china tour part 5

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from guilin we went to shanghai. shanghai is an amazing place.  it looks like new york city with all it’s sky scrappers.  western modern, asian old, euroland old, and asian new all rolled up into one place.  interesting.  more hot babes as well.  we went to the shanghai museum one morning.  lots of jade and bronze.  old old stuff.  very nice but not my cup of joe.  all very interesting but i prefer to look at paintings. 

after the museum we went down to the bund.  yeah, bund it’s the name of the street in the old section by the river.  lots of old early 20th century buildings built by the euros, mostly germans and dutch.  nice view on the river of sky scrappers and stuff.  took a bunch of pics.   and of course we ate 2 more superb chinese banquets that day.

next day off to hangzhou by bus.  some interesting scenery once out of shanghai.  miles and miles of farm land with some nice new and old houses with 2 or 3 families living in the houses.

hangzhou is a big light industrial city.  not much to see just the usual temples and this lake that wasn’t all that special.  lunch was ok but dinner was the worst meal of the trip.  we walked into this place and everyone knew from the smell we were in trouble.  the place looked like a chinese vfw for old chinese korean war vets.  just jammed packed with old guys and a few old women.  they were playing cards and dice.  one of the old guys was happy to see some americans and patted me on the shoulder and gave me a big smile.  turns out they were all waiting for a train that was late.  everything is pretty much late in china so no big deal.  well, at least to them.  dinner was no good.  our guide apologized and said next day would be better.  it was so bad most of us barely touched it.  when we got back to the hotel we bought a couple of cardboard sandwiches to ease the pangs of hunger.  as bad as the sandwiches were they tasted better than the dinner.

next day a bus trip to suzhou.  more farmland. we went to this old village that is still a working ville with canals and all.  the venice of china.  sorta.  we took a bicycle rickshaw ride into the ville which was cool and then a small boat ride
thru the canals.  we watched the folks wash their clothes in the canal and dishes too.  no soap.  glad we didn’t eat there.  then the bike rickshaw ride back out.  all and all very nice.

after that it was off to, tiger hill, the chinese leaning tower of pisa.  it leans more than the one in italy.  a very cool place with some good light and clear weather along with not much smog for picture taking.  then off to this really nice chinese garden that would have been more spectacular had there not been a bazillion people all over the place.  by this time everyone is tired and whacked out with all the moving and airports and just the stress of it all.  after dinner we were happy just to go back to the hotel and sleep. 

the bus ride back to shanghai the next morning turned into another traffic nightmare.  the main road to the freeway from auzhou was closed for some reason.  our driver didn’t know it till it was too late to do anything about it.  we were stuck in a monumental traffic jam on 2 a lane road for well over an hour.  he was pissed as the rest of tour was leaving that afternoon from shanghai for home.  we were staying over in shanghai for two more days.  it took forever to get back into shanghai.

when we finally arrived in shanghai the tour was running late so they just dropped us off on a street corner and we caught a cab back to our hotel.  the same hotel we had stayed at on the tour.  they had stored our luggage for us.  on one of our extra nights g/f threw a big dinner party for some of her friends and relatives in this amazing place called, the dynasty restaurant.  4 floors of restaurant with rooms decorated in like a baroque style.  amazing.  really beautiful.  our room even had a grand piano, a large flat screen tv, and a balcony with a wonderful view of downtown shanghai.  the food was excellent.  we were attended to by two of our own waitresses.  it was the first place in china that served wine with the meal.  good chinese stuff and as much as you wanted.  there would be no way to duplicate the place here in states or the dinner.  the meal cost g/f around $300 US.  here with that setting, food, and service it would cost more like $2000 US or more.  interesting.  after dinner we went back to the bund to check it out under the lights.  pretty spectacular.

we spent the next day in shanghai just dicking around and chilling out.  eating and shopping.  we left the next day and the plane was only 2 hours late getting off the ground.  though only one hour late getting to lax due to a nice tailwind.

there ya go.  if it’s tuesday it must be china.  for now that’s the way to see china easily and relatively cheap too.  a wonderful experience and i can’t wait to go back.

tiger hill.

the bund in shanghai.

shanghai.

jmh

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