Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Things to Do: ride the Maglev Train/Transrapid, Shanghai, China


Maglev Train/Transrapid  This train is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world.  Built by German technicians for the Olympics, it cost US$1.2 billion to build and began service in 2004.  With a top speed of 431 kmh/268 mph, this train rides 2 inches above the rails and takes only 8 minutes to travel 19 miles to the airport.  It is very loud outside the train, but very quiet inside, and the train accelerates from zero to 431 kilometers in 3 minutes (it operates at full acceleration only from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.).  This train connects Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of central Pudong, but at $25/person round-trip it isn’t inexpensive.  Access to the new Disneyland opening in 2016 is coming on another track at the station.



 


More things to do in Shanghai. 

More things to do in China.  

Taking an organized tour to China.
 
More China items. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Sights to See: Huangpu River tour, Shanghai, China


Huangpu River tour  The Huangpu River winds north from its source at Dingshan Lake for about 70 miles to Wusong Kou, where it meets the Yangtze River.  It passes through Shanghai in the middle for about 24 miles.  Though narrow and shallow, the river is important to China's international trade, city water supplies, and fishing.  It’s also a popular route for tourist boats to view the skyscrapers of Pudong and the buildings of the Bund, which are especially stunning when they are lit up in the evening. 

tour boat for Huangpu River tour in Shanghai, China

evening skyline from Huangpu River tour in Shanghai, China

night skyline from Huangpu River tour in Shanghai, China

night skyline from Huangpu River tour in Shanghai, China

night skyline from Huangpu River tour in Shanghai, China

More things to do in Shanghai. 

More things to do in China.  

Taking an organized tour to China.
 
More China items. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Sights to See: Shanghai, China + Bund/Waitan


Shanghai is China’s most westernized city.  It was very fashionable in the 1930s.  I’ve heard it described as filthy and polluted but didn’t find it so.  It has the world’s longest subway system, and cabs are cheap.  The best weather is in August, but cool, comfortable weather occurs in April.

Bund/Waitan waterfront  Everyone comes here to stroll along the mile-long semi-circular promenade along the Huangpu river and view Shanghai’s famous and stunning skyline, sometimes referred to as a “museum of international architecture.”  Stark modern skyscrapers are across the river on one side, and older British colonial buildings are across the street on the other.  The Chinese “Big Ben” rings out the hour.  While we strolled, we saw two brides in traditional fluffy deep-red wedding gowns posing with their grooms for their wedding pictures.  I also enjoyed just sitting on steps in an open gallery and people watching. 


Bund waterfront skyline in Shanghai, China

Bund waterfront skyline in Shanghai, China

Bund walkway in Shanghai, China

Bund walkway step seating in Shanghai, China

Chinese wedding couple on Bund in Shanghai, China

Chinese wedding couple on Bund in Shanghai, China

More things to do in Shanghai. 

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Taking an organized tour to China.
 
More China items. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Great Sleeps: Golden Flower Hotel, Xi'an, China


Golden Flower Hotel  8 Chang Le Road West, 40-min. from airport, (86 29) 8323 2981-4380.  Fitness center.  Restaurant.  Situated in the city center, rooms at this newly renovated 5-star hotel are spacious and attractively appointed.
fresh roses at Golden Flower Hotel in Xi'an, China

check-in desk at Golden Flower Hotel in Xi'an, China

Some classical Chinese furnishings are used, and original woodcuts by local artist Ding Ji Tang adorn the walls.  
duck woodcut by local artist Ding Ji Tang at Golden Flower Hotel in Xi'an, China

Quiet one morning, the spacious breakfast was packed the next.  The extensive buffet included exotic fresh fruits, really good French-style pastries, and both dim sum and American bacon and eggs. 

exotic breakfast fruit at Golden Flower Hotel in Xi'an, China

dim sum at breakfast buffet at Golden Flower Hotel in Xi'an, China

More things to do in Xi'an.

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Taking an organized tour to China.
 
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Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sights to See: Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an, China


Terracotta Warriors  This UNESCO World Heritage Site displays three pits of archeological excavations.  Pit 1 features an unearthed life-size clay army of men and horses arranged in battle formations.  The army was meant to guard the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who built the Great Wall and also conquered most of China before dying in 210 A.D.  It is astounding that each of the more than 6,000 full-size soldier replicas has a unique hairstyle and facial features.  The tomb itself has not yet been opened, and excavation continues.  The site was discovered in 1974 by local farmers who found pottery pieces while digging a well; the museum opened in 1979.  This immense complex has a popular light-filled, airy restaurant that caters to tour groups.  

Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China

Terracotta Warriors plus horses in Xi'an, China

lunch dishes in group dining room at Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China

Nearby, Xi’an Han De Art Work Factory (No. 6 RuiLin St., LinTong, 0086-029-83891270) provides the opportunity to take your picture posed with your head atop the body of a terracotta warrior.  Who dreamed that at this factory you can actually purchase a full size replica warrior and have the head carved to look like you!  I did consider it.  After all, arrangements can be made to ship any items home.  When you first arrive, you will observe workers making reproductions in many different sizes, then you visit the gift shop and are amazed by the array of reproductions that are ready to go.  A vast array of other China souvenirs is also displayed.  Upstairs, you’ll see how lacquer furniture is finished, and observe someone hand-painting it.  New as well as historic pieces are displayed, and most are for sale.

woman in factory reproducing Terracotta Warriors souvenirs in Xi'an, China

gift shop at factory reproducing Terracotta Warriors souvenirs in Xi'an, China

man painting design on laqueur table gift shop at factory reproducing Terracotta Warriors souvenirs in Xi'an, China

More things to do in Xi'an.

More things to do in China.

Taking an organized tour to China.
 
More China items. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers