Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Shanghai & Jiangnan Province, China - 28 Sep 2011 to 04 Oct 2011

Day 1 - 28 Sep 2011

My family & I took a SQ flight from Singapore to Shanghai and bought a coupon from at $68 for a 8 days 7 nights tour.  The only thing good about this deal is that it is cheap and bring you to places of interest.  However, cheap stuffs has terms and conditions to follow.  We are not allowed to leave the group and they will bring you to local places to buy souvenirs.  Everyday, they will bring you to at least 2 places.  It is ok for as I don't really buy.  I am more interested in sight-seeing.  

Once we arrive in Shanghai, our tour guide, Xiao Ma brought us to this local place named Cheng Huang Temple.  I though it's like a temple, BORING ! But it seems that it is not a temple, it is a shopping place and look at the building structure.  It is so chinese-looking.

Xiao Ma introduced us to this place where they specialized in Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (上海小籠包). There is a saying.  If you have not tasted Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (上海小籠包), you have not been to Shanghai.

That's the entrance...
I find this cute.  A huge bao 

The famous shanghai xiao long bao

We also tried this little dumpling

It look yellow with no taste and the local people taught us to put soya sauce

How to eat? 
Bite a hole on the top of the bao and suck the juice.  After that, put the ginger inside the little hole and eat it as a whole.  So simple !

Another food I found interesting was SPARROWS.  BBQ sparrows.  It looks kinda of  tried it as I have not eaten one before.  Taste like chicken and taste good but I tried this once as an experience is enough.  I love sparrows.

During the evening, we were brought to Shanghai shopping district named Nanjing street.  It's a shopping paradise.  However, since it is in Shanghai, the price of things are about the same as Singapore or maybe more expensive so I did not do any shopping.  

Suddenly, Larry say that he is hungry so we went up to one of the store upstairs called UBC coffee restaurant.  I heard there are some scamming going on here but when I went, it was ok.  We tried the spicy beef noodle.  Although it was oily, it was nice.  Please be reminded to check the price before ordering to prevent scamming.

This is a MUST try.  Spicy Beef Noodle

During the night, xiao ma brought us on a cruise to enjoy the night scenery of Shanghai.  It was beautiful with all the lights and the buildings.  The The famous  Oriential Pearl Tower (東方明珠)can also be seen.

The famous Oriential Pearl Tower (東方明珠)

After which, we stay at Howard Johnson Shanghai which was a fantastic hotel.

Day 2 - 29 Sep 2011

The next day, we visited the the famous Oriential Pearl Tower (東方明珠).  We took a elevator and reached the top of the tower.

Within the building,  There was a museum in the building.  

周莊 (Zhou Zhuang)
After this, we proceed on to 周莊 (Zhou Zhuang), it's a cultural place and some of the movies and dramas are filmed here.  Here are some pictures of the place.

Our tour guide, Xiao ma brought us to experience the river life of local people.  We took a boat and below is the lady that gave us a ride.  She sings some local songs and entertained us through the journey.  After the ride, she ask from us tips.  We gave her a little but she is still unhappy and asked for more so we gave her a little more so be prepared for that.

Day 3 - 30 Sep 2011

Today will be a Go Green Day, we visited Emperor Qianlong's favourite garden, the lion grove garden (獅子林).  Tickets can be purchased at the entrance.  Nothing much there but only flowers and some ancient china settings.  It's like a photo shooting session.

Day 4 - 01 Sep 2011

We visited 三國城 in Wuxi.  This was built to film the drama 三國演義 and after the filming, they open it to tourist.  However, they still do use the place for some other drama filmings.  I was lucky to bump into one filming session there.  If you have watched the movies or dramas, you will find this familiar. 

Here are some pictures of the place.  It was built so real they even have a ship that can sail in the area.

The Entrance

The sailing experience 

There was also a live performance with real people and horses on a war scene which I assume its from 三國演義.

There is an area which you can be a princess for a day for RMB 10. 
The setting for the photo-taking
That's me.  A princess for RMB 10


We then proceed to Nanjing.  It was a place that was invaded by the Japanese occupation.  The torture did by the Japanese was really bad and until now, the Chinese over there still hates the Japanese.  As per our tour guide, no Japanese coaches were seldom seen there.  There was a museum that displayed the tortured dead bodies of victims.  It's was too depressing so our tour guide did not include it into the tour packages.

We visited the the Ming Dynasty Tomb (明十三陵).  The site, located on the southern slope of Tianshou Mountain, was chosen on the feng shui principles by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402–1424).  From the Yongle Emperor onwards, 13 Ming Dynasty Emperors were buried in this area.

This is the bridge that was built by pheasant during the Emperor Qing period.  Each brick that was used has a name on it.  If the brick falls off or cause the bridge to collapse, their families will be executed.  This is why after so many years, the bridge still stand strong.  

In the evening, we were brought to Nanjing Road.  It is a long stretch of shops with many people.  A shopping paradise in Nanjing.

This is the famous food in Nanjing, it is the Duck blood noodles.  I tried it and it taste good.  Haha... I know, not everyone can agreed with me but it's worth a try.  

The evening view of the place but the night view is really beautiful with lights that light up the place with colors.

During dinner, we tried the famous China wine, mao tai (茅台酒).  As I am not a wine person, I find it strong and hot as it travels down my throat.  Whoo ! but it is worth to try it out since you are here !

Day 5 - 02 Sep 2011

We visited Mao Zhe Dong memorial hall.  It was like a museum that displayed some of his symbolic items.

Yiwu (義烏)
This is a place for bulk purchases for business purposes.  I heard that previously many business people came over to make purchases and during that time, only cash was accepted.  However, they were robbed.  many business people has stopped going there already.  However, as per our tour guide, they have improved but I am not sure.  Haha... 

Day 6 - 03 Sep 2011
From Yiwu, we made our way to Hangzhuo (杭州).
Their was a chinese legend about a white snake who fell in love with a mortal and it was not allowed.
The white snake was then punished in a tower.
This tower is located in Hangzhou.

Here we are, the famous west lake located in Hangzhou.
The view is really nice and you can see the tower but it is far.

In the evening, we went to watch a show.

After the show, we checked in to our hotel.

Day 7 - 04 Sep 2011

We visited Hangzhou's famous local tea.  Long Jing Tea.
We bought the tea.  It's very refreshing :)

This is the place that they harvest the tea.
Only cooler weather & specific solid can harvest this tea.

After visiting the famous tea, we went for shopping at this "Hancity fashion & accessories plaza".
I did not get a lot.  I only got some socks and dresses.

After shopping, we proceed for dinner at the below restaurant.
The crew will dance to welcome you.  It's really warm..

After eating, we proceed back to the hotel to rest.

Day 8 - 05 Sep 2011
We took the early morning flight back to Singapore from Shanghai :)
Wonderful place that really make good memories...

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