Category: China

May 17 2010

HangZhou to Shenzhen, China

Bought a train ticket on Saturday when I got to the Hangzhou train station. However, only standing tickets were available because there is only one train a day from Hanzhou towards Shenzhen.

The train will depart from HangZhou south station which is a little far away from the city. Took a public bus towards Hangzhou south station at 12pm.

Lunch, rice with dishes 10Yuan~USD$1.5

Since I still have time to spare, fixed my broken shoe.(14Yuan~USD$2). This lady has been fixing shoes since 30 years ago or this was what she told me.

Almost time to get on the train. A big crowd getting on the train and there was no point to queue anyway.

Got on the T211 2.20pm (218 Yuan~USD$32). It’s around 1700km to Shenzhen and will take approximately around 17 hours to get there.

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The train was already full even before the huge crowd managed to get on the train.

There was no room even for me to stand

Night falls, still packed like sardines and stood at the same spot for the past 7 hours.

I have some movies on my laptop and got some of the train passengers interested in it.

Don’t even think about getting an empty spot at the door.

May 16 2010

Hangzhou Day 1, China

Hangzhou is the capital of ZheJiang province and is one of the richer cities in China. The city has a population of around 8 million people and was the capital during the Southern Song dynasty before the Mongols sacked the city. Even Marco Polo has been here. Housing price here is comparable to Shanghai and the city is famous for its tourist and technology industry.

Luxury car showroom

Lunch with some old university friends, ShouFang and Kai.

XiHu, West Lake. The lake was orginally located at the western part of the city. However, like many other cities in China, there is a big push towards urbanization and the city grew and surrounds the lake today. So by just looking at the map, you might wonder why is it called the west lake.

Hangzhou is voted as one of the best place to live in China. There are bicycles rack all over the city. One can just swipe a transportation card and rent to bicycle for free then drop it at another rack. However, the card will require a deposit of 200 Yuan and can be used for buses too.

Met up with WenHuan, a friend I met at the hostel in Xiamen. He is from Hangzhou as well and was eager to show me around.
A square, I forgot the name.

HeFang Jie which sells goods cater to tourist.

A famous Chinese medicine shop

A unique architecture

A newer part of HangZhou

DongBo meat and some other Hangzhou local delicacies.

Paid a visit to ZheJiang University at night.

Pool with Kai and friends.

May 15 2010

Shanghai to Hangzhou, China

Found out that I have some old college friends in HangZhou and decided to visit them. Today is my last day in Shanghai, went to LuJiaZhui to get a last view of Pudong before heading south to Hangzhou.

The bund during day time

A wedding shoot at LuJiaZhui area

LuJiaZhui area in PuDong.

Took bus 144 towards Shanghai south train station

The train station has a unique design, it is designed in a circular pattern and all the entrances to the train are concentrated in the middle part of the station.

and bought the D5683 8.06pm train (54Yuan~USD$8) towards Hangzhou. It’s around 200km from Shanghai to Hangzhou but the train will get us there in just one an a half hour.

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Again, even though the infrastructures and hard assets in China are amazing but peoples’ behavior still need time to change.

May 14 2010

Shanghai Day 9, China

City center, around HuaiHai road area.

FuXing Park

A old man exercising/playing an old traditional game

Zhou En Lai lived here once, around FuXing Road and SiNan road area.

Some newly built residential home, sure this will be super expensive in the city center.

Lunch, LengMian, cold noodles Shanghai style 8Yuan~USD$1.2

May 13 2010

Shanghai Day 8, China

Visited another Chinese friend at Shanghai Finance University. There are 3 good universities in Shanghai such as FuDan, ShangHai JiaoTong and Shanghai Finance University which also are also the famous universities in China.

This is the square that universities students usually go to.

Was trying to learn more about the financial job market in Shanghai and attended a headhunter networking event at night with ZhiHan.

Some readers of my blog might be surprised of me spending more than a week in Shanghai because usually in my trip, it’s unusual to spend too many days in one particular city. My original plan was to end my trip in Shanghai at the world expo and then start being serious about my career. At the same time, some of my friends in the US had been going back to China recently and seems like Shanghai is a great place for life and career. I am also taking this opportunity to catch up with some of them. This is sort of the warm down of the last leg of my trip and I am taking my trip slower this time.

May 12 2010

Shanghai Day 7, China

Met up Choew Kong for lunch at the center business district of Shanghai

XintianDi area

A flyover with some trees/plants on the right side.

Visited HaiLi, a friend I met in Taipei at Shanghai JiaoTong University.

QiBao old town

May 11 2010

Shanghai World Expo Day 2, China

Decided to start at district B for today. Got to gate 5 in the morning right before 9.30am to get into the line early.

Long line to get into the expo.

The longest line is at the Saudi Pavilion so my first target this morning is to rush there first.

Even though I got there early, but still waited for 3 hours in line under the hot sun and finally got in.

The highlight of the pavilion is a huge IMAX theater. However, the total time spent inside was just 15 minutes so it’s not worth it to wait in line for 3 hours.


The theme pavilion

A big model of the rotating earth

Indonesia Pavilion

Malaysia Pavilion

Thailand and the Philippines pavilion


German Pavilion which is another popular one, also with a long line of course.

Performance around the African Pavilion area.


US Pavilion which was designed to look like supermarket.

Took a boat across the HuangPu river to get to district D.

Japanese businesses pavilion. The whole program inside the pavilion took an hour and 8 Japanese corporations showed off their technology and explained about their businesses.

For the past 2 days, I have spent around 13 hours each day from 9.30am till 10.30pm rushing around the pavilions like crazy but still wasn’t able to finish seeing everything. The Shanghai World Expo is located at a huge site of around 5 sqkm and there are many people everywhere. Not surprising because China is famous for its crowd of people. It’s easy to notice some bad habits of local Chinese at the expo, the most common one being jumping queue. China spent a lot of money in the World Expo, everywhere in the country has advertisement about the world expo, like everyone in the world is coming. Especially in Shanghai where all kinds of mass media kept bombarding the locals with statistics and news from the world expo. From what I observed, most of the visitors are locals, foreigners consisted of less than 1% of the visitors.

May 10 2010

Shanghai World Expo Day 1, China

The first world expo was held around 150 years ago in 1851 in London. At the beginning, the world expo the theme of world expo is more about industrialization, then it moved to more cultural exchange based and Nation branding for countries to show off and improve its national image.

More than 190 countries and 50 organization have registered for the Shanghai World Expo. The theme of this world expo is “Better City-Better Life” and emphasize about urban planning which China really needs since it is developing at such a high rate. At the same time, the country is using this as a publicity to improve its image to the world.

Interactive site of Shanghai World Expo

This is also the most expensive expo and the cost is fully borne by Shanghai. Even the opening ceremony was too lavishly staged. China is a weird country, the government is super rich but not the average citizens. The government is like a big business which has shares in companies from different industries from constructing bullet train, shipbuilding to insurance company.

There are around 200 pavilions. A one day ticket cost 160Yuan~USD$23.

The world expo is divided into 5 areas. Used entrance 2 to get into the E district.

Going into the expo

First stop is the ShipBuilding pavilion.

Long queue at the first pavilion visited

Iphone like application on the wall

360 degrees movie

Area E has mostly company pavilions.
Chinese SME(Small and medium size) pavilion.

China telecommunication pavilion

A model of a futuristic vehicle at the GM-SAIC pavilion

A long line at the China Aircraft pavilion. Waited at least an hour in order to get in. Don’t think it’s worth the wait as inside of the pavilion is not that great.

The Case Pavilions are situated at the north part of district E. These pavilions have exhibitions by cities which sets good examples about some best practiced policies.

A pavilion about earthquake

This is a prototype building that was built in just 24 hours! Using environmental friendly material and can withstand earthquake of 9 magnitude of 9 richter scale.

Moved to area A which is about country pavilion in the afternoon.

Inside North Korea Pavilion, “A paradise for people”

India Pavilion

Saudi Pavilion which is the most expensively built pavilion with a long line

Visited the Japanese and Korean pavilion at night. There were long lines at both Japanese and Korean pavilion.

Japanese Pavilion which looks pretty cute.

There was also a long line and waited for 2 hours before getting in. The whole program inside the Japan Pavilion is an hour. 20 minutes each for intro of Japanese technology, tech exhibition
Robot Asimov playing violin

and performance.

Korean Pavilion which has a long queue as well.

Some exhibition about korean writings. Like Japan many years ago, Korea used Chinese characters in their writing.

Still think Japanese Pavilion is the best among the country pavilions visited today.

Night View

Night view of the Saudi Pavilion.

Wasn’t manage to get in today because of the long line but that’ll be my target for tomorrow.

China Pavilion.

I don’t even think about getting in because the line is too long. Furthermore, the pavilion will be there even after the world expo.

The site is huge, so my plan is to hit the world expo anti clockwise from district E, A, B, C, D.

Map of the Shanghai World Expo.

May 08 2010

ZhuJi to Shanghai, China

Took a bus to ZhuJi train station

Got on the 8.16am train towards Shanghai. There are also high speed train towards Shanghai but the slower train is cheaper and doesn’t take too long.

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There are a lot of constructions going on on the way to Shanghai. Zhejiang is one of the richest province and is developing very well.

Even though there are trains averaging 200km/hour towards Shanghai, the governent is currently building a 350km/hour railway track and possibly might add another 450km/hour Malev train track. The later option is still under discussion because of some protests.

Shanghai is around 250km away and got to Shanghai at around 11.30am after a 3 hours train ride.

Back to Shanghai

Visited the Shanghai museum in the afternoon because I didn’t have enough time the last time I visited.

There are many people in the museum, especially tourists. The museum has quite a lot of artifacts.
Old Chinese furnitures.

Dropped by Fudan University.

Dinner at WuYin’s place with some of her friends at ZhongTan Lu. Around ZhongTan lu, there are maybe a hundred residential apartment buildings around 30 storeys high.

May 07 2010

ZhuJi, China

QianYu’s apartment.

Got on the 9.45am bus to ZhuJi,

a town around an hour away from HangZhou. Arrived ZhuJi bus station at 12.20pm after 1.5 hours bus ride.

ZhuJi is just located an hour south of Hangzhou and is considered a mid size city. I decided to drop by here to visit a friend’s tea shop since it’s not far away from Shanghai.

My 9 months journey is coming to an end and most places I stop by is just to visit old friends and friends I met on the road. So from now, my post is not so much about backpacking and it’s more about catching up with aquaintances and I won’t be exploring the cities like I did in my journey.


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