I learned quite a few things in China. Our first stop was Beijing and then Shanghai.
Beijing is the conservative and ancient city unlike Shanghai which is the exact opposite.
Weather: The first thing you would notice when you step down from the plane is the weather.
Beijing is way cooler than Shanghai. Beijing is dry, windy, and sunny and the weather when you are outside is untolerable. In Shanghai, it’s wet(rainy) and cloudy and a ray of sunshine would bring a delight to your face.
Tour Guide: Most of the tourists have tour guides here. It’s the next thing you would notice.
*Miss Vicki fooling around while Mr. Hao gave us a few tricks.*
Our Beijing tour guide Miss Vicki, was jolly and very efficient. Good services. She made our stay in Beijing fun. She was not a bore, and she made us interact with her as well. She is very flexible and cater for everybody’s wants.
Our Shanghai tour guide Miss Sammi, was ok. She smiles and answers your question but not as efficient as Vicki.
Common thing in our tour guides: Nice clothes. You can make them sing(and the same song). Both are trying hard to give us jokes. Both are single and looking for a boyfriend. Haha.
Buildings: The bus has a wide window, enough for you to take pictures and get a full view of the places you are passing.
*A Beijing building*
*Another Beijing building*
Shanghai is much developed compared to Beijing. It’s buildings are higher than in Beijing. Shanghai has a lot of well-known hotels.
*Taken outside Shanghai Airport*
Food: We arrived during lunch time in both cities. So, before we proceed to the hotel we ate our lunch at a local restaurant.
Shanghai-nese food is much sweeter than what is served in Beijing. Still the same though, too oily. -_- The signal for the lauriat-style to end is the watermelon. It is the last to be served. Peking duck was not new to me. Davao has a Chinese restaurant that serves Peking duck but lately it ran out of supply due to the bird flu. But still the way they serve the duck is different. They also serve pigeon in Beijing and goose in Shanghai.
The part I like there was the breakfast buffet. Less Chinese food. Haha.
I like the interior of their restaurants. They have a man-made falls or whatever in display that would attract customers. It’s nice. Every restaurant has a different façade and interior. Some restaurants has a performance every night as well.
*Shanghai: While we were having dinner they performed different kind of dances and one of them is tinikling and they are encouraging the diners to participate as well*
*We were supposed to have pictures with some Chinese girls in costumes.. but they’re asking us for money if we’re to have our pictures taken with them.*
So guys beware of those picture taking… because you might be asked for some money.
Nights: Shanghai Nights
They said Shanghai is the Eastern Paris. The city is well-lighted during night time. They spend millions for the lights the tour guide says. (I wish they could spend it for the people in China who has no living/home. Specially during winter days. It’s awfully cold and freezing outside.)
Shanghai night life is pretty much active. They have a lot of bars/karaoke/mah-jong places. There are more foreigners and business people in Shanghai. Teenagers go to bars, the not-so-much teen goes to karaoke and the old ones in mah-jong places.
Shopping: I have to say shopping in Philippines is way better than shopping in China!! They have 3 different qualities. Class A, Class B and Class C.
Vicki: Class C may be cheap and you can bargain at a much cheaper price but it’s rubbish. Really really rubbish.
Vicki: I will take you to a shopping place…. but I’m warning you. The prices should be bargained 70% off. Example if the price is 100 just pay it for 30.
And asking for the bargain is really stressful.. SUPER! They have crazy prices!!!!! and its not easy to bargain with them because they SHOUT! Gosh!!! It would make you want to go back to Philippines and buy from there. Usual convos in bargaining.
Pinay: How much is this?
Chinese: *takes her calculator out and types the price* 350
Pinay: Oh… so expensive… *types out her price 105 *
Chinese: Oh.. no no..*face angry* *types out 330* That is already cheapah.
Pinay: No.. that’s too expensive… *sticks to 105*
Chinese: Oh ok ok.. *types 180* that’s cheap. Very cheap lady.
Pinay: No… never mind.. *tries to go away*
Chinese: Wait lady! How much you want?
Chinese: That is a crazy price lady! You must be kidding!!!
Pinay: Im not kidding.. Im serious. *walks away* (you can call this the WALKAWAY TRICK)
And then in a few minutes… the chinese lady would run after you with your item in a cellophane already.. and giving you your price.
NOTE: Never ever try to bargain if you are not sure you will buy it, because they might *smack* you with their bag. Believe me… one incident like that happened. So, if you try to bargain…… be sure you will really buy it.
If you are just looking, they would grab you and force you to buy. *gah* what a terrible shopping experience. You would appreciate Pinay’s who sell in Divisoria/168 better. Really. Those Chinese might be cussing you in their language for all you know.
But of course there are some who seem pretty fine. Just laugh and dont forget to smile when you try to bargain.. there might be other Chinese who are pretty much nice. But they are just the 5% of the lot.
Since, it was the winter season their clothes are mostly for WINTER. Checking out their winter clothes/boots/gloves/hats/scarves… you would want winter to be in the Philippines too. I absolutely love their winter apparrel.. as in!!! Imagine, all those cute boots… those gloves. *sigh*
We did not get to buy some of their clothes since…. the ones in display are for winter and pretty heavy!!! Too bad.
In Beijing we visited the Jade factory. Real Jade is pretty much expensive. They have nice designs. Prices are fixed here. No bargains.
*taken outside the royal pharmacy*
We also visited a very popular herbal medicine factory and also their royal pharmacy which goes back to the Ming dynasty. Amazing huh? 🙂
In Shanghai we visited the Pearl factory. Fresh water cultured pearls. Not so exciting, since we have our very own South Sea pearls. 🙂 Although, I liked their Pearl Lotion. It is so nice.
We also visited the Silk factory. We bought the silk quilt (wala sa pinas eh) and it is sooo comfy. 🙂 Just the quilt would be enough, you can buy any cover (cotton/wool/silk) of your choice when you get back to the Philippines.
Temples and Gardens:
*This one is the frozen lake. You can see people are trying to walk through the frozen lake. Just look closely. They said, this was the setting of King and I. I am not sure. :)*
Beijing has a lot of temples and gardens. Since, it is pretty much old-fashioned. And mostly people in Beijing still stick to their old customs/values and preserving the ancient structures.
Great Wall of China(Beijing):
So yeah, this is the number one spot. I finally saw it’s wonder. Haha. Wonder ba talaga? Hehe.
There are different parts of the great wall.. and I am not sure what part we visited. I did not actually went to the top… it was freeeeeziinnng.. and the steps are too steep….. it’s a bit hard to go down.
*The DXN TSI Qualifiers w/ the DXN staff. Wooo Go Philippines!*
I thought it would be exciting to visit it…. but then since the fact it is not forbidden anymore and pretty much open to tourists made it less exciting. The history itself is a good story. Beijing has a lot of stories about Emperor, Empress and the concubines.
Chinese people are fond of rock formations. Every temple/garden you go… you see rock formations everywhere and with different meanings. 🙂
This was supposed to be their Disneyland. It was unfinished because the owner got bankrupt.
Olympic Stadium for 2008(Beijing):
Everybody knows that the Olympics this 2008 will be held in Beijing. Everybody in China is preparing for it. They have different souvenir items ready even if it is just 2006.
I did not get any decent pictures of the cutieee pandas. *gah* All were too dark. They were inside and the lighting was not that good. It was a bit dim… so the pictures are dark. One is supposed to be staying outside but I guess the weather is a bit toooo cold for them. They said during summer the pandas have a cable tv to entertain them. And since they are too preoccupied with the tv they would not even look at the tourists. Nyahaha. 🙂
Mausoleum of Mao Tse Tung(Beijing):
This is where the body of Mao Tse-Tung lay. Mao Tse-Tung wants to be cremated… I wonder why he wasn’t. Ala-Marcos style. Once inside, you are not allowed to stare at Chairman Mao’s body… but you need to move on. Cameras are not allowed inside.
NOTE: Do not buy the flowers they sell to honor Chairman Mao. You know why? Because, they are just recycling it. All the flowers are identical. And once it is inside…. they can recycle to use it for tomorrow. Wow.. pretty cunning huh? 😛
*Behind is the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao*
This one is just near the Mausoleum of Mao Tse Tung. Here you can take pictures all you want.
Kung Fu Show (Beijing):
They say it’s one of the best show. (but I like the Lion King Live Show in Disneyland HK better hehe) -_- You can even have your pictures taken with the actors/actress outside.. before and after the show.
I did not have mine taken with them… because there were soooooooo mannyyyy people. Foreign people. Big people. British and Americans alike. Haha. -_-
*A picture with the shy lioness*
The Yu Garden in Shanghai. Near this garden is a temple-turned-flea-market. The bargain thingy here is much better compared to Beijing. -_- A bit better… but still…
Nan Jing Road(Shanghai):
This is the shopping haven of the people in Shanghai or so they say. A few minutes walk in our hotel. Well lighted as well. 🙂 Nice place to hang out.
Huang Pu River Cruise(Shanghai):
This is a nice river cruise. 🙂 You’d see Shanghai at it’s best! Yay. Well lighted… with all the prominent structures…. *sigh* It was soo nice. 🙂
I love to watch the little Chinese kids. -_- They look so cuteee with their winter clothes.. and it’s not hard to make them smile. They smileeee sooo genuinely from the heart it would make you want to cry. SOooo cuteeeee.
*That kid made me teary-eyed… hayyyy. I would never forget that lil kid’s smile. It wass just so different from the smiles of other kids. -_-*
Not everybody knows how to speak English. Hard to communicate with them. But there was one kid who showed us the way to Pearl Market… and it was quite astonishing to hear him speak in straight English.
*The Czar and Czarina of da Philippines*
*That guy is so funny. After the picture taking he would gesture to look at your camera… maybe to check how he looks like in the picture. hehe*
*Sunset in Beijing. Outside the Royal Pharmacy and near the Tiananmen Square.*
I almost did not get any chance to take the Sunset in Shanghai. And *good heavens* when we were about to board the plane for Shanghai-Manila… I was able to see the sun setting in Shanghai and capture it. Weeeee.
*Sunset in Shanghai*
That’s all for now.. Picture overload na ata eh. -_-
All in all… it was a fun filled trip.. although there were certain times… it was not that good because.. my parent’s oppressor is around. Read this for more info.