Friday, 5 July 2019

Final China Trip Post

Judging from the lack of comments on my previous post, people have probably seen enough of my trip to China, but I will persevere and finish it off with a few images from the last couple of days in Shanghai!

Communist flags in  Shanghai - we saw far more of these in this city than anywhere else we visited - perhaps because once upon a time, this was centre of European domination - and the Chinese are just making a nationalistic point about who is running things now?

Some of the impressive early twentieth century European architecture on the Bund - again, an abundance of Chinese flags adorn these buildings

Huangpu River view

Another view of the Huangpu River from the Bund

We were wondering up Nanking Road around 5pm when we noticed a large number of traffic policemen - there are around eight in this one small view of the street - they were deploying to every intersection in preparation for the rush hour....

Later that evening, the group visited the old French Concession area, where we partook of a traditional Chinese meal - Bavarian Paulaner Bier and Pretzels!

Another view of the architecture in the French Concession

Around eight pm, once it was dark, we took a boat trip on the Huangpu River to view the illuminated buildings - very impressive - much more so than the poor quality photos can portray

Next morning, our last full day in China, the first stop was the Maglev Train

The train is driverless and covers the 17km from the city to the airport in  4.5 minutes. Top speed is 440km/h!

Above the internal speed sign in the Maglev train, which runs using magnetic power and "floats" over the rail it runs on - hence the high speed achievable

After the train ride, we visited the Jin Mao Tower which is one of the tallest in the world - I think maybe number six. The fifth and fourth tallest are also in Shanghai - one of the more or less next door

Height sign in stairwell one level down from the observation deck floor

View of the Huangpu River from Jin Mao Tower

A couple more views from over 340m up in the air!

That was about it for tourist photo ops in Shanghai - we had the afternoon and evening still but these were spent visiting shopping opportunities and I did not feel inclined to take pictures of a thousand market stalls selling very good quality knock off Gucci and Dolce and Gabanna bags etc - even though my wife did buy a couple!

Final views as we arrived at Shanghai airport on day 11 of our tour

It was a great trip and I would recommend it to anyone. From this part of the world - NZ/Australia - it was an incredibly low cost holiday and China is not a country I would ever have imagined visiting when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's - it was almost as closed off from the world then as N Korea is today!

A few impressions - 

Beijing was a bit "tired" - they seem to throw up buildings very quickly but then don't maintain them - my wife was reminded of  Russia when she visited there in the 1980's.

The grey skies - everyone knows I expect - but its still strange to be standing on the street in 30+ degrees c heat, with bright sunshine casting shadows, yet when you look up, you cant see any blue sky! I think we saw a small section once in the 11 days we were there!

No sirens - we spent 4 days and nights in a city of 24 million people and 6 million cars - Beijing - and we NEVER ONCE heard any emergency vehicle siren. I live in a small rural town south of Auckland and we would hear police, fire or ambulance sirens at least once or twice every single day!

Lots of uniforms - it was hard to distinguish exactly who was who - some of the guys we thought were policemen may in fact have just been security officers - but there were a lot of them wherever you went - not intimidating but it was just very obvious compared with NZ - a bit like how there a police officers everywhere in central London.

Building works going on everywhere on a huge scale - where we would be putting up one ten story building, they would be doing ten or twenty multi story buildings at a time. 

A lot of trees, shrubs and flower beds - city streets often had trees along both sides of them, all the motorways were flanked by trees baring red and white blossoms - I had not expected so much greenery!