Westernized Shanghai

Give the fact that, at least since the 1840s, Shanghai was the hub for Western businesses that had a branch in China, most of the city is cosmopolitan if not futuristic in appearance. The prime are is The Bund, which is the western shore of the Huangpu river, bordered mostly by 1930s art deco edifices. Across the river, ultra modern sky scrapers define the Pudong cityscape.
Very inconvenient to be in the Shanghai metro during the rush hour!

Permalink|Comments RSS Feed|Trackback URL

By train to Shanghai

The fast train took nearly 5 hours to cover the 1300km from Beijing to Shanghai. Very exciting!
It ran mostly on dedicated, elevated railways.
This is the dining car. The display in the back reads the current speed: 303km/h.
The biggest excitement was yet to come. This maglev monorail reached a top speed of 432km/h, but for a very short time, given the total length of track of only 30km. It links the Shanghai to Pudong airport.

Permalink|Comments RSS Feed|Trackback URL

Ming Tombs and Great Wall

First 4 pictures are from a visit to the Ming Dynasty tombs. There is an exhibit hall with burial objects. Unfortunately, our tour guide took us to a tomb that was big and important but not yet excavated, so we weren’t able to see how they look inside.

Last 3 pictures are from the Great Wall. Given the crowding, difficult terrain and limited time imposed by the guide, it was next to impossible to enjoy it properly. I left that place with the feeling that I missed the might associated with biggest man made structure in the world.

Permalink|Comments RSS Feed|Trackback URL

National Museum of China

The National Museum of China is conveniently located on the side of Tiananmen Square. It has collections covering from ancient times until the Qing Dynasty. However, most areas dedicated to the modern period were documented in Chinese only, so I was unable to find out the official contemporary position about the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution.

Worth seeing even for not the art inclined person; free admission.

Permalink|Comments RSS Feed|Trackback URL

Beijing 2

As soon as we returned to Beijing from the DPRK we decided to circumvent the mobility problem by renting a pair if bicycles. Finally we were able to move efficiently and to go around the city.

Unfortunately, the more we moved the more disappointed we were. First of all, although there is no exhaust smell (all motorbikes have electric motors and batteries, and the resit of the vehicles are fairly new) the air is so polluted with fine dust that we have never able to see the sky, during our stay. Furthermore, except for a few major sights, most of the traditional buildings are gone (some say as a result of Mao’s Great leap forward movement in the ’60s), being replaced with western style office and apartment buildings. Furthermore, food and drinks are very expensive, something we haven’t encountered in Asia before. Average meal costs way more than it would cost in Los Angeles 🙁

Permalink|Comments RSS Feed|Trackback URL
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 Next