Off to Shanghai
Trip Start Aug 07, 2006
52Trip End Jul 2007
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Doug and I have made it to Shanghai - The financial captial of Asia!
We were succesful in buying tickets for the soft sleeper train from Wuhan to Shanghai - we were both relieved to have been able to purchase tickets for the soft and not the hard sleeper! We both had a fantastic nights sleep - I had 11 hours on the train to Shanghai. (Am not surprised that I was tired as it was an early start - up at 04.45 in order to catch a bus from Yichang (where the boat docked) to Wuhan. It took 4 hours. Bus ride was not that bad, except for we were subjected to watching loud chinese kung fu / romantic films! (Puke!))
When we got to Wuhan, we said our goodbyes to Martin and Raph (and swapped email addresses, as Raph used to live in Singapore and Marin is from Peru
Shanghai is clean, modern and multicultural - the opposite to Beijing, Wuhan and Xi'an. Although Beijing is trying hard in time for the Olympics in 2008! There is loads of development going on in Shanghai. The Lonely Planet (LP) book (which has become our bible whilst travelling in China) apologised in the first chapter on the write up about Shanghai - it said that during the time that the book has going to print, Shanghai will have changed. This is so true! Doug and I had hoped to stay at the Astor Hotel - for 300Yuan per night, this was one of the very few cheap options. However when we arrived, it had changed to an upmarket hotel. New carpets and Bellboys..we felt a little out of place with our backpacks, shorts and t-shirts! Thankfully, the Bellboy, pointed us in the direction of the 'Holiday Hotel' a cheap alternative, (a bit like Holiday Inn)
Doug and I have had a fab day today. We have shopped (well, I have! I have new sunglasses, mascara (an essential travel item) and a butterfly jade necklace!). We have visited the Oriental Pearl Tower (do a 'google' serach for it!); eaten crossiants for brunch; booked train tickets to Hong Kong for tomorrow; visited an art modern gallery; taken the tourist tunnel under the Yangtze River; walked and rested in Renmin Park and walked the Square as well; eaten dinner in a Mexican restaurant and of course have found an internet cafe by chance! (We have been looking for one for hours, but whereever the LP advises that there is one, we turn up expecting to find it, but a new development is there instead!)
Our train departs for HongKong at 11.30 tomorrow morning. It should take us 24 hours to get there. The train ride is a great opportunity to watch the scenary change; to catch up on sleep (I know, I can't believe the amount that I am sleeping!) reading and writing in my journal!
I want to share with you all a few things....There have a been a few times, when Doug and I have not been able to communicate what we want, whether this is for purchasing train tickets or an explanation. At these times, it is if fate kicks in. A person (either Western or Chinese) pops up and helps us - literally 'out of the blue'. We have had this happen to us in Xi'an with Abbey and our trip to The Warriors; on the train to Chungking with Raph and Martin (who explained about the train) and of course my Chinese friend who aided my safe journey on the train (she told all the chinese people who were sat on my bed to get off it when I wanted to sleep! There have also been a number of other occasions aswell. It seems that help pops us when you need it the most - it is a very reassuring feeling!
I plan on updating you all when we get to Hong Kong - bring on the shopping! I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend!
Love to you all