China – Part 1 – Shanghai

China is an ancient and fascinating country with a history and culture full of wonder and mystery.

China’s vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000 km of coastline and the iconic Great Wall of China runs east-west across the country’s north. The capital city of Beijing mixes modern architecture with historic sites such as the Forbidden City palace complex and Tiananmen Square.

The first thing we needed to do was apply for a Visa.   We did our application at the end of January,  we got our appointment for February, and then it only took a few days to get the Visa, which I picked up.   Make sure you get your application in early and go for your interview prepared (with all your documents) so you can get your Visa on time.

Our journey takes us to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xi’an and Beijing.  I will break these up as there is so many great photos from each spot and so much to tell you all.

When I last left you we were in Hong Kong waiting to board our plane for Shanghai.

Arriving in Shanghai we met with our tour guide who took us to the bus where our fellow travellers were boarded, waiting for the transport to the hotel.  I noticed how modern Shanghai was, lots of highways, big buildings, very urban.  We arrived at the hotel ( The Hyatt on the Bund)  and prepared for our first evening with a welcome dinner at the Vue Restaurant  on the 31st  floor of the hotel.  The room was beautifully decorated and the view was spectacular,  the lights from all the buildings was magical.

what a view of the river

After a great nights sleep we met everyone the next morning, our day began with a tour of the city.  Our first stop was the Jade Buddha Temple which was built in 1928.  The temple is located in the middle of the city.  Such a peaceful place, we saw 2 jade buddha statues that were brought from Burma, in 1882.  There are multiple courtyards and dozens of monks in attendance.



Our next stop was Yu Garden.  Yu Garden is located on 5 acres, with 6 garden areas – Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden.  All of theses gardens are beautiful, full of  Chinese classical  architecture with carvings and sculptures.  You don’t want to miss the Jiu Qu Bridge (the Nine-Turn Bridge), Chinese people believe the # 9 symbolizes auspiciousness. Walking across the Jiu Qu Bridge is said to bring people good luck.  Next to Yu Garden is Yuyuan Bazaar, which is made up of many small streets filled with many stores, restaurants, tea shops etc.  If you can plan it during the week when the crowds are minimal, we happened to go on a Sunday of a holiday weekend and it was very crowded.


After lunch we went to Shanghai Tower, which is China’s highest building.  It is located in the financial and trade area.  We took the ultra high speed elevator – 18 metres /second .  We reached the observatory deck at the 118 the floor (546 metres) in 55 seconds.  The ride was so smooth and fast, before you know it you are at the top.  The view of the the city was amazing.


The next morning we boarded a bus for our 4 hour trip to Hangzhou.  About half way we stopped at Wuzhen Water Town for a tour and lunch.

We were returning to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix  for the day – we figured since we were kind of in the “area” we might as well go see the 1000th race –  more on this later  in a later post …

Have you travelled to Shanghai?? what was your favourite part of the city to visit??





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