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Even More Trips

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Japan May 2010
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London September 2009
SE Asia December 2005

The great loop of China - April 2018 - Page 9

Day 25 - Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Botanists delight

Heading to the Shanghai Botanic gardens on the subway

Today I went to the Shanghai Botanic Gardens. It seems every Chinese city has a huge botanical research facility, Shanghai is no exception. This could be great, or it could be a sea of debris where a garden once was or might one day be, its hard to tell unless you go, todays garden exceeded all expectations.

The photoshopped rendered pictures of the garden show it built on an old quarry, I could not find any signs of this quarry, but there are huge brand new areas of formal Chinese garden with bonsai etc. and a few areas fenced off for future expansion. I suspect they leveled the quarry.

I have been to the humble servants garden or whatever it is called in Suzhou, I actually think the new part of the Shanghai botanic gardens is nicer.
Getting to this garden is very easy, the subway now goes there, the subway goes everywhere in Shanghai, it is very convenient. It is almost as if they have constructed the subway to take people where they want to go.

I originally thought I might spend an hour or so in the garden chasing butterflies and flying a kite, but I ended up spending over 3 hours studying all the various areas in detail, and I did not see all of it.
I was also a little too late, a few days ago the international flower festival of amazing flowers for the presentation at a flower festival of floral arrangements and associated flowers ended. The actual competing exhibits were fenced off and half dead, but there were many windmills and also a lot of flowers.
Thats not to say there still were not a lot of flowers to look at, as you shall see. Flowers, yeah.

The great loop of China - April 2018 - I got off the subway at Shilong road, which is an elevated monorail, one stop before the Shanghai South main station. It was not an inspiring area, bu

I got off the subway at Shilong road, which is an elevated monorail, one stop before the Shanghai South main station. It was not an inspiring area, but there was a family mart. At this stage I thought the garden might be a debris field, I was having flashbacks to a previous visit to Shanghai when I traveled a great distance to go to the aircraft museum, only to find it had been removed 3 years prior.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The entrance area was about what I expected, ok but nothing special. Still grey skies at this point, but that would change as the day went on.

The entrance area was about what I expected, ok but nothing special. Still grey skies at this point, but that would change as the day went on.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Things started to look a bit better once I got past the entrance annex development staging, ticket check and bomb scanning area.

Things started to look a bit better once I got past the entrance annex development staging, ticket check and bomb scanning area.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - And then I went into one of the pay to enter areas, I had bought a combo ticket that gets me into all of them, and it was amazing.

And then I went into one of the pay to enter areas, I had bought a combo ticket that gets me into all of them, and it was amazing.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - A very large very formal very new Chinese garden full of bonsai.

A very large very formal very new Chinese garden full of bonsai.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - There must have been hundreds of these bonsai trees on stands all around the garden.

There must have been hundreds of these bonsai trees on stands all around the garden.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Nice creek and bridge and hut on bridge and real wooden railing. Generally what looks like wooden railing is made from recycled plastic. Not this time

Nice creek and bridge and hut on bridge and real wooden railing. Generally what looks like wooden railing is made from recycled plastic. Not this time.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Nice rocks with bonsai. I like Bonsai.

Nice rocks with bonsai. I like Bonsai.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - A view from the top, the garden was lots of individual walled off areas linked by circular arches in the wall.

A view from the top, the garden was lots of individual walled off areas linked by circular arches in the wall.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Those are real rocks. Very impressive arrangement.

Those are real rocks. Very impressive arrangement.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I just showed a heap of photos of a brand new area of the garden, here is what its replacing. Kind of awesome! So dusty and falling down. I dont think

I just showed a heap of photos of a brand new area of the garden, here is what its replacing. Kind of awesome! So dusty and falling down. I dont think this area was supposed to be accessed by the public. I swam up the creek under a bridge.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here is another of the pay areas with a tea house. The garden had 3 pay areas and they were very quiet compared to the rest of the place. The combo ti

Here is another of the pay areas with a tea house. The garden had 3 pay areas and they were very quiet compared to the rest of the place. The combo ticket cost about $8 to get you into everything. In China everything has an entry fee, its the only way to keep the people out of the peoples park.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - There are a few rides for children, but if you are very lucky you can get a little fishing rod and try and hook a gold fish.

There are a few rides for children, but if you are very lucky you can get a little fishing rod and try and hook a gold fish.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here is the tropical conservatory, Adelaide (my old home town) has one of these, it was built to celebrate the 150th birthday of Adelaide. It is highl

Here is the tropical conservatory, Adelaide (my old home town) has one of these, it was built to celebrate the 150th birthday of Adelaide. It is highly amusing that since then, Adelaide can no longer afford to operate its gift to itself, so now its semi abandoned and falling apart.
Also a single dog guards the entrance here. He did not like me.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The inside was indeed very tropical, I wished they would turn on the misting system so I could cool off and contract legionaries disease. The sun was

The inside was indeed very tropical, I wished they would turn on the misting system so I could cool off and contract legionaries disease. The sun was out by now.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Like all such facilities, you can climb up some stairs and look down on the tropical trees and throw things at the monkeys.

Like all such facilities, you can climb up some stairs and look down on the tropical trees and throw things at the monkeys.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - That is all real trees and plants, although they have potted little orchids inside the branches of the trees.

That is all real trees and plants, although they have potted little orchids inside the branches of the trees.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Time to follow another creek and see where it takes me.

Time to follow another creek and see where it takes me.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - There was a second smaller bonus conservatory, as well as these colorful flowers it had a cactus section, but they were all in glass boxes making phot

There was a second smaller bonus conservatory, as well as these colorful flowers it had a cactus section, but they were all in glass boxes making photos difficult. Inside this garden there is also a herb garden that only scientific researchers can access by appointment, it looked huge.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Those are all real, very impressive. I got chased by a bee.

Those are all real, very impressive. I got chased by a bee.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I did suggest there were still a lot of flowers to gawk at.

I did suggest there were still a lot of flowers to gawk at.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Clearly the best part of the entire park is the bullet train flower display.

Clearly the best part of the entire park is the bullet train flower display.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - You can rent row boats if you want, no one was. There are probably 20 or so bridges like this throughout the garden.

You can rent row boats if you want, no one was. There are probably 20 or so bridges like this throughout the garden.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - This is the rose garden area, I thought I would mention that in case you have never seen roses before. It was also impressively large, but I think we

This is the rose garden area, I thought I would mention that in case you have never seen roses before. It was also impressively large, but I think we are just past the peak of the season. Let me consult the star charts, yeah, 3 weeks past peak.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - If you run really fast you can travel over this pond on the lilies. In that little building on the other side, a huge group of old people were singing

If you run really fast you can travel over this pond on the lilies. In that little building on the other side, a huge group of old people were singing songs about the fallen ideological martyr of the great seventh assembly of the boisterous referendum for the historical society of the sacred brass tulip.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Have a few more lilies. There were frogs, I could not photograph them.

Have a few more lilies. There were frogs, I could not photograph them.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - One last swamp photo, this swamp had particularly clear water. Very nice trees.

One last swamp photo, this swamp had particularly clear water. Very nice trees.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - After fleeing the garden and boarding the subway back to the city centre, I got off a couple of stops early to explore tourist spending zone, Xintiand

After fleeing the garden and boarding the subway back to the city centre, I got off a couple of stops early to explore tourist spending zone, Xintiandi. A sandwich here is $20. The place was full of French and German tourists, all thrilled to pay $20 for a sandwich.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I think at most places foreign tourists outnumbered people that looked Chinese. It is a nice area, made to look like its old even though its new. I th

I think at most places foreign tourists outnumbered people that looked Chinese. It is a nice area, made to look like its old even though its new. I think it gets bigger each time I visit Shanghai. Most of the big western brand hotels are near here. Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsay etc etc all have restaurants along here.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Have a nice tree.

Have a nice tree.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I was starving, so wandered away from Xintaindi far enough to afford lunch. Even though I had wandered away from the central tourist fleecing area, I

I was starving, so wandered away from Xintaindi far enough to afford lunch. Even though I had wandered away from the central tourist fleecing area, I still got deconstructed noodles!
I took a wider shot here of my vomit colored soup with submerged rice noodles and bowl of things to pour into it so you can see the barcodes.
There is no way to order here unless you have a Chinese social media app that works with Q-codes. Each table has a barcode, you point your phone at it, the menu comes up on your phone, you select what you want and you pay via that apps payment system.
They really did not want me as a customer, but a person who I think was the owner came out, used her phone, did the barcode routine and then I paid her cash. That was of course after we did the 'no! too spicy!!!' routine....
The noodles were actually delicious!


The old side from the new side became more of the new side

The ever changing architecture of Pudong

I went over to the new side of Shanghai, known as Pudong, to take photos of the old side of Shanghai, known as Puxi, more commonly known as 'the bund', which is the name of the waterfront area.
Instead I took a lot more photos of the new side and its modern buildings, with my wide angle zoomless camera they made for much better photos.

Over on this side of Shanghai is lots of white businessmen, lots of very expensive malls, lots of very very expensive viewing decks on the tops of tall buildings. To give you an idea, the cost to go up the worlds second tallest building, over $50 AUD. So I would not be doing that. No one else was either, despite the AMAZINGLY CLEAR BLUE SKY, no one was lined up to go up at dusk.
The inside of that building is a bit weird, the bendy outside is just a skin, the core (habitable part) is really quite narrow. Seems like a huge waste of expensive real estate. I dont know if its full or not because you cant go inside, to go to the viewing deck you have to go 2 levels underground.

Everything I wrote above is poorly worded and confusing, I dont care.

I did splurge on an expensive dinner, I paid just over $10! Shocking I know. It was way too much food as you will see. I only ate about half of it but the people next to me ordered about 5 times as much food between 2 people and ate one mouthful from each of the 10 things they ordered and left.

On the way back I watched a guys phone over his shoulder on the subway, and he was watching an amazing amateur video of the police shutting down what I guess was an illegal food night market in the street. They just smashed absolutely everything, tables, chairs, plates, pushing over the food carts, flinging saucepans like frisbees. All while a combination of terrified and amused diners, passers by and food stall owners ran away filming. It looked like great fun, ruining peoples illegal businesses to improve social harmony through chaotic state sanctioned violence.

The great loop of China - April 2018 - Near my hotel there are a few different specialist goods streets. Musical instruments, books, trophies, curtains and stationery. Here we have a cat wh

Near my hotel there are a few different specialist goods streets. Musical instruments, books, trophies, curtains and stationery. Here we have a cat who owns a fancy stationery shop. He greets everyone who comes inside, then flops about on the tiles.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I was so amazed at the blue sky I thought I had better snap a photo as I boarded the subway to head to the other side, just in case it had disappeared

I was so amazed at the blue sky I thought I had better snap a photo as I boarded the subway to head to the other side, just in case it had disappeared by the time I came back above ground.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Now we start the series of boring photos of modern buildings. This one is not really that modern, but I have not seen it with such clear skies before.

Now we start the series of boring photos of modern buildings. This one is not really that modern, but I have not seen it with such clear skies before.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The walkway across there, I am also standing on it, it is a giant circle for viewing big buildings, and the central garden and passing traffic.

The walkway across there, I am also standing on it, it is a giant circle for viewing big buildings, and the central garden and passing traffic.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The worlds second tallest building, now called the drain pipe, flanked by smaller neighbours in the foreground.

The worlds second tallest building, now called the drain pipe, flanked by smaller neighbours in the foreground.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I have had the Chinese business news tv on, and found the stock market report confusing. China thinks red is good, green is bad. The exact opposite of

I have had the Chinese business news tv on, and found the stock market report confusing. China thinks red is good, green is bad. The exact opposite of how its reported in the white person countries. Red is the most harmonious of colors.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here we have all 3 together, the one on the right is substantially taller, despite appearances in this photo.

Here we have all 3 together, the one on the right is substantially taller, despite appearances in this photo.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - It is easy to ignore all the other buildings, I guess most people would ignore all buildings because building photos are boring. I liked them because

It is easy to ignore all the other buildings, I guess most people would ignore all buildings because building photos are boring. I liked them because of the nice light and clear skies. I am very easily amused.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - LAST ONE (in the daylight anyway).

LAST ONE (in the daylight anyway).


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here is my extensive and expensive dinner. Hot and sour noodle soup and some very delicious wontons. I think my dinner was vegetarian. Often it is har

Here is my extensive and expensive dinner. Hot and sour noodle soup and some very delicious wontons. I think my dinner was vegetarian. Often it is hard to tell.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here is my attempt at the bund from the far side. It wasnt really working for me.

Here is my attempt at the bund from the far side. It wasnt really working for me.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Instead of photos of the bund, have some more tall building photos!

Instead of photos of the bund, have some more tall building photos!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I then hijacked this helicopter and flew through the keyhole on the keyhole buildings. Fun times.

I then hijacked this helicopter and flew through the keyhole on the keyhole buildings. Fun times.


Day 26 - Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Every single park and garden

Exploring all the free parks in Shanghai

Today I visited every single park, garden, temple, shrine, square, reserve and backyard in the greater Shanghai area, on foot.
As you will see, Shanghai has lots of green public spaces, many of them free, some with an admission fee.
I had been to some of these places before, the two main attractions I had been around but not into before due to the admission fees, today I paid the fees.

On my long journey I saw lots of people from every part of the world, so many German men carrying a VHS camcorder. So many Russian men wearing slip on leather shoes and Adidas tracksuit pants. So many young French people smoking and complaining. I will never understand the huge tour group concept, it seems like the worst thing in the world. I would rather not go.

My last stop of the day was a notorious tourist souvenir selling zone, Yuyuan, often called Yuyuan garden but should be called Yu garden since yuan means garden and thats like saying ATM machine.
Anyway, this is the place with the most people trying to sell you watch? bag? phone? what you want to buy? It is also the place with the most police openly retaliating against them! 3 different guys got lead away for harassing me, I dont know what happened to them! They seem to let the women harassing me for exactly the same thing go.
My tactic with them today was to say I already have a watch and a bag and a phone. They would then ask 'what you want?'. My answer varied each time, but was a combination of peace and happiness, a machine gun or a position in the central government.

The great loop of China - April 2018 - Lots and lots of photos today so dont expect long detailed amusing descriptions. Here we have a local neighbourhood early in the morning. Terrific blu

Lots and lots of photos today so dont expect long detailed amusing descriptions. Here we have a local neighbourhood early in the morning. Terrific blue skies again...terrific!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Garden #1 for the day, the peoples square. No entry fee for the peoples square! The entry is very colorful.

Garden #1 for the day, the peoples square. No entry fee for the peoples square! The entry is very colorful.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - It is a very nice park with lilies and exercising old people, there was a mass group of them doing stretches with accompanying long drawn out deep moa

It is a very nice park with lilies and exercising old people, there was a mass group of them doing stretches with accompanying long drawn out deep moans alternating with high pitched sharp screams.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Last photo of the peoples square, not too many people in the peoples square today.

Last photo of the peoples square, not too many people in the peoples square today.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I headed west, this is taken roughly from the hotel I stayed at on previous visits to Shanghai, a very busy part of town.

I headed west, this is taken roughly from the hotel I stayed at on previous visits to Shanghai, a very busy part of town.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I soon found myself at the sculpture park. Countries from all around the world have donated sculptures, this one is from Belgium. Why they have donate

I soon found myself at the sculpture park. Countries from all around the world have donated sculptures, this one is from Belgium. Why they have donated I could not work out?


The great loop of China - April 2018 - This park is still being expanded, I do remember it being here last time I was here but it was a lot smaller then. I dont know which country donated t

This park is still being expanded, I do remember it being here last time I was here but it was a lot smaller then. I dont know which country donated the bulls but they are pretty great.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - A rabid wolf. Those are full sized shipping containers it is sitting on.

A rabid wolf. Those are full sized shipping containers it is sitting on.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - A pile of busted violins is the best the French could manage.

A pile of busted violins is the best the French could manage.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - After leaving the sculpture park, I decided to follow the piles of black hose and see where it took me.

After leaving the sculpture park, I decided to follow the piles of black hose and see where it took me.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The pile of hoses ended at a picturesque street corner, featuring a sculpture of a human child playing games on his phone resting in the flower bed.

The pile of hoses ended at a picturesque street corner, featuring a sculpture of a human child playing games on his phone resting in the flower bed.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Nearby was the Jing'an Buddhist temple, time to do some golden Buddha appreciation.

Nearby was the Jing'an Buddhist temple, time to do some golden Buddha appreciation.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - A rubbish fire had broken out in the forecourt amongst the parked luxury cars. I think some people really were burning their entry tickets.

A rubbish fire had broken out in the forecourt amongst the parked luxury cars. I think some people really were burning their entry tickets.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The mandolin is mightier than the sword. I am wondering if I had a bit of smoky lense!

The mandolin is mightier than the sword. I am wondering if I had a bit of smoky lense!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The main Buddha here at the golden temple is not even made of gold. Really crap photo, smoke got in my camera!

The main Buddha here at the golden temple is not even made of gold. Really crap photo, smoke got in my camera!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Smoke must have cleared from the camera, because this is a decent photo again.

Smoke must have cleared from the camera, because this is a decent photo again.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Out the back the gold ends and it becomes impressive wooden Buddhist temples. Real monks live here, and dry their Gucci clothes on the balconies.

Out the back the gold ends and it becomes impressive wooden Buddhist temples. Real monks live here, and dry their Gucci clothes on the balconies.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Over the road from the golden temple is another park, where you can admire a family of petrified rhinoceroses. The grass police blew their whistle at

Over the road from the golden temple is another park, where you can admire a family of petrified rhinoceroses. The grass police blew their whistle at me while I was taking this photo. The grass was nothing special, I didnt think it was a special historically preserved grass covered harmonious area for the peoples preservation of historical grasses.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The grass police guy was following me around now, so I took about 11 minutes to set up and take this photo to tease him. On my way out I peered over a

The grass police guy was following me around now, so I took about 11 minutes to set up and take this photo to tease him. On my way out I peered over a fence into a construction site, he blew his whistle again about 3 feet away from me.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - If you get caught stepping on the sacred grass three times you are forced to put on a special yellow idiot suit and balance a stick on your head for 3

If you get caught stepping on the sacred grass three times you are forced to put on a special yellow idiot suit and balance a stick on your head for 3 months.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I stepped into this phone box to make a call. I wanted to be the first person to use a phone box this century, only to find that its now a library.

I stepped into this phone box to make a call. I wanted to be the first person to use a phone box this century, only to find that its now a library.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I passed yet another garden. Too many gardens.

I passed yet another garden. Too many gardens.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - My extended journey took me into another trendy shopping area, this is a clothing boutique, that features a pile of dirt in the middle of the shop. It

My extended journey took me into another trendy shopping area, this is a clothing boutique, that features a pile of dirt in the middle of the shop. Its not under construction, somehow dirt pile is fashion. So fashion!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - After another hour or so of walking past expensive shops, I arrived at the special tourist area for selling of souvenirs and arresting of people selli

After another hour or so of walking past expensive shops, I arrived at the special tourist area for selling of souvenirs and arresting of people selling souvenirs known as Yu Garden Garden. These are all souvenir shops, KFC, Starbucks.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Still fake modern shopping area. But impressive fake.

Still fake modern shopping area. But impressive fake.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - This is a Chinese ancient peep show! 10 RMB to stick your eyes over these holes, contract conjunctivitis, and see an ancient silhouette of a concubine

This is a Chinese ancient peep show! 10 RMB to stick your eyes over these holes, contract conjunctivitis, and see an ancient silhouette of a concubine doing a fan dance.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - These are tea houses, but they are still outside the pay area that is the actual old garden.

These are tea houses, but they are still outside the pay area that is the actual old garden.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I got to this point and realised this was as far as I had got on previous visits. You have to pay to continue beyond this point, today I paid!

I got to this point and realised this was as far as I had got on previous visits. You have to pay to continue beyond this point, today I paid!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - At first I was a little disappointed, its a rock garden with a few bonsai, didnt look very impressive.

At first I was a little disappointed, its a rock garden with a few bonsai, didnt look very impressive.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - It started to get nicer, all the areas are quite small, hard to get a decent photo.

It started to get nicer, all the areas are quite small, hard to get a decent photo.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I believe these are genuinely old, also you can see the new drain pipe building towering above it all!

I believe these are genuinely old, also you can see the new drain pipe building towering above it all!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - This child was feeding his feet to the piranhas.

This child was feeding his feet to the piranhas.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Probably the nicest place for a photo, that couple sitting on the bridge thought so also. Me and 25 other people waited for ages for them got get out

Probably the nicest place for a photo, that couple sitting on the bridge thought so also. Me and 25 other people waited for ages for them got get out of the way, they never did. They are still there now.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - In the meantime the small child had been completely consumed by the fish.

In the meantime the small child had been completely consumed by the fish.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Have a bit more ancient garden tea house / jade viewing gallery.

Have a bit more ancient garden tea house / jade viewing gallery.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - I was again impressed with the trees here, I noted that they wrap the trunks in cloth to discourage growth.

I was again impressed with the trees here, I noted that they wrap the trunks in cloth to discourage growth.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Last photo from yuyuyuanyuangardengarden is the free ear piercing Chinese orchestra display. Why was it so damn loud?

Last photo from yuyuyuanyuangardengarden is the free ear piercing Chinese orchestra display. Why was it so damn loud?


I found another park

Zhongshan park in Shanghai

Earlier I was wrong. Earlier I said I had visited all the parks in Shanghai. I found another one. NOW I have visited all the parks in Shanghai.
The final park was Zhongshan park.

I used to thing Zhong Shan meant central mountain, and it does. I was wondering why every single Chinese city has a central mountain street / park / suburb / school / public toilet, even when there is no mountain anywhere to be seen such as in Shanghai.
I recently learned that Zhongshan is the name Chinese people have given to Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China. So if you were to wander around the centre of any Chinese city and ask people where the mountain is while pointing at the street sign, they might thing you are an idiot. Actually they will probably find a young terrofoed girl to talk to you using terrible English, no matter how good you think your Chinese is.

I am running out of things to talk about so its time to talk about Chinese TV! Generally most hotels have only one English channel, CGTN, Chinese Global Television Network. This is a news and propaganda channel available all over the world, I think I even get it as part of my expensive cable tv in Australia. Anyway, today Trump threw out the Iran deal, CGTN is talking about how this is fantastic news, Iran will now have to buy everything from China. Also, Kim Jong-un is in China, again. This is reported as 'Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un are finalizing wide ranging economic and trade agreements for the future development of the Korean peninsula ahead of a symbolic meeting between Kim and Trump'. Then there are the soy beans. With the possible trade war, China stopped buying soy beans from the USA. Every day CGTN has a story about soy beans from some other part of the world. If I wanted to bet on what other products China might retaliate with should things escalate, I would follow around CGTN reporters to see which farms they are visiting in Argentina, Australia, Namibia, Estonia etc, because I think they are already filming those stories now.
One last thing, China really really hates India. With all the rape murders happening in India, China TV is finding an endless parade of idiotic Hindu government spokesmen to appear on tv and suggest that the girls got what they deserved.

The great loop of China - April 2018 - There will be a lot of park pics. Here we have the noise meter. Locals compete to see who can register the loudest noise. The winner by far was a woma

There will be a lot of park pics. Here we have the noise meter. Locals compete to see who can register the loudest noise. The winner by far was a woman cracking a whip.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - There will be consequences for this unharmonious display of kiteophobia. Unharmonious.

There will be consequences for this unharmonious display of kiteophobia. Unharmonious.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - This park was full of cats, all the reincarnation of Sun Yet-sen.

This park was full of cats, all the reincarnation of Sun Yet-sen.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Parks are very old person friendly, here they have provided large text books for the far sighted.

Parks are very old person friendly, here they have provided large text books for the far sighted.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - These photos were taken right on dusk, so the color is not great!

These photos were taken right on dusk, so the color is not great!


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Nice lilies.

Nice lilies.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - What is that metal ring around the pond? I thought it was to detect people fishing, or to electrocute the cats. No it is really cheap crappy lighting.

What is that metal ring around the pond? I thought it was to detect people fishing, or to electrocute the cats. No it is really cheap crappy lighting. Very ugly.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - It was a very large, very nice park, being enjoyed by many people, there were lots of joggers and a couple of nice cafes that stay open after dark.

It was a very large, very nice park, being enjoyed by many people, there were lots of joggers and a couple of nice cafes that stay open after dark.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The centre of the rose garden was guarded by a baby dinosaur gargoyle.

The centre of the rose garden was guarded by a baby dinosaur gargoyle.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here we have the worlds 91st tallest building! I wonder how often they have to change the sign?

Here we have the worlds 91st tallest building! I wonder how often they have to change the sign?


The great loop of China - April 2018 - The bottom of the worlds 91st tallest building is a huge mall, which in English is called the cloud 9 mall, but in Chinese its called the Dragons drea

The bottom of the worlds 91st tallest building is a huge mall, which in English is called the cloud 9 mall, but in Chinese its called the Dragons dream shopping centre. No one seems to know why it needed different names for different languages. I had been here before, it is very famous for having over 75 restaurants on its upper levels, all huge, I wrote about it extensively on a previous trip.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Instead of going upstairs, I went to basement 2 and had an excellent ma la dry pot. At this place you select what you want, but you dont select it you

Instead of going upstairs, I went to basement 2 and had an excellent ma la dry pot. At this place you select what you want, but you dont select it yourself, the girl loads your bucket for you. A lot of pointing and miming occurred to select my ingredients. She was very concerned I had not selected enough food. It was delicious!


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

adriana on 2018-05-09 said:

really like 91st tallest building pic with framing greenery


jenny on 2018-05-09 said:

chinese like to do everything loud. This trip has been a sensory or at least visual overload.



Day 27 - Thursday, 10 May 2018

The maglev update

Taking the maglev to Pudong airport

I have ridden on the maglev again, so thats worth an update. I am also precariously close to posting 1000 photos on this trip, at which point the program I have written that presents all this meaningless text and these pointless photos will automatically delete everything, so I have to be really careful!

I am now sitting in Shanghai airport, my plane is not here yet, but I think I just saw it land, its due to depart in an hour.
It is not the worlds best airport, its a bit dated, like Narita in Japan perhaps, but it is very very convenient to get to because of the maglev. 8 minutes on the levitating train and you are at the airport, fantastic.
Many years ago when I first rode the maglev it was free, its now about $10, and runs at a massive loss. Probably worth it to levitate at 450km/h for a few minutes.

Will this be the last update? I dont know yet, depends what time my flight gets into Singapore and how bored I am and how much life there is left in my failing ancient laptop battery.
Until possibly then, heres a few more pics.

The great loop of China - April 2018 - Shanghai has an Ishibashi - the famous Japanese guitar store. Better than that they have an annex store selling secondhand stuff. However it is closed

Shanghai has an Ishibashi - the famous Japanese guitar store. Better than that they have an annex store selling secondhand stuff. However it is closed and from what I could see, extremely expensive. Top tip, buy guitars in Japan, send to China, sell to rich Chinese, oh yeah thats what Ishibashi is doing.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Have another bund photo, I was up bright and early, just me and the joggers.

Have another bund photo, I was up bright and early, just me and the joggers.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here he is, the chairman, all hail.

Here he is, the chairman, all hail.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - There was still time to appreciate a ridiculous mini garden. The guy in the foreground is really really appreciating it.

There was still time to appreciate a ridiculous mini garden. The guy in the foreground is really really appreciating it.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - One last photo of the giant buildings in Pudong, taken from afar.

One last photo of the giant buildings in Pudong, taken from afar.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here is a Chinese bookshop. A truck backs up and pours books out. They must be presented this way by law, in the centre of each pile is a bundle of pe

Here is a Chinese bookshop. A truck backs up and pours books out. They must be presented this way by law, in the centre of each pile is a bundle of petrol soaked rags in case an urgent book burning is required.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Here we have the maglev, magnets, how do they work? I feel ashamed.

Here we have the maglev, magnets, how do they work? I feel ashamed.


The great loop of China - April 2018 - Bonus maglev photos of the thing the mags lev, the train! the train! Shame levels increasing.

Bonus maglev photos of the thing the mags lev, the train! the train! Shame levels increasing.


Since I probably wont post again, heres my thoughts on my trip. China is fascinating, and has progressed a lot since I was last here, everything is cleaner and more convenient. This is probably best highlighted by the public toilets, which are everywhere. I know Xi made a personal request to cities to improve that situation. I certainly remember the last time I was in Chongqing I thought it was still a bit of a wild frontier, its now a modern city.
Every city has huge green areas that are used by the people, which is great to see. Pollution was also not as bad as I expected or remember, which echoes what is being reported by China and foreign organisations that monitor the pollution levels.
Getting places is easy, hotels are all great, no food made me sick in any way, the food was all great.
I had no issues with the internet at all on my phone or laptop, I made sure I had a good vpn and a sim card that directs internet through Australia. I had a few other tricks prepared but never needed them. I was never without phone coverage.
Also, aside from some visa confusion by hotel check in staff, I had no trouble with authorities. Despite stories about police checks, raids, strip searches, drug tests etc. I never experienced any of that. I think you need to be at semi-illegal nightclubs at 3am for that to occur.

Now the negatives.
Getting a cold was annoying. Very annoying, I still have a cough. Yes I could still wander around cities etc. in a semi stupor but it did cancel a few of the longer day trips I had planned to mountains etc. I fear I have lost a lot of my fitness! And on that note, mountains in China are not as good as mountains in Korea / Taiwan / Japan. In China mountains are all concrete paths with steps, signs, toilets, rubbish bins, cable cars, cafes etc. I never really experienced a feeling of isolation which is one of the reasons I like mountains - if you read my other trips you will see me talking about how I saw no one else for hours, that isnt really possible in China unless you go way way way out west on multi day hikes.

So in summary, China is probably a better destination if you want to relax and look at things in cities, go to big tourist attractions, go to museums (theres thousands I didnt go to) and value having a huge hotel room. A good place for old people who can barely walk to get shuttled around to gawk at things.

That went on for longer than expected. My plane is here but is stuck in traffic waiting to find a park. This will make my departure late and reduce my time in Singapore, so this is probably the last update.

The end

There are currently 1 comments - click to add

mother on 2018-05-10 said:

thanks for the summary.



Contents

Day 0 - Saturday, 16 March 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Saturday, 14 April 2018
  The long winded getaway
  Projectile vomit boy
Day 2 - Sunday, 15 April 2018
  Pollen count
  Walking too far eating too much
Day 3 - Monday, 16 April 2018
  A really long journey to a really big wall
  The Mongolian spicy cold noodle denial
Day 4 - Tuesday, 17 April 2018
  The west lake of the northern capital
  Gentrification
Day 5 - Wednesday, 18 April 2018
  The bee filled mountain of many amenities
  An uncomplicated exchange
Day 6 - Thursday, 19 April 2018
  The bus debacle illegal taxi comedy show
  Fun running race but I cant join in
Day 7 - Friday, 20 April 2018
  From the old to the new old
  The most China of places I have ever been
Day 8 - Saturday, 21 April 2018
  Everybody was kung fu fighting the rain
  The new old is new again
Day 9 - Sunday, 22 April 2018
  Windwalker
  Named in my honor
Day 10 - Monday, 23 April 2018
  How to make a short train ride really long
  The grandest scale
Day 11 - Tuesday, 24 April 2018
  Everybody can get fogged
  Shining beacons of ancient
Day 12 - Wednesday, 24 April 2018
  Pottery barn
  The other great wall
Day 13 - Thursday, 26 April 2018
  Around the bottom of the wall
  The first of the three long journeys
Day 14 - Friday, 27 April 2018
  The mountain city
  I have succumbed
Day 15 - Saturday, 28 April 2018
  Massive Renewal
  I am very good at dancing
Day 16 - Sunday, 29 April 2018
  Sick polluted and awesome
  The crush for the view
Day 17 - Monday, 30 April 2018
  Tales from a moving train
  Monday night madness
Day 18 - Tuesday, 1 May 2018
  Not the west lake
  Wanda world
Day 19 - Wednesday, 2 May 2018
  Revolutionary tower poetry
  The not so shiny and the not so new
Day 20 - Thursday, 3 May 2018
  The long view of the amazing blue
  And now for the view
Day 21 - Friday, 4 May 2018
  Lap completed
  The old hole
Day 22 - Saturday, 5 May 2018
  Complete waste of a day
  Resurrection of the day
Day 23 - Sunday, 6 May 2018
  Last day of boring train photos
  Fully bunded area
Day 24 - Monday, 7 May 2018
  The subway to the ancient water town
  The main drag
Day 25 - Tuesday, 8 May 2018
  Botanists delight
  The old side from the new side became more of the new side
Day 26 - Wednesday, 9 May 2018
  Every single park and garden
  I found another park
Day 27 - Thursday, 10 May 2018
  The maglev update
  The end