Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shanghai for Spring Break 2012

Spring Break may be over but it was one of the best ones yet... or at least one of the most adventurous.  Adam and I had the privilege of getting to go to Shanghai, China with some of the faculty from school.  It was 4 days and 3 nights of awesomeness.  We were busy non-stop with tours, shows and lots of Chinese food.  The first day straight off the plane we went to Yu Yuan Gardens to explore the ancient gardens and see some of Shanghai's history (I also got my ass smacked repeatedly by a little boy beggar when I refused to give him any money), then we headed to The Bund which is on the HuangPu river for dinner and a river cruise.  Our hosts then took us to Korea town where our hotel was located and then took us out for some drinking and Karaoke! It was awesome and we all had a great time.

Day 2 we were on the bus too early for our hungover heads (and my stomach - I was car sick all day since our bus driver liked to drive CRAZY, almost hitting people, motor bikes and actually hitting parked cars) to head to HangZhou a city about 4 hours from Shanghai.  Here we did a little shopping, a lot of eating, and went to a historic area, Song Dynasty City, which was a little like Colonial Williamsburg where they dress in period attire and have reenactments and such.  The confusing thing is that our tour guide had us go through this ghost house which was the cheesiest and not scary at all Haunted House.  Not really quite sure what it had to do with the Song Dynasty or the 11th Century but she said go so we went.  We also got to see the most spectacular show called Romance of the Song Dynasty it was awesome and worth the long bus ride.  It had moving stage and rain and waterfalls and beautiful costumes... amazing.

Day 3 we were back on the bus pretty early considering we got back to our hotel from HangZhou around midnight.  We were going to spend our last day in Shanghai on a city tour, getting massages and doing some shopping.  Our first stop was at an area called XinTianDi, which was a trendy little area with lots of bars and restaurants.  It was also where the first meeting of the communist party was rumored to be held.  On the site now they even had a "Patriotic Education Center" that I found to be fascinating since I didn't realize that Patriotism needed to be learned... silly me.  Here we had lunch at a German Pub which was a breath of fresh air because we were actually getting sick of Chinese food and my joints were swollen from the MSG/Sodium.  From here we headed to a hotel near The Bund for some Chinese foot massages which were so awesome I fell asleep and snored.  We were in a large room and I was passed out snoring... it just felt divine to have my feet and calves rubbed.  After the massages it was off to do some shopping Shanghai Style which I have to say is exhausting.  The merchants are so aggressive and I was tired after the first shop. They don't take no for an answer, which is good when bartering, but I had to take many breaks in the coffee shop.  PLUS, I am not a good barterer... I just feel so mean and end up getting ripped off.  I did get some nice stuff though even though I know I spent more than I should have on my "finds."  Oh well.  Our last  adventure in Shanghai was the Shanghai Acrobat Show.  I will admit by the time the house lights dimmed I was exhausted and fell asleep a couple of times during the show despite it being awesome.  The finale was worth all of the tea in China though... it was 5 men on motorcycles in a metal sphere doing death defying acts.  Amazing! In fact every time a new bike came on stage we couldn't believe it and when they went to add the 5th bike one of our group members yelled out "NO!"  It was great!

Day 4 saw us back on the bus super early to get to the airport and head back to Korea.  It was an awesome trip and an experience of a lifetime.  I know I will never have another opportunity like this one again.

Below are a few pictures from my trip.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

Roland said...

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