Eastern China Relaxing Trip Day 2

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Eastern China Relaxing Trip Day 2

24/12/2006 Walking randomly, Christmas Eve Worship & Party

After an awful night, we got 2 beds eventually at 6am something, we took a shower and then slept again.  This hostel is quite neat, the bed is comfortable, and the shower is perfect with very hot water.  We got up again around 10:30am, then we just went out randomly.

This is the street outside the hostel, we couldn't see it last night because it's totally dark!

This is Watson, a famous HK chain store in Shanghai

This is the 24-hour McDonald's that we went for twice last night.

This is the East Nanjing Road that near our hostel is reserved for pedestrians after having been redesigned by a French architect, this area is known for its luxurious shopping centers, it's a bit like Japan, but the quality is worse than in HK.  Michelle bought a cup of milk tea in Yoshinoya (吉野家), she said it tasted like shit, so she couldn't finish it.

The ending of that street is People's Square, the place that we got off from bus, we're so wise to take a taxi instead of walking. Then we took the Metro to Hengshan Road as I searched online that there was a English Christian in this area, and it's Sunday & Christmas Eve, I should go to Church.

Hengshan Road (Chinese: 衡山路; pinyin: Hengshan Lu) is a street in the former French Concession of Shanghai. It is one of Shanghai's more vibrant nightlife districts and popular particularly among expats.  The street is named after Mount Heng, a sacred mountain in Hunan province. It was established in 1922 as a leisure street. At that time part of the French Concession, many European-style buildings have been built here in the 1920s and 1930s.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hengshan_Road)

We had lunch in this Yang's Kitchen which was recommended by Michelle's book, the food was fine but a bit expensive.

I love this building, it's so English style.

I love this area so much, it's quiet and peaceful, unlike other parts of Shanghai that full of annoying people try to sell you DVD and watches.

This is the Church we went, Shanghai Community Church, I don't know why, it's a notice said that "
due to local regulations our international English Service is open to foreign passport holders only".  I was quite curious that what local regulations they were talking.  Poor Chinese Government!!  I asked the greeter if we join their services by holding HKSAR passport, the answer was yes, all HKSAR, Macau and Taiwan passport holders were welcomed!!

This was inside the church, I was not supposed to take any photo as I wanted to respect the holy area but many tourists did so, I took it at the end of the services.  There were many foreigners joined this church, I had never thought there were many foreigners in Shanghai.  We sang some famous Christmas songs, there were 2 pastors sharing, a Chinese lady and a foreign pastor, their messages were a bit boring in comparing to our church, but I didn't care at all, we went to church not because of gaining any benefits from the pastor but to submit ourselves to Lord.

I think this street is really like in Oxford, it's so peaceful, and many people were riding bicycles here but the way were different from other parts of China.

Here is a video that I took in this area and I explained our terrible experience last night.

We had walked for a long time, it's vacation, we didn't have any places to go, we just randomly walked and saw.

This is a Xujiahui's Park (徐家匯公�'), not so special though.

We didn't know what's this building until we came to see, it's a museum and expensive restaurant.

Here came to some big shopping malls.  I wasn't interested in shopping in this kind of big shopping mall in Shanghai as most of stuff they sold I can find it in Hong Kong with cheaper price.

I think here is the busiest area in Shanghai with many nice high-rise buildings, the buildings in Shanghai are quite similar to HK one as many HK architects worked in Shanghai, and Mainland Chinese likes copying buildings in HK.  However, I do appreciate some of the buildings are quite special than HK as their building regulations are not that complicate than HK and money may help many things.  As a result, the architects can have more freedom to build more creative buildings.

This building is a bit like IFC II in HK, but I prefer this one.

Let watch this video!

Image:St Ignatius Cathedral.JPG
Then we found a big Catholic cathedral, we're quite surprised with its grand and huge.  It's just like the Dome in Paris but with different color.

The St. Ignatius Cathedral of Shanghai (聖依納爵主教座堂), also referred to as Xujiahui Cathedral (徐家天主教堂), is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral, located on Puxi Road, in the Xujiahui district of Shanghai, China. The cathedral is attended by over 2000 people every Sunday.  Designed by English architect William Doyle, and built by French Jesuits between 1905 and 1910, it is said to have once been known as "the grandest cathedral in the Far East. 

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Ignatius_Cathedral_of_Shanghai)

We had walked for a long time, so we thought we could just take a rest in this cathedral, however this cathedral was just full of thousands of Chinese.  I'd never imagined there were many Catholic in China.  We couldn't find a seat, so we just stayed a while to listen what the Father spoke on stage.  Unfortunately, he spoke Mandarin that we couldn't understand much.

We're so astonished by this cathedral!!

We were supposed to find a famous restaurant recommended by Michelle's book, we had walked a lot of repeating road in the same street, but we just couldn't find it.  We couldn't walk anymore, so I suggested to ask a local, and she pointed to a building that we passed by many times, and I asked Michelle if it was that building in the very beginning, but Michelle said no.  Next time, I should believe my sixth sense.   For what was worst, this restaurant had been full already.

Finally, we lost all our energy, so we just couldn't bother to find a random restaurant to eat.  This restaurant was located in a shopping mall of metro station.  We could hear and feel every metro passing through under our feet every 5 minutes.  The food was fair but expensive, however, the waiter in there was so professional and polite.  I think that's very important, no matter how insignificant job you work, if you work with heart, you can please others and be respected.

I got a friend in Shanghai, I was supposed to meet him tonight and he would take me to join a Christmas party with his friends, however, his family came to visit him and everything got cancelled.   As a result, we decided to come back to hostel. 

The hostel was jolly, it's full of people.  Other than those friends we met last night, we met other new friends from all around the world.  I though we're just so multi-cultural.  It's quite strange that we were the only Chinese girls lived in this hostel, where were the Chinese girls going?  I met a cute French guy on that night, when we're transferring our photos and songs through our ipods (there were 2 foreigners bought their laptops), a guy that I didn't know just told me he knew Chinese.  The he took a RMB10 dollar note out and tried to read the Chinese on the note, but he couldn't do that.  Then he asked me to guess where was he from, from listening to his English, I was quite sure he was an European, but he said no.  So I guessed Australia and US but he said no.  I had no clue about it, then he told me he was from France!!!  I told him, "France is in Europe!!!", he replied, "YES!!!"  He's just so silly!!  This French guy is so tall with his young face.  I told him this, but he couldn't understand what's "young" mean, then I said you got a baby face!!!  His French name was so difficult for me, so I called him baby instead which was much more easier.

The Korean guy we met last night & Michelle.

We stayed in the hostel like around 11pm, then we went to a club that called "Bon Bon" to celebrate Christmas!!  BonBon means "candy" in French. It sounds like the opening of Champagne, which brings a happy party feeling to people.  This club is a chain shop from a famous internal superclub brand called Godskitchen.  It's so spacious and grand, however, I didn't like the music and the light was quite annoying!  For girls, we had to pay $150 for entrance fee and we could order unlimited number of drink but restricted to limited choices.  It's almost the same price as HK in normal night.  I guess It's quite expensive for the local Shanghai people, even for me, I felt expensive as I normally will not pay any in clubbing. haha, we have too many ladies night in HK.

Somebody ordered some drinks for us, orange mixed vodka which is not my favorite and there were too much vodka, I didn't drink it at all.  Also, it's so crowded, many people were pushing me, I guessed half of the drink was thrown on the floor instead.

This is the Moroccan guy that we met on first night, after tonight, we'd say he was just a kind of letch, I'd prefer his hands getting out from us.  Well, I had my arm to protect myself, poor Michelle!!

Sometimes, girls going to club should be very careful.  I saw plenty of letches on every club, they just aimed to touch and even have sex with some girls, they are just like animals, so disgusting!!!  I've never made any single friend in a club, I always go out with my own friends, laugh, shout, drink and dance.  Strange enough, there were many mainland Chinese girls got really drunk after 1-2 cups of drink, then they went out with the guys.  Who say Mainland Chinese girls are so traditional and close-minded??  I've never got drunk in my life, and I won't let me to do so.  It's just so dangerous and I don't want to behave like a slut, it's just too ugly and unmannered.

A so called hot girl.

Bon Bon - video powered by Metacafe

What do you think?

Bartender's Playing Fire In Club - video powered by Metacafe

What's that bartender doing?  Playing fire??

This is baby (his real name is Ulysee), and I'm a Christmas girl.

I was writing my email to him.

Michelle & Sean, Aussie guy took us to McDonald's last night

This girl was so crazy to dance on the stage.  It's cold outside, but she just wore this tiny top, when she left the hostel with us, we warmed her to wear a coat, but she didn't care much.   It's too crazy, perhaps, she wanted to show off her body, haha, we HK girls had nothing to show, so we wore a lot as always!!

I spent most of my Christmas Eve with Michelle & Ulysee.  We danced a lot until we felt tired, then we sat down to talk.  This club is quite good to have some quiet places to let friends talking.  Ulysee was an architect student and doing his exchange programme in Kyoto at that moment.  That's why we got plenty of topics to talk, and he's a very funny but smart guys with a candy mouth.  When Michelle was sleeping, he asked me to dance a while than we chatted a bit deeper alone.  I did think he's a good guy at that moment, at least, he didn't like other horny guys, so I was quite happy to talk with him.  He told me he thought I didn't like him when I first called him baby face.  He's leaving on the another day, probably this was my last and the only night to see him.  He asked if I like him, I didn't answer him.  I don't believe love in first sight and long distance relationship is so difficult.  Although, we didn't do anything special, we did have a nice chat on that night, I hadn't experienced that feeling for long time.  Right person, wrong timing and wrong place.

Finally, when we wanted to find Michelle, but she jut disappeared with my big coat.  I came back hostel with Ulysee in this freezing night.  We saw Michelle & Sean in the common area, Sean was seriously drunk that non-stop vomiting in to the Santa Clause's hat.  I think this we all got fun tonight

shiyana says:
Hi there - sounds like you had some good times! what was the name of the hostel that you stayed in Shanghai?
Posted on: Jun 14, 2007
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Eastern China Relaxing Trip Day 3

25/12/2006 Temple of the City God, Yuyuan Garden, dinner out with friends in hostel

We went back the hostel from the party like at 5am, so we've to sleep a bit longer.  However, the hot shower was only provided before 12noon, so we got up around 11am to take a shower.  I met Ulysse in the shower area, and he asked me to go for a lunch.  He's leaving for Guilian in this afternoon, I thought I might be brave to ask him not to go, but I wasn't that brave enough.  This is a real me, I'm always brave in many aspects but never in this area, I am always shy.  We went to a restaurant that next to the hostel for lunch, then accompanied him back to the hostel for taking back his backpack, and he went to airport.  Perhaps, I will never see him again.  Is it worth to meet?  I am not sure, perhaps he's just for fun and I thought so did I, but normally I'm always over serious. 

We were supposed to have some random walks again, but we met another Moroccan friend who didn't come to the club last night and he asked us to join them to visit Shanghai, so we went out with them.

Building around the hostel.

Sean, Michelle, me, Moroccan guy 1, American guy.  I'm sorry that I can't remember their name, especially for that 2 Moroccan guys, the American guy, we called him uncle because he looks much older than us obviously.  He was our roommate, we suffered from his loudly noise emitting from his nose!!!  He was supposed to fly to Thailand in this morning, however, he went to club with us last night and he couldn't get up this morning, when he got up, he know he missed his flight, so he slept again!!!  His life's so relaxing, he said he got the first class flight ticket, so he could change the flying date whenever he wanted.

Sean has been living in Shanghai for a few months, so he took us to visit Shanghai's old town.  This area is close to the famous temple in Shanghai called Chenghuang Miao (Temple of the City God 城隍廟).

Actually, I didn't like this kind of so called old town because I didn't think they were that old.  Obviously, they were built artificially recently, they're  just completely different than Lijiang, Yunnan where is so real and beautiful.

The Temple of a City God in Shanghai was constructed after the Ming Dynasty Yunglo year (1403). The temple was used as a place to make sacrifices and offer gifts to the town god Qin Yubo and Huo Guang (Chinese general abundant land marquis). When Qing Dynasty the incense and candle is extremely prosperous, Shanghai's male and female, old and young, everybody knows the temple of a city God. After Shanghai opens the port the town god's temple and periphery local business converges, the market is prosperous, may purchase many daily necessities to the town god's temple, specially some everyday use small commodities. In the old town god's temple, has collected the multitudinous Shanghai local snack, it really can be called the snack kingdom.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_temple_of_a_city_God)

Häagen-Dazs in Shanghai!! Totally unmatched!!

I heard that building behind us was the oldest building in here, it's now a tea house.

My hostel friends, from left to right, American uncle, Moroccan guy (we called him 'snack head' due to his hair style), fat Moroccan guy and the Aussie guy called Sean.  I got a serious problem in memorizing people's names.

Yuyuan Garden was in here, but the sun was down soon, it's not good for taking photo, so we decided to wait for Alban then came again.  The Moroccan guys wanted to eat some Moroccan food with other hostelmates, what a boring guys!!!  We're in China, we should eat Chinese food, they can eat Moroccan food in their home everyday.  I was strongly disagreed with their suggestion!!! 

We went back to the hostel and meet other friends, I didn't expect we got that big group of friends from everywhere in the world living in the same hostel and going out together.  Thanks for them supporting my idea, so we could finally eat Chinese food instead!!!  We went to a VIP room from a decent Chinese restaurant.  Michelle and I were in charged of ordering as they though we  could read and speak Mandarin,  haha, they just didn't know HK people couldn't speak good Mandarin.  In fact, there was a local Chinese girl who worked in the hostel coming out with us, I didn't know why she just didn't help us when we got a problem in communicate with the waitress.  Luckily, we could order some good food successfully, and other people were satisfied our contribution.

There was an interesting conversation, when we're eating some crab meat and Sean asked Michelle what was it, Michelle answered him "It's crab meat!", and Sean laughed and said, "Yeah, it's crap!!!"   haha, we didn't realize "crab" & "crap" have that similar pronunciation before.

Michelle & me in the restaurant.  Sean is just like a kid!!  The guy sat next to me is from France, I just couldn't believe why there were many French in China.  He has been traveling around the world from South African to Asia for 1.5 years.  Wah..what a crazy guy!!  I wish I could travel as long as he could.  However, sometimes, when you travel that long period alone, one day, you may feel you miss your home and when you wake up, you are not sure which country you are.  That's a terrible thing!!  I did have this kind of experience once, when I was traveling alone in Florence during like my 20th day in Europe, I bought some breads for my dinner which was so expensive and bad taste, I ate alone, at that moment I really missed my mom's cooking.

That's the friends in hostel.  Of course, I can't remember their name, and even their home countries. From me to Michelle, anti-clockwise, French guy, Brazilian, fat Moroccan guy, French guy,  girl from Switzerland or Sweden who's our roommate, I couldn't remember the next, Canadian girl, American uncle, Mongol girl, snack head Moroccan, Sean & Michelle!!!

That's Brazilian was so funny, when people saying there were too many fake products in Mainland China, he told me he bought a digital camera  in Shanghai and he's worried about it's fake.  Then he asked me was the dog's meat inside the dumpling.  I said no, but he still kept asking me, then I asked if he tried the dog's meat before, he said no.  Then the French guy sat next to me said, " You're liar, you've eaten it before!!"  It's a kind of funny, I didn't know why he lied me, I thought he's a funny and silly guy, but I never imagined what'd he did in the rest of my trip.

We went back hostel and sleep after dinner, while some people were going to club again.  We decided to sleep earlier as we're going to Suzhou tomorrow!!

photo by: spocklogic