A Travellerspoint blog

Getting Shanghai'd

semi-overcast 72 °F

Wow, this is a big fast paced place. Trying to take it in after an overnight flight from Auckland, has been trying. The hardest part has been trying to find vegetarian food for Ashley. It seems every dish has some sort of meat product in it. Thankfully after a few hrs of wandering we did find a vegetarian restaurant. From there it's a bunch of pointing at the pictures of food that you want. After a week we have gotten good at ordering food in China.
We did the typical touristy things in Shanghai, checked out The Bund along the Huangpu River
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Across the Huangpu you can see the Oriental Pearl TV and Radio tower, we had to go up it as well to enjoy the views. The view area is 263 m above the ground and gives you an idea how big Shanghai really is. The residential sky scrapers extended beyond the ability to see from the Tower, which was limited by the smog.
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At 259m high is another outdoor observation deck with glass panels you walk on. It provides cool picture taking opportunity.
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Then you remember you are walking on Chinese glass supported by Chinese steel and concrete. That's when the adrenaline kicks in, and you scurry off the glass.

The night life in Shanghai was alive with many night markets and huge shopping malls at seemingly every metro stop.
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Ashley even found some fancy shoes to buy at Tianzifeng Market (picture not available). We ultimately left Shanghai to enjoy the comforts of Hangzhou and ended up staying one day longer there than planned.

Posted by Scatman 00:30 Archived in China Tagged city busy big shanghai pollution Comments (2)

Last Disjointed Thoughts on New Zealand

Some last thoughts on New Zealand...

It's been interesting this first week in China to appreciate the quiet and clean air we left in New Zealand. Often times we thought it was boring because the cities and towns seemed boarded up for the night by 11. Now I appreciate it as car horns can been heard in our hotels at all hours. Contrast that with Shanghai, that has something going on 24/7.
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Ashley failed to mention in our Tongariro hike update that the mountain/volcano might actually look familiar to those who looked closely at the pics. It was used as the model for Mount Doom from The Lord of the Rings movies. Naturally, I made a lighthearted comment to Ashley about throwing a different ring in the top of the volcano. It did not go over well.
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The other part of that walk to emphasize was that we really were walking by an active volcanic site. It last erupted in August of 2012, and we literally walked on dirt that was hot and moist from steam venting, definitely a little creepy.
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The people of New Zealand have been without exception friendly, and seemingly very helpful when we been lost or trying to figure out where to go next. I would recommend to anyone who likes the outdoors, exquisite scenery, and road trips to head down to New Zealand for a campervan based adventure. With I-Sites (NZ's tourist info centers) located throughout the country, it makes the trip easier to figure out as you go along, without the need for advanced reservations (warning: we did travel in the shoulder season).
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Posted by Scatman 00:18 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Lake Tahoe East

sunny 65 °F

Longing for Picturesque? Take a look here! Hángzhōu was very pretty for the 48 hours we were in it! (10/26 until my dad's birthday on 10/28)

It is a tiny city outside Shanghai (to be blogged about later), giving a respite to the 15 million residents of Shanghai. I was thinking Hángzhōu may be a Lake Tahoe east but then I realized Hángzhōu has 6.1 million residents! Ok, not sooo tiny.

Still the pagodas and temples lining the lake were dreamy and relaxing. Please scroll through the pictures below, seeing the beauty but also the unfortunate pollution. (Theme in China's 4 cities we have seen)

Also I had the huge accomplishment of eating street food, getting $5 in veggies & beer. Picture of the grilled eggplant I ate is below, which I found to be way more appetizing than other cuisine options of starfish and scorpions.
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Lastly a little story with a romantic ending: Dave and I had a torrid event in which we missed our train to Beijing and also consciously separated in a Hángzhōu metro subway station. We meant to reunite 1,000 miles away in Beijing but luckily that plan failed and we met again in a Hángzhōu train station & vowed to never (attempt) to part cities again on our Round the World trip.

Missing friends & family!
Ashley

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Posted by Equatorials 08:41 Archived in China Comments (2)

China Adventures: A small dose from the past 24 hours


View 40 K Miles, 6 Months on Equatorials's travel map.

Beijing is incredibly beautiful, when you can see it. Luckily Dave & I had the clearest day yet in China today on this fine windy day of 10/29 (see Good Air image below from CN Air a Quality app kindly recommended by Irene). Amazing since last night (Monday, 10/28) we walked onto a blurry train station & our throats started to dry up right away (see hazardous image below). While I understand "sexy smoker voices" (which we started to develop back in Shanghai) I prefer not to get this through pollution! Overall we have not had to use our pre purchased air filtration masks yet ( thanks again Irene for that tip).

Lastly we are SAFE. We saw the magical Forbidden City today & then the 5:15 pm flag lowering at Tian'ānmén Square, blissfully unaware that 5 people perished there yesterday in a fire . (LA Times covered this.)

More Chinese news to come including pictures of street food & other culinary adventures (thank you for the special reminder request Tabitha!).

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Posted by Equatorials 16:52 Archived in China Comments (1)

Tongariro Great Walk: The Next 12 Miles

BBD999C32219AC6817C5945F0B7C0F08.jpgBBDFA6552219AC6817B0C9D22152AA5F.jpgWe've started to blog again now that we earned it. After our second 12 mile hike in which we walked (marched?) through an active volcano zone, I think it is time.

It was really hard (for me more than Dave, let the facts be clear) but breathtaking and extraordinarily special. Let the photos tell the tale*. Note that while Dave may be in fear in one picture he does get a break at the end of the 12 miles so really it was a good deal overall.

  • since I didn't bring a fancy iPad like Dave I will have to use its simple sister (iPhone 4S) for postings, keeping my posts more picture based. More at my level that is. ;)

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Posted by Ashess 02:28 Archived in New Zealand Comments (5)

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