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  • Day49

    Shanghai - French Concession

    October 19, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Nach dem Ausflug nach Zhujiajio sind wir noch ein wenig durch das ehemalige französische Viertel, das heutzutage als „French Concession“ bezeichnet wird, gelaufen. Dort gibt es schöne Alleen mit Platanen, alte Villen, hippe Boutiquen und Lokale und auch ausgefallene Geschäfte, wie z.B. Geigenbauer.
    Zum Abendessen gab es eine Shanghaier Spezialität und zwar gebratene Dumplings.
    Mal wieder haben wir den Abend mit einem Spaziergang am "The Bund" ausklingen lassen.
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  • Oct6

    A Loud Pop, A Woman Down

    October 6, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    I heard a loud pop as the woman behind me hit the concrete. Everyone in the line to enter the Shanghai Museum fled from the noise, and I stood with Shane Lawrence next to Mary Larsen, sprawled out on the walkway. I had met her only the day before. She had tripped over a plastic hump covering electrical cords, and lay motionless on the concrete. Her right wrist showed an ugly bulge, and her hip hurt so that she could hardly walk. A guard rushed over to open that barrier that held us in the queue. Shane and I slowly pulled Mary to her feet as the guard shouted Chinese orders and motioned for Mary and me to go into the building—not Shane, just me. I don’t know why. Security officials ushered us into a cloakroom, where they asked Mary if she wanted a glass of water. In broken Chinese I suggested that they bring ice for her wrist, swelling and turning purple. Bringing a cold pack, they asked if she wanted an ambulance to take her to the hospital. After some discussion, they allowed Mary to go to the nearest hospital in a cab. The guards allowed Shane’s wife Mandy, a nurse, to join us. The taxi took us to a hospital, maybe ten minutes away, where we sought the entrance to the emergency room.

    Mary struggled to walk in the parking lot as I saw a woman whom I asked in Chinese, “Do you work here?” She said she did. I asked, “Can you help us take this woman to the emergency room?”

    Immediately she was a blur of action as she produced a wheelchair and rolled Mary up a nearby ramp and through a door draped with a heavy brown canvas curtain. She pushed Mary’s wheelchair through the split in the middle of the curtain into a semi-lit room. A baby with a bandage on its head cried with pain. An old lady covered in bloody bandages lay unconscious, surrounded by family members in the middle of the room. A wall of patients with a wide range of injuries and illnesses looked down at the floor as they sat in silence on gray metal folding chairs extending in a line down a hallway. In the corner of the room our helper began a Chinese shouting match at the nurses’ station, adding to the cacophony of wailing infants. A well dressed Chinese woman came to me and asked in broken English what was happening. I told her that Mrs. Larsen had fallen and broken her wrist. She joined the shouting match and after a few minutes told me that this hospital was only for ordinary citizens of Shanghai. Party officials, VIP’s and foreign tourists were treated in another, better hospital nearby. This hospital could not admit Mary. After more shouting with the hospital staff, she told me that a nurse was calling the other hospital to arrange for Mary to be transferred there. She spoke in broken English, I in broken Chinese, as I learned that she now lives in Ohio, but that she was in Shanghai tending to her mother, who was currently admitted as a patient. Finishing her phone call, the head nurse informed us that because the National Day celebration was underway, many of the the VIP hospital’s staff were on vacation, and no doctors were working at the VIP hospital that day. Then she said that if Mary thought her wrist was broken, she could stay, and they would treat it when her turn came. Because Mary was a foreign tourist, though, they would try to advance her in their schedule. Mandy and I held a quick discussion with Mary, and she decided that she would prefer to receive treatment elsewhere. We decided to take a cab back to our hotel to assess our options.

    Back at the hotel about lunchtime, I explained our situation to the concierge. She snapped into action as we took Mary to use the restroom in the hotel’s restaurant. The concierge said she was working things out and suggested that we return to our rooms for a few minutes. She would call us soon with more information. Mary’s arm and hip made her grimace as she asked to be allowed to wait in place, there in the restaurant. I returned to my room and ate a quick bag of peanuts washed down with a bottle of water.

    Our concierge advised us that she had made an appointment for Mary at a better hospital at 2 pm. She also introduced us to Jenny, our translator. At 1:20 pm we took a taxi to an emergency medical clinic near the old Russian embassy. The staff took Mary back for x-rays, with nurse Mandy accompanying her. I learned that Jenny was a Russian from Yekaterinburg studying hotel management in Shanghai. Her Chinese was superb. Her English was reasonably good. X-rays showed that Mary’s wrist was shattered, her hip was badly bruised but not broken. We would need to go to a hospital with an orthopedic surgeon for the wrist.

    Another cab ride took us to United Family Healthcare, a hospital with an orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Xu. After more X-rays and CT scans, the doctor advised Mary that surgery was necessary, the sooner the better. Mandy expressed both to the doctor and to us her serious reservations about Mary’s decision to allow a foreign surgeon in a Chinese hospital repair her wrist. Calmly Dr. Xu explained the risks involved in waiting to have the procedure done after returning Mary to the United States. Mandy asked me to step outside of the room and told me that she was having a panic attack.

    I said, “Panic attacks are not authorized tonight. You can have one, but not now. You’ll have to wait and have it later once we have Mary safe.”

    Finally, Mary had her mind made up: she would have the surgery in China. Again Mandy attempted to persuade Mary to delay surgery until she returned home to Arizona. Dr. Xu told Mary that he would prefer for her to stay overnight so that he could take her to surgery early the next morning, but because she had some things to pack, Mary asked to return to the hotel that night. She would return to the hospital for surgery the next morning.

    By that time Ray, our Viking tour guide, had arrived in Shanghai. Because my cell phone was not completing phone calls since arriving in China, I asked a nursing station attendant to call him for me. I reported the situation to him. He suggested that I tell the taxi driver to drop us at our hotel’s rear entrance on Dian Shi Road to avoid the National Day Parade. When we approached the area of the hotel, however, the police would not allow the driver to turn onto Dian Shi Road. I asked the driver to let us out at the intersection of Bei Jing and Si Chuan Roads. With the battery supply in my cell phone nearing zero I shot one final text message to Glenda asking her to have Ray meet us there with a wheelchair. He did so within ten minutes, and we returned to the Fairmont Peace Hotel at around 10:30 pm.
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  • Oct5

    Ambrosian Breakfast

    October 6, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    The Fairmont Peace Hotel on the Bund in Shanghai is the most sumptuous and artistically beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. This morning’s breakfast offered every type of cuisine, Eastern and Western. I have never had better food anywhere. We started off with traditional omelettes, but then I added some Chinese dumplings, pork inside a steamed bread roll. Everything was at least as good as the best food I ever tasted. Some of it was better. We have enjoyed egg custard tarts everywhere from North Carolina to Europe. Until today the best I had ever tasted were in Portugal, but today’s tarts here in Shanghai topped them. Today we will enjoy another trip to a garden in Suzhou, a seventeenth-century wonder, and will learn about the production of silk.Read more

  • Day4

    Shanghai Museum

    March 27, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    After our dumpling festival , we caught the subway with Tom (our tour guide) over to the Shanghai museum which we toured for a little over an hour. One of the top museums in China. Tom is turning out to be an outstanding tour guide. Very congenial. Majored in Literature at the university. Has been leading tours for many years.Read more

  • Oct7

    Old Shanghai

    October 7, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Our tour of Shanghai resumed today after yesterday’s unfortunate accident. We began by visiting Old Shanghai. This area retained many of the old buildings in the city and for many years was nearly in ruins. A few years ago the city government cleaned up the neighborhood and rebuilt some of the old public buildings. The result is a magnificent “new” old city. A lovely marketplace attracts both tourists and locals to a place where they can dine, snack, wander, meet friends or just hang out.

    The Buddhist Temple of the Jade Buddha is one of the most important in China. It claims several of the largest and most important statues of the Buddha in the world. Before 1949 approximately 90 percent of the Chinese population were Buddhist. Now the number of Chinese who claim any religion is far less. Less than one percent are Christians.

    We enjoyed a delicious Chinese meal at a local restaurant before driving over to the museum.

    Though I missed our own private visit to the Shanghai Museum yesterday because of Mary’s accident, we visited the museum today with our tour group. Normally it is closed on Monday, but because this is the week of National Day, the exhibits were open today. Glenda showed me the collection of bronzes, some dating from 2000 years before Christ. I never knew Chinese history went back so far. These lovely bronze wine vessels were made in the time of the Sumerians and Akkadians. Somehow that ancient period in China escaped the notice of the history books I read as a child. I was especially interested in a collection of ancient drums from about 1800 BC, and a set of bronze bells, whose recorded sounds were enchanting. Later I made my usual pilgrimage to see the calligraphy exhibit and the one for ancient Chinese art.

    We enjoyed strolling along the Bund and seeing it lit up in the evening from the observation deck on top of our hotel. An elegant supper allowed us to meet two new friends, Felicia and her husband T, who is the illustrator for the comic strip “Over the Hedge.” His work was made into a movie featuring Tom Cruise a few years ago. After dinner we went to a theater, where we were amazed by the performance by a Chinese acrobatic troupe. By the time we returned to our hotel we were ready for bed.
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  • Day2

    Day exploring Shanghai

    January 11 in China ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    Arrived in Shanghai after a 11 hour flight. Didn't get any sleep on the plane but we are hoping to just get through the day and enjoy ourselves and make the most of it. Unfortunately we had to que for an hour to get our visas but we made it through! :)

    We got the metro to East Nanjing Road about an hour away from the airport. Getting the ticket was a bit difficult but we worked it out in the end. We also made a friend from Serbia and we asked him to tag along with us for the day as he was on his own and also getting a connection flight this evening. Its been raining all day but we didn't let it spoil our fun. We came out of the metro and walked to the bund. Traffic was crazy in Shanghai we crossed roads on a zebra crossing when the green man came up, however people on silent mopeds ignore this rule and we had to dodge them on the crossing. Nearly got run over several times! We headed off to the bund which is full of impressive skyscrapers and had a long walk by the river. On the way back a police officer asked for a photo with us. They obviously don't see many British tourists!

    We then made our way to find the Tianzifang Markets. We ended up at the wrong stop on the metro . Had to ask a few people before we found the market. Not many people speak English. We were wondering around for ages. We gave up initially went for some food and then we came across it luckily and it was definitely worth it!
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  • Apr17

    Xian Muslim Markets

    April 17, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Today after going to the terracotta warriors we took a bus ride to the Muslim markets. After arriving I went with du Lao Shi to get local ice cream. Du Lao Shi got a wasabi and chilli ice cream that he despised greatly. I however did not mind it and caused it to be less of a money wastage! We then went onto the street where we got some sugar coated strawberries. After that the great du Lao Shi left us and we continued through the markets constantly being honked at by passing scooters. I then bought a flying minion and we began the journey home. By SamRead more

  • Apr17

    Xian Terracotta Warrior

    April 17, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Today we travelled to a factory where they replicate and manufacture terracotta warriors, we say how they were made in a variety of sizes, there was quite a large shopping area with furniture, clothing, jewellery and of course terracotta warriors, many people including me got 15cm sized ones, however you could get a series of packs and sizes, we also saw the ones that the school owns. After that we went to the actual terracotta warriors, in the first pit there is around 3000, we then had buffet lunch before heading to the other pits and see two bronze chariots which took 8 years to rebuild. We then left towards the car/bus park to leave for the Muslim street markets. By AshtonRead more

  • Day1413


    January 24, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    I left California today to fly to shanghai before moving onto Bangkok. The flight to shanghai wasn’t too bad, lasted about 14 hours, I got talking to a girl called dennisse who’s from 🇨🇱 turns out she’s off to Bangkok to. I watched the entire first season of the ranch, plus a few films to help pass the time. The plane was the biggest I’ve ever been on. Huge. Quite comfy too.

    We landed in Shanghai after a fairly uneventful trip but I did get some cool views of Siberia!!!

    We had a wait of 4 hours in Shanghai before the flight to Bangkok which isn’t too bad in an airport as big as shanghai.

    Sitting next to me on the way to Bangkok was a called called Aaron from Oakland who’s a Muay Thai fighter. He’s over for a month to train.

    Land in Bangkok, fly through customs. Taxi to hostel. Pass out after travelling for 20 odd hours
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  • Day25


    September 21, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    Moving on again! Up and out from the hotel, across Hangzhou to the station where we boarded our fast train to Shanghai. It's only a couple of hundred kilometres, so the train blasted across in about 90 minutes or so. The rail network here is really good. As usual, Shanghai's main west-facing high-speed station is a fair way out of town, so we had to take a metro for about 40 minutes towards the centre of town. Since we were taking a few trains, we'd picked a hotel right near the central railway station, even though it wasn't the greatest spot in Shanghai.

    Emerged from the metro into fairly persistent drizzle, the most rain we've seen in probably two weeks. Quite miserable really, and with a wind to match. Found our hotel easily, since it's 30 stories tall! It's a budget Holiday Inn and we're on the 22nd floor in a pretty good size room, with a proper desk and a view.

    Decided that the rain wasn't going to let up any time soon, so we headed out. Though it was about this time I remembered the giant hole at the front of my shoe - it was going to be an uncomfortable day! We headed first for the French Concession, a shopping and eating area that was, well conceded to the French in the 19th century. It still has a vaguely faded French air to it, with large buildings like embassies set back from the road, tree-lined boulevards and similar.

    The trouble is, it's a huge area and not especially well defined. Lacking a definite plan we just sort of wandered around for a while getting progressively wetter and more miserable (despite umbrellas!). Eventually we retreated to a noodle shop for a while and had some lunch, then headed for the subway to move on.

    Headed towards the Bund district, around a bend in the main river, where we wandered through a couple of shopping malls mainly trying to stay dry. Ate a few different things including xiao long bao which are soup & meat dumplings - we've had them before in Sydney at Din Tai Fung and other places, but they're originally from Shanghai so it was nice to give them a go here.

    Late afternoon we ended up at the waterfront of Shanghai, where there's the famous skyline with the tall buildings across the river in Pudong. The rain was only misting at this point so we stayed around for an hour or so, hoping to catch the renowed light show on the skyscrapers. Alas we were far too early (apparently it starts around 7pm, not 5:30 like we'd hoped!), so we saw a few lights turn on and then headed off.

    Heading away from the river we walked down Nanjing East Road, the main pedestrian thoroughfare in Shanghai. Very busy and buzzing despite the weather, with crowds around and neon lights dangling from every building. Very much a Chinese version of Times Square.

    Wandered into another mall where we found some good priced food options: more xiao long bao of course! Then back to the subway where we headed back to hotel, squelching the whole way. Very happy to get my wet sock out of a wet shoe!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Shanghai, Schanghai, شانغهاي, Şanxay, Шанхай, Xangai, Šanghaj, Σανγκάη, Ŝanhajo, Shangai, شانگهای, Shang-hai, Shanghai - 上海, שאנגחאי, Šangaj, Sanghaj, SHA, Sjanghæ, 上海, შანჰაი, 상하이, Šanchajus, Šanhaja, Sjanghai, Szanghaj, Шангај, சாங்காய், เซี่ยงไฮ้, Şangay, شاڭخەي, Thượng Hải

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