A Travellerspoint blog

Shanghai

sunny 30 °C
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Ni Hao,

We travelled to Shanghai by high speed train, which made the journey in around ten and a half hours. We paid extra for the soft sleeper train which meant we had out own cabin with bunkbeds, tv's, air con, and even slippers. It was a really nice journey and after a good sleep we arrived in Shanghai.

The first thing we noticed was the sun, which was confirmed by Jay's dripping brow!!! The sun was not really visible in Beijing due to all the smog. We spent a little time calling around some hostels and once we found one we headed there in a taxi (after the big struggle trying to get stacey's monster of a backpack into the boot of the cab, whilst the driver continued to drive without her even in the car yet!!!)

The hostel room was small and we had bunkbeds. Kim and Stacey grabbed the bottom bunks which left me and Jay with top bunk. The rest of the hostel was nce though with a large common room area and a bar/restaurant.

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We had 8 nights in Shanghai so we were able to relax a little and take our time seeing all the sights. We took a boat tour along the river which was a good way to see what was around, and Stacey was treated like a celebrity with everyone having pictures taken with her and pointing, we can only assume that this is because she is the palest of the pale. Here are some pictures from the boat:

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The Highlight of the boat trip had to be at the end when they started playing music from Titanic, it was just like we were there!!!

We wanted to see the views of Shaghai from up high so one evening we went to the Jinmao Tower which is in the Pudong area, where we took a trip to the 87th floor and sipped cocktails like it was Sunday at the country club. (actually just the one cocktail as they were 9 pounds each!!!!) The views from the bar were amazing, and we were so high that my ears went funny. Here are some pictures of our time at the tower:

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The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is a very tall tower that has become symbolic of Shanghai. We visited this in both the daytime and evening, but it looked much better at night when it was all lit up:

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We visited a couple of temples in Shanghai, the Jing'an Temple and the Confucian Temple. At the Jingmai Temple we saw the monks gathering in the courtyard and performing some kind of a chant.

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A short walk from our hostel was the famous East Nanjing Road, which a shopping street where all the famous shops are located. At night it is lit up like a strip in Las Vegas, and every evening herds of workers come out hosing down and scrubbing every inch of the street. We had to walk past the hose a few times, screaming all the while!

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We also managed to encounter royalty in Shaghai, in the form of "Dairy Queen". Me and Jay have decided that she is our true queen, and we treated ourselves to one of her Strawberry Shakes on a number of occasions.

It's almost time to leave Shanghai now, and we're just preparing for our 20 hour train journey to Hong Kong. We've gone for the cheaper "Hard Sleeper" this time which means no door on our cabin and 2 random people sharing with us, but hopefullt it wont be too scary.

That's all for now, I'll hopefully have some updates from Hong Kong in the next few days.

Posted by aaronlapth 00:32 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Great Wall

Our 8km hike!

rain
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After our unsuccessful attempt to try to make it to the great wall on our own, we decided to book an organised tour with our hostel, and hoped we would actually make it there this time. We had to leave for the trip at 6.40am, but even so, we managed to get ready on time which for those people who know jay's time keeping, was quite an achievement! We all piled onto the mini bus and began the two and a half hour journey to the wall. Here we are on our way there, all nice and normal looking...(we didn't look like this for long!)

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When we got to the wall it was raining so we bought waterproof poncho's to keep us dry, although mine was more like a bin liner with arm holes! We were given the option to walk up the mountain to the wall or take the cable car, we took one look at the size of the mountain and all rushed to the cable car ticket office! Here are some pictures from the journey up. It was very high!

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The views from the top were amazing! We started our 8km hike, passing through towers and over sections of wall. We passed 26 towers in total, and the sections of wall between each one were each as exhausting as the previous one. At one point we were in the clouds where we were so high. Kim was struggling to stay alive the whole time, but somehow made it to the end.

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At the end we had to cross a rope bridge over a river before making our way back to the mini bus. It was a really good day out.

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Posted by aaronlapth 22:08 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Forbidden City in Beijing

After recovering from our jet lag we decided to go and check out the Forbidden City in Beijing. This is a huge city in the centre of Beijing that is surrounded by a wall, and was closed off to the rest of the city for years. From outside we couldn't see much.

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After making it through all the tour guides outside who were all over us trying to get us to pay them to take us around, we finally got inside. It was like a maze in there, with narrow alleys and hundreds of buildings. Jay was dripping the whole time!

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We wandered around there for a good few hours then headed to Tianenman Square, the largest public square in the world.

Later we decided to try some chinese food so found a restaurant near our hostel. Stacey managed to eat a couple of noodles so she's making good progress.

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This is a picture of the beatles and other scary things that were for sale on sticks in the market in Beijing. The scorpions were still alive and moving.

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Posted by aaronlapth 00:05 Comments (0)

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