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The Adventurer’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 06 Feb 2007

Location: Shanghai, China

MapHaving a great time here in China! The last couple of days in Beijing, we basically enjoyed some good meals (though not Chinese, I was kind of saving that for Shanghai), practiced some Chinese (damn tough, but I'm persistent in spite of being laughed at when I try to pronounce things), had cocktails, and walked around a lot. I've already been to Beijing, so I wasn't big into sightseeing this time round. Headed to the train station Sunday at about 5:30 to catch the 7:45 train to Shanghai.

My last impressions of Beijing--certainly lots to do and see in Beijing, I enjoyed every moment of my time there, both times, and I'd go back for a visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. There's a lot of dirt and pollution, quite simply because it's very old--though they are trying to develop it as much as possible. By the end of each day I felt like I had eaten dirt.

It was a 13 hour train ride to Shanghai, and I took a hard sleeper. It was in a bunk that went 4 high with me on the top. I recommend this way to go if anyone's ever traveling in China. You can't sit up straight, but the bed is comfortable, and there's room to put your stuff up on top. I pretty much slept the whole way there. That's the way to go--travel by night and tour by day, keeps the costs of accomodations lower.

I was in for a real treat in Shanghai. Joanne met me at the train station. The weather is very springlike with the temperature between 16-20 Celsius. No jacket needed. It's been a great couple of days since I got in. After I dropped my bags at Joanne's, she went to work, and I headed out to go exploring. This city's got a real mix of old and new, and is quite westernized. There are palm trees here, so I'm getting a kind of L.A./Vancouver kind of vibe, and there's a lot of energy here because of development, business, etc. The streets are well-landscaped with all kinds of trees, plants and flowers. Went down to the famous Bund district. This place is beautiful. The buildings are neoclassical built in the early 20th century (British style). Very European in this area. It's also a famous trade district as you can tell by all the merchant banks, gold exchange banks, customs house. The Bund's beauty is amplified by the river promenade which overlooks the HuangHe (Yellow) River. You'll also find the ritzy stores like Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, among so many others.

Went to get a haircut after this as I was looking pretty haggard. Feels good and it was no problem communicating. Met Joanne and went for Chinese dinner. Ate Honey-bbq'd pork fried rice with some vegetables on the side. Very delicious. Went to bed early and got a good night's sleep.

Another fantastic day today in terms of the weather. Went for a nice lunch on my way to the People's Square (a really nice park). On my way to the Bund again and then we're going to the French Concession for dinner and drinks.

Joanne and I decided to take a side trip around the 20th. I'm going to keep it interesting and leave you in suspense until I've been--so stay tuned.