Upon arrival in Shanghai you have to go through customs and this can take a bit of time. Our hotel for our two night stay was the Wyndham Bund East, a nice-four star stay. After check in my wife and I walked through some of the local neighbourhood on the way to the Bund waterfront boardwalk area. The Bund is a spectacle at night with the buildings exterior lighting and architectural design on show. The Bund walkway is about 2 km and well worth some extra time to view it at night and in the daylight.
Up early enough for breakfast before starting a day of touring at 9 am. We bussed to the Bund area to view it in the daylight. Then to the Old City and Yu Gardens to see the old architecture and the famous Chinese garden. We had lunch in the old city at a good restaurant,then to a tea tasting learning about the history and the opportunity to buy some tea. We came home with some excellent black tea. Back to the hotel to freshen up for some of the quests but we took the opportunity to walk in the area again and buy some pop and water.
At 5 PM we departed for the Bund to take a night boat ride on the river to view the lights. After the boat cruise we walked back to the hotel with a few others in tow that wanted to see some more of the area.
Today we went on the MagnaTrain that goes from the city area to the Pudong airport 30 km away in 7 minuets. Yes gets up to 430 km hr.
We then went shopping in the Nanjing road area, closed to traffic shopping street with some behind the scenes shopping for knock offs. After a lunch stop we were off to Suzhou “Little Venice of China”.
A short boat tour on the canals for viewing into some of the locals homes is interesting, it gives a view into the past.
Then to a silk embroidery shop with some of the items over 1 million $$$. Lots of shopping took place for the les expensive items. A stop for dinner, then to the Qing Shan resort hotel for the night, a nice 5* with no working A/C.
Our second day in Suzhou started off with a silk factory tour to get the history and benefits of silk and its use. Of course shopping for silk duvet and scarves. We then went to the Lingering Gardens this is definitely worth some time to see this Chinese style garden.
Back to Shanghai to catch a flight to Yichang to get on a president #7 river boat for four days on the Yangtze river.
Yangtze river cruise through the three gorges is very scenic with the mountains dropping straight into the river. When the dam was constructed the area was flooded and the water level rose 90 meters flooding out towns and farm land. Pagodas that were once on top of the mountains were now only a short walk up to. This cruise ship was not clean by any stretch compared to Europe or North American lines. But the staff was good and the food was OK..
Overall the Yangtze cruise is well worth the time for the diverse scenery and culture.
Off the ship in Chongqing and onto the tour bus to the zoo. Pandas were the highlight. Two twins playing and entertaining the crowd. Early in the morning is the best time to visit as they are more active. This was a way better experience then I expected as I am not a big fan of the zoo environment but it is necessary to preserve the threatened species.
A few more stops then onto the old town area that is just so busy and noisy with crowds of people at the shops and food stalls. Hot pepper meals and hot-pots are the flavours in this area of China as they have no central heat in their homes or shops. Heat is only available north of the Yangtze river.
Late after dinner we went to the airport for a flight to Beijing, not arriving until 12:30 AM. And making for a long day.
Beijing has lots to offer being so thick in history and culture. It was a quick two day visit. We visited the Forbidden City. Temple Of Heaven, then day two a walk/ climb on the Great Wall. This was a highlight for many on this tour and was nice to say I have been on it twice now. We also went to a Jade factory where carving and jewelry was the choice for the shoppers on our trip.
We had an early flight out in the morning up at 2:40am for the bus to the airport and homeward bound.
China on your list? Even if it is down on your list drop me a message and get some ideas and start planning.
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