Friday, August 21, 2009

shanghai, china

after viewing the total solar eclipse, and enjoying a brief stop in suzhou, i went to shanghai, china for a couple days.

i made it successfully from the train to the subway only to find this sign...

uh, where am i going?

this has always been the most intimidating thing about visiting countries whose written languages i cannot even make a guess at! luckily, my guide book listed the chinese characters and english language, so i found my way to the correct stop!

a mix of old and new.

simple and smooth jasmine tea.

shanghai is an architecturally interesting city.

parasols everywhere. i love parasols. i wish people in the western world wouldnt look at me like such a weirdo when i use one on a sunny day! there were people walking around campus moments before totality of the solar eclipse still holding their parasols over their heads!

deep fry and enjoy.

i have no idea why the broccoli in the picture is upside down! it made me laugh enough to buy the book!

one of the main tourist attractions in shanghai is the riverfront buildings of the bund. as i was walking thru the city to the bund, i noticed this crazy building off in the distance!

i was more interested in seeing this strange oriental pearl tower than the bund, so i decided to cross the river to the pearl tower side. instead of taking the metro under the river, i used the "bund sightseeing tunnel." the ride was ridiculous! i cannot really recommend taking the overpriced tunnel for anything more than a good laugh and 4 minutes of bright lights! i have to admit that i did enjoy it though, because all the excited chinese tourists rushed to the front of the little car, while i sat in back watching their reactions to all the lights.

the oriental pearl tower up close.

the view of the bund from the pudong side of the river.

(how adorable is her dress?)

i wasnt expecting shanghai to be lit up at night as much as it is! all the buildings with crazy architecture also have lights strewn all over them!

this dish tasted a lot better than it looks or sounds: eel and eggplant.

self-portrait while sitting on the maglev: the world's fastest train and the first commercial high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world. since i rode outside of peak hours, we only reached 301 km/hr (188 mph - as opposed to the normal operation speed of 431 km/h (268 mph)). we attained that speed in under 2 minutes, and were only able to enjoy the smooth ride for another 5 minutes before we arrived at the airport, 20 miles outside of the city. i wish i could take a maglev across the US!

more photos: here.


BG said...

Awesome pictures to go with your great stories!

As a side note, in partial response to another post of yours, I *do* understand the use of the word "through", and strongly prefer it to "thru". :-P

(...even if my "understanding" is limited to a preference for standardization of language, with exception for creative license/licence, of course)

Steve said...

Agreed, great pictures! While China is not near the top of the list of places where I want to travel, you've helped bump it up a few spots.

*sigh* I wish I could take a maglev train ANYWHERE in the States! Maybe soon...

heroineworshipper said...

Traveling 3000 miles at 188mph doesn't sound any fun, no matter what our political heros say. Not so sure about that 268mph figure either. Sounds like someone pulled the wool over your eyes.

Nicholas Garcia (Nick) said...

Very cool. I enjoy seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of travel and adventure. Thanks for sharing you experience....nick

Unknown said...

fbg - i disagree with the desire to standardize languages. people can communicate perfectly well even if they dont speak exactly the same. i also think a lot of personality and cultural history is preserved thru the dialects of people from different regions. i think we should appreciate and preserve that cultural variety as much as possible.

heroineworshipper - huh?

MikeS said...

That last picture is just great.

Nikky said...

I love your pictures! that pearl building doesn't even look real!

That train ride sounds crazy! I think it would be awesome to get from point a to point b that quickly! think of how much people would save on airfare if they could travel by train that quickly! the more planes we have in the sky the worse it is for the environment! I also like the fact that it is driven by an energy source that doesn't run out! I say bring on the crazy fast trains!