences if I had lived in Beijing or Shanghai, because everything there is much more expensive.
I am back from my Christmas holidays in Hong Kong and I must say it was amazing. Although the city is a bit expensive (taxi fare starts at 18 HK$ and goes up every 200 meters or so, by 2; the MTR (subway) is comparable to that in Shanghai (around 6-9$)), it is also one of the nicest cities I have visited so far. It never gets boring there: you can party at night in Lan Kwai Fong (exit central station of MTR), go shopping in big malls with every store imaginable (like Elements at Kowloon Station), visit street and night markets in Stanley, Mong Kok and almost every street corner or spend a day or two in the amusement parks there (the Disneyland Resort or Ocean Park).
But what I especially enjoyed, was island hopping. From the Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island you can get to the main outlying islands of Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau, including Discovery Bay.
Peng Chau is the smallest of all, and has a wonderful little harbour town. The beaches are not that nice there, but you can go up finger hill and have a nice view over the little island.
Cheung Chau is bigger (they even have a Mc Donald’s on that island, but the Mc Flurry machine is broken). It has more to offer than Peng Chau like a pirate cave, pancake shaped rocks (I can’t remember if it really was a pancake, I just remember a lot of steps and a nasty tasting water melon) and a haunted house.
Lamma Island is the biggest of these three islands and really worth visiting, although there are a lot of tourists. The beaches are very nice and you can have a fantastic hike there (if you wander of the main trail, there aren’t even any people! Awsum!)
Yes and Lantau island (which apparently is even bigger than Hong Kong Island) is a must visit. The landscape is breathtaking, the beaches clean, white and beautiful and the best thing is the biggest outdoor, sitting Buddha of the world.
You also can take a ferry from Wan Chai to Macau, aka Las Vegas (which is about 150$ per trip and person). Once there, don’t mind taking public busses, just take the shiniest bus provided by the casinos at the ferry pier. They are free of charge and depart frequently.
If you want to visit the ruin church of St. Paul, take the casino bus to Grand Lisboa. You can walk from there.
Ohja, on a side note: you can use HK $ or the local currency over there. Both works fine.
Yes, that’s it for now and from my little trip.
just wanted to report back from my little weekend trip to Shanghai. The one thing, which was noticeable above everything else: the Chinese do like Christmas. A lot of lights, cheesy Christmas music in every mall, people taking pictures in front of christmas trees and all the christmas kitch you can dream of.
But the best thing was: I had authentic German Lebkuchen and now I am the right mood for the upcoming festival.
Click to enlarge.
If you ever wanted to go to Shanghai, maybe here are some tips for you:
The most useful thing to know for Shanghai is “the magic number”. It was introduced for the foreign guests, expected at the Expo and for people to experience one of the biggest cities in the world. It is a free of charge, english speaking help service, where you can direct all your questions. If you call 962288, and press the 1, a lovely voice will ask you where you want to go. You can tell them in English and hand it over to the taxi driver. Then you wait for a nudge or a grunt, just to know your call was a success.
If you want to pound the most touristy spots, you just can take the Subway Line 2 (the green one). First we have Zhongshan Park in the west. There is a gigantic mall with 9 floors of everything! Although the Station name is Zhongshan Park I haven’t really found the park.
Next up would be Jing’an Temple Station. Here you can find a newly reonovated, traditional temple in the middle of the city. The interesting thing about this is that the modern city with its skyscrapers and futuristic buildings, lies in direct contrast with this ancient looking temple right in the middle of the 13 million metropolis.
Hereafter you can hop on the subway again an drive to people’s square, the center of Shanghai. On it’s outer border, there are a lot of smaller shops, along with some western buildings and the always present skyscrapers. In the middle is a park where you can relax and sit in a nice atmosphere.
Then you could visit the Bund. It is Shanghais street of old colonial-era buildings and the first port of call for many visitors. Surprisingly there are no Metro stations in the Bund. The closest you can get is the Nanjing Dong Lu stop. From there however, you can take the bus number 20 (departing from Zhongshan Park) and eventually you will get there.
Of course Shanghai has a vibrant night life, but this you have to experience for yourself.
So I wish you all of you a good time until Christmas day and we may meet in China at some point.
ZHOUZHUANG known as one of the (old towns)- which is located around 1 hour from the downtown of Shanghai city. It is known as “Shanghai’s Venice”. There are tons of shops, great sea food, and not that many foreigners (which is nice for Shanghai)- typically lots of foreigners in Shanghai. It is very traditional and gave me the feeling of Chinese history… The only problem I faced in my entire trip in Shanghai was my tour guides only spoke Chinese… So my job now is to go back and figure out where I was and what is the history behind all the places I visited. I read that the Fangsheng Bridge is a very famous attribute to this city- its meaning is “setting-fish free bridge” and is the longest and largest bridge in the city and was built in 1571 (I Google searched it)…
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