Moving on to Guilin

I started my next morning with a wonton soup breakfast just next to the hostel and from there walked over to the People’s Park.IMG_2945

Since it was ‘my’ metro station it was only right to go and visit. As it turned out on Saturday there is a marriage market in the park (I am sure my mother would be there too if she still had hope to get me wedded).

First I was not sure what the meaning was behind all this ‘advertising’ (not that I could read them, but with the age and height in numbers written I grasped that this was about people) but then I asked this man and he explained in sign language. It was more than clear then what was going on here. All in all it is an interesting concept that the parents or other sort of handlers are sitting there advertising grown-up people.IMG_2951 IMG_2952 IMG_2953 IMG_2954He appeared to be one of the important handlers there.IMG_2955 IMG_2956 IMG_2957 IMG_2958 IMG_2960
Walking through the park I noticed that it was a fairly large section actually. I remembered seeing something like it on tv, but in real life that’s something else.

Then it was already time to get back to the hostel. A quick photo stop at the Marriot Hotel where inside is the Maseratti car dealer. Really Shanghai had a different dimension.IMG_2963

Working my way up on the to-do list in Shanghai, I took the metro to the Maglev train station. This high-speed train brings you to the airport in no time.IMG_2967

With up to 300 km/h (I think advertised were 400 but this I didn’t see. And no, I was not reading on the train, not really) the countryside moved by in a flash.IMG_2971 IMG_2972 IMG_2973

As you can see the train was almost empty, in my compartment sat one other family. The train is of course super interesting if you are a tourist and have never been before on a high speed train. It was insofar a great experience as I can now say that I tried it and I did not feel any difference. But is very expensive especially since the metro goes to the airport as well.

At the airport there was just the waiting for my flight to be done and browsing the bookstore. Here at Shanghai airport I saw the first English books and magazines. Not even in Beijing I saw any. I also saw some people sleeping in the massage chairs while waiting for their flight and was envious because there was not one chair left for me!IMG_2982

Once in Guilin it was easy to take the shuttle bus, get off at the right station (had to ask only once) and then walk the 10 minutes to the hostel.
The Wada Guilin had really good reviews at hostel world and even provided one wi-fi which had access to Facebook and Google. Amazing really. It didn’t change the fact though that the wi-fi was not strong enough to upload any pictures. Still it was great to have access to FB and Google immediately.

I signed up right away for the rice terraces tour the next day since I only had one full day planned in this city and I was told it was easier to do it from Guilin. And that was it for the day. Yours, Pollybert

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More of Shanghai

The next morning dawned bright and new and with a sunny ‘Good morning’ from my Korean roommates. After a lazy western breakfast with eggs and beans at the hostel restaurant I was ready to start the day.
From The Times list I decided to do no. 2 the Fuxing Park (check!!) in the French Concession Quarter. It was only a short metro ride and a little walk around (why I am always walking first in the wrong direction is beyond me) I was in the park. And it was exactly as described. Lots of people around, dancing, doing Tai chi (check !!!), or just sitting or even sleeping. And not just old people, rather from all ages. I really wonder why there are always so many people around (besides the obvious reason that they are a lot people), don’t they have work to do? The park itself was beautiful and lush, the weather being warm but not too hot. What more could I want for people watching?IMG_2890 IMG_2891 IMG_2892 IMG_2894 IMG_2896 IMG_2897On the way through the French Concession Quarter I later stopped for soup. Pictures in restaurant are really helpful, will never talk bad about them anymore.IMG_2898

 

Walking further through the area brought me to a nice coffee place where I then decided to follow the metro plan and go see the Catholic Church in Shanghai. On my arrival there the first thing I noticed was the wedding that went on. Not so much the wedding as the photo shoot.

This I had already noticed in several cities seemed to be super popular. There is always a team of at least three people around the couple, the photographer, the make-up artist and the assistant. All three of the busy in putting the couple into the best light. Like in Europe May appeared to be the favorite month for weddings.IMG_2901 IMG_2902 IMG_2906

 

Since I was in the area I checked out another park just a couple of blocks away. While sitting there I wrote all my postcards and then decided that I would go to the movies tonight. I needed a break from Chinese food and wanted classic entertainment.IMG_2911 IMG_2912 IMG_2915 IMG_2916 IMG_2917 IMG_2918

Upon leaving the park I happened on this group of pink ladies. They really had a fabulous choreography going.IMG_2925 IMG_2926 IMG_2927

At the movies I had the choice between two movies (see, I never doubted they would show English films) and I went for the Avengers: Age of Ultron. The 3D movie came with a hefty ticket price 120Yuan or 20 Euro. Wow, at this price I would never go at home. No wonder the theater was almost empty.
While waiting for the film to start I walked around the mall in which the cinema was located and was astonished of the variety of shops. Austria is shopping wise in the Stone Age compared to China. That’s unbelievable what they have here. And the shops are not cheap. So maybe they are all making really good money or some people are so rich to keep it all going.IMG_2928 IMG_2929 IMG_2930The movie then was super and I had really fun seeing it (except for the little boy behind me who kept hitting my seat). Still it was a great evening that got better when I came to the hostel. The Korean girls were already there, telling me all about the Matisse exhibition they went to (so mature!) and then gave me a face mask and a black head remover strip. I thought that really nice but don’t understand why and how they could even see I need it. It was so dark in the room we never had more light than “extreme romantic” level. Yours, Pollybert

The Bund of Shanghai

With the metro and the airport express it was no problem to get to the airport. Also terminal 1 was easy to be found in the end. Second station of the airport express (exit Terminal 2) and then walk forever. Since I had time and was in already in better shape after a month of traveling (to the day 1 month ago I left Vienna), no problem.IMG_2832

 

Around noon I arrived in Shanghai. Since I looked up the information on how to get to the hostel I was searching for a bus. After a while I gave up, a bus with the number 925 was not to be found. Since I had downloaded the whole information I took the metro then. Worked quite well especially when I figured out the the numbers they gave me for the station were actually meant as exits from below to the street. This was really helpful since my station ‘People’s Square’ had around 18 different exits. Some more than one km away from each other. With the right exit then the Mingtown Etour Youth hostel was just a step away.

I checked in, showered and made my way to The Bund. At the corner of my hostel I also saw the first Wifi Telephone cell. Loved it!IMG_2835

 

The direct way for me to get to the Bund was by walking through Nanjing Street. I think this must be the biggest shopping street in Shanghai. And right away I noticed that Shanghai is not for the backpacker. Too many shops, too much to buy. This is definitely a city where you arrive with an empty suitcase and buy a second one as well.IMG_2845 IMG_2846

In the hostel I had looked up online on what to see in Shanghai and found an amazing 10 points list from Time magazine. I tried my best to do some of the things suggested.

Finally I arrived at the Bund with a stop at one mall. Here are almost no public toilets, but every mall provides one. The Bund was full of people, always a good chance to ask someone to take a picture.IMG_2850 IMG_2854 IMG_2856 IMG_2857 IMG_2860 IMG_2861

A really impressive view wherever I looked and I walked it up and down.IMG_2859 IMG_2863 IMG_2865 IMG_2866 IMG_2868
I found these two buildings side by side and they reminded me of two other communist countries. They left on looks like a building in Havana and the right one like a smaller version of one of the seven sisters in Moscow. That was probably the intent, no?IMG_2867

 

By now I was rather cold though. After 30 degrees in Being the 22 in Shanghai felt cool in my skirt. Therefore I decided against the drink at the Vue Bar (number 10 on the Time list) but rather headed back in the direction of the hostel. In one of the food (in which they serve no food but only sell specialties) I found a Dim Sum place in the back. And since it was on the list of to do things I stopped for dinner.IMG_2877 IMG_2878

I still don’t know what to think about these. There’s a lot of juice inside. I tried the famous crab stuffed ones (the ones in the steamer) and the others were with pork. Both were juicy but from the second dim sum on I knew to take a small bite first, suck out all the juice and then eat the rest. Easier said then done when they were best eaten while still hot.

I managed though and since I was as tired as on any other traveling day, I went for a hot chocolate to Starbucks and then headed back to the hostel.IMG_2879 IMG_2880

There I found out that I shared my room with two Korean girls (who didn’t understand Chinese as well. Felt good to know).  Yours, Pollybert