Two weeks Beijing to Shanghai

Old Oct 2nd, 2012, 04:27 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,767
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great info. Did your skip Suzhou or hangzou since you spent more time in shanghai? Which did you prefer of the cities you visited?
dgunbug is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2012, 07:15 AM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi dgunbug, We planned Suzhou as a day trip from Shanghai. But it was impossible to leave Shanghai. So we woke up on the last day and decided to cancel the trip on a very short notice. Hangzhou is cool, but Suzhou should be lovely as well. So if you have to pick one - it's a tough choice. It should be possible to see Suzhou on a day trip from Shanghai, while in Hangzhou it's really great to stay overnight. May be this can help your planning. I'll post about Hangzhou tomorrow.
vizho is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2012, 02:50 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,854
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am glad you fell in love with Shanghai; I don't recommend Xintiandi to anyone, Taikang Road is much more fun.
Shanghainese is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 03:35 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,912
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enjoyed reading your report, thank you!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:55 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,467
Received 79 Likes on 10 Posts
THanks for the Piling Palang and Pure Land recommendations...the sites look just like what I'm after....will be sure to visit.
barefootbeach is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2012, 12:08 AM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hangzhou

Next two days we were planning to spend in Hangzhou. Thought with the new speed train it tacks only 45 minutes to get to Hangzhou, with the time to get to the train station, purchase the tickets and arrive to our hotel, it took us good half of the day before we were able to start our exploration.

I think it is not possible to dislike Hangzhou – beautiful lake with perfectly maintained park all around it. It gives a feel as if you go to the sea side off season. All you do here is stroll around the lake, drink tea, wonder and make million of pictures of perfectly maintained gardens and watch Chinese couples on vacation strolling around the lake. That’s exactly what we were doing for the remaining of the day.

The reason we came to Hangzhou was not only to enjoy the beauties of the lakes, bridges and ponds, but to see the Impression West Lake Show staged by famous film director Zhang Yimou (I’m a big fan of his movies, especially Hero). We arranged our tickets thought the hotel and at 7.30 were ready to watch the performance. Oh my god, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life. Staged directly on the lake, using the trees, pavilions and bridges as the stage decoration and making it even more beautiful with light and sound effects, the performance kept me with my mouth open all 90 minutes. What was really surprising is the reaction of the audience: people leaving, people talking on their mobile phones, no applauds when the show finished. I assume that’s another cultural difference, but still it was a pity considering the quality and impact of the performance. After the show we gave up an idea to catch a taxi and had an hour walk back to our hotel, what was great to digest the emotions after the show and enjoy the night view of the West Lake.

Second day in Hangzhou we took a taxi to Língyǐn Temple. More impressive then the temple itself, are the Buddhist carvings you see on the way to the temple. As the carvings are done directly on the cliffs of the mountain with all natural vegetation left untouched (fortunately no modern rebuilding here!), you have some magic feel wondering around the carvings (again, given that you’ve arrived early enough, around 9 am the place is full with the tourist groups). We took an audio guide in the ticket booth again, that helped us not only have some information about the carvings and the temple, but also get directions with an electronic map on the audio guide devise.

After that we had a short drive to the Tea museum, as both me and my mom are big tea lovers and were curious to learn something new about tea. There were some explanations about tea plant and tea produce indeed, but if somebody asks my opinion, I would not recommend going there.

The next 3 hours we devoted to circling the lake from the west side (east side we did the previous day) finishing the round in a Starbacks with a cup of coffee.

It was around 4pm and we decided to catch a taxi to the train station and head back to Shanghai. I was reading somewhere before that from 4 to 6 pm it is close to impossible to find a taxi in Hangzhou as the taxi drivers are changing shifts. But of course, I thought it would work fine for us for some magic reason  Now I know – it is indeed impossible to catch a taxi at that hour. After half an hour attempt to catch a taxi we gave up and asked at tourist information which bus goes to the train station (if it is a tourist information, do not assume they speak English! I used all my pantomime skills to explain what I want). In the end the girl working there wrote on a piece of paper something in Chinese and number “7” and showed us in some not clearly defined direction. Next half an hour we spent searching for the N7 bus stop. (yes, we tried to ask people on the street, no success). Tired and confused, we decided that those only things we can trust are our legs and the map, so we start walking the direction of the train station. Finally success and in approximately 30 minutes we saw the desired Train Station and finally returned back to Shanghai.
vizho is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2012, 12:17 AM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Shanghai again

The initial plan for the last date was visiting Suzhou, but it was impossible for me to part from Shanghai without any shopping. So my mom was an angel and we agreed to exchange cultural program to fake markets, shopping malls and small shops.

We started the day at the Underground Market at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, as everybody I’ve asked named the place as the best fake market in Shanghai. So not true! First, you see only foreigners walking around with huge black bags; second, the quality of the stuff is total crap; and third, you have very strange assortment there. (if you are looking for a ski jacket, it may be not that bad, but I was looking purely for fashion items, that are in this season)

After some wandering around and empty handed we head for our second shopping stop – Parkson department store on the Huaihai road. Again a disappointment – I was looking for some Chinese, Korean or Japanese brands, but it was full with Esprit, Only and Mango. The little of non European brands they had looked creepy and way to expensive.

Not giving up we moved on to Xinle road, just around the corner from Parkson. And there was the place I was looking for: small cute shops with shoes, bags, accessories and clothes. One part of it – fakes; another part - just similar design to the branded stuff, but no labels. For those of us who love fashion, but can not afford fashionable design piece for one season - it’s a paradise! (Even after one week I can’t forget all those shops and still agonizing that I bought too little)

There I also had the infamous China bags experience: “hallo lady, bags, watches, come with me, special price”. Following my curiosity I’ve followed one of the guys to the back streets where he led me to an apartment blocked, knocked on the door and we entered into a small room with thick air and walls with shelves full of Gucci, LV, Prada fake bags. I’ve been to two or three places like this, they all look the same. This is definitely quite a special way to do shopping. (… but I’ll lie if I say I went out empty-handed).

With this shopaholic experience, our two weeks in China were ending and it was time to head to the airport. I love travelling and was lucky to visit many places in the world already, but China was the first country that brought so much different emotions: travelling there is sometimes quite frustrating, but definitely a lot of fun.
vizho is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2012, 03:18 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 774
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for a great report - have just read it all in one go, and enjoyed it very much.
Carrabella is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2012, 05:07 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,767
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great report and good info for my trip next week. Much appreciated - especially your timeliness!
dgunbug is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2012, 07:00 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
loved the report and have taken some notes
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2012, 07:36 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,346
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes a great and timely report. Thank you for the effort....you help more than you will ever know.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2012, 10:35 PM
  #32  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great report, vizho - thanks for sharing your experiences! How wonderful that you were able to take this journey with your mother.
kja is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2012, 08:13 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 427
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the detailed report. Your observations about Beijing are correct but I would add "it depends where you are in Beijing". I live in Beijing and have seen the city change over the years but you still have toilets that are just a hole in the ground with no door. But plenty of nice toilets all over town. I disagree with the statement that Chinese eat early. Maybe you face this problem in touristy areas. Recently I could not find a place to eat between 9pm and 10pm after checking nearly a dozen restaurants that were all full. I gave up and went to McDonalds.
And taxis have been more of a problem recently. With rising gas prices they make less and less money and have become more picky.
JPDeM is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jayc
Asia
13
Jul 21st, 2010 04:58 PM
Images2
Asia
5
Feb 27th, 2009 06:30 AM
cloudeleven
Asia
11
Jun 19th, 2008 06:36 AM
elysag
Asia
7
Jun 17th, 2008 05:37 PM
rickg
Asia
5
Oct 23rd, 2003 02:57 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:56 PM.