Shanghai

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Travel, Weekend Trips

Weekend in Shanghai

This weekend a small group of us decided to leave Qingdao and enjoy a three day break from our internships, courtesy of the Mid-Autumn bank holiday on Monday. After a little bit of group deliberation we decided to make the most of it and spend the time in Shanghai; one of the largest, richest and fastest growing cities in the world!
We booked our flights online with Air China. It took us just over an hour to fly to Pudong International and only cost 600 yuan return including taxes, which really emphasises both the ideal location of Qingdao as a base to explore as well as the low cost travel options available in China.
The weekend really was incredible! Fuelled by the sheer size of the metropolis and the millions of modern and forwarding thinking people who occupy it, Shanghai has a real energy about it which we’d guess is unique in Asia outside of Hong Kong and maybe Tokyo. As the beating heart of China’s booming economy, the skyline is just amazing with huge skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, and in fact, the air quality was much better than I had anticipated so you could actually enjoy it!
The first night after arriving we were really tired, so we just decided to go on a bit of a walk and get something to eat. Eventually we ended up at a hot pot restaurant, where you pick random things and they put them all into one large dish. Ours was definitely random! We couldn’t read the characters so we ended up with two frogs and God knows what but it was still pretty nice and not “Shanghai-expensive.”
The next day we had a casual look around the city including the famous Shanghai Bund, and we also visited a temple. Although it was very beautiful and had huge Buddha statues we were not really interested in the whole touristy pseudo-culture thing, but inside the shop/gallery there was a guy making really incredible black and white paintings using only his fingers which was very cool to see. For the rest of the day we just did a bit of searching and tried some of the local street, then got ready to sample Shanghai’s nightlife. That night we went to a massive club called Feebe’s which was really really good, and at 100 yuan all-you-can drink begging for absolute annihilation! Although being the boring old man we are on the inside we couldn’t help but think of the contrast of the practically pornographic grinding of the locals and the weird strip tease thing which started on every hour to the CCP’s 90th birthday celebration statues which are dotted around the city. Such is Shanghai!
We won’t do a whole minute by minute play of what we did for the whole weekend, but on the Sunday night we went up the Jin Mao Building, which is one of the top twenty buildings in the world. Enjoying a Royal Mohito in the Cloud 9 bar whilst overlooking the city was a real experience, and a great way to chill for an evening.
A personal highlight for us was going to one of the many fake markets, this one in West Nanjing Road. It’s essentially a normal crappy market, but if you mention the code words “Breitling” or “Rolex” they take you into the back of their shops, sometimes complete with false doors/bookcases and little secret rooms which we found really funny. Especially when one of them tried to convince us his Tag Heuer watches were originals when we were among the 30 yuan belts. We were pretty pleased with them anyway and picked up a couple of the children of North Korea’s finest timepieces.
Monday seemed to come too quickly and it was all over, a quick ride on the Maglev train at 300km p/h (which would usually deserve a proper mention but not in the context of this trip! :D), another easy flight and we were back home! If only we could have stayed longer; We’d really love to go back again sometime.

Ben & Phil

 

Travel, Weekend Trips

Trip to Shanghai and Hong-Kong

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.

 

Travel, Weekend Trips

Vacation in Hongo Kongo

Cheers all!
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.

Simon.

 

Chinese Festivals

It is Christmas Time in China!

Hey guys,
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.

InternChina-Shanghai-subway-map
InternChina- Shanghai subway map

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.

InternChina-Christmas-shopping-in-Shanghai
InternChina- Christmas shopping in Shanghai

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.

InternChina-Christmas-time-in-Shanghai
InternChina- Christmas time in Shanghai

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.

InternChina-The-Shanghai-Christmas-lights-at-night
InternChina- The Shanghai Christmas lights at night

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.

Cheers, Simon.

Travel, Weekend Trips

ZHOUZHUANG (Old Town)

InternChina-Travelling-in-Zhouzhuang
InternChina- Travelling in Zhouzhuang

InternChina-Boat-trip-in-downtown-Shanghai
InternChina- Boat trip in downtown Shanghai

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)…

Want to study Chinese in smaller cities that have less foreigners Click Here!

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