Friday, June 1, 2012



I took the bullet train from Beijing to shanghai 4 hour and 48 minute journey at a speed of over 300 mph, very nice, affordable ($81), comfortable and a great way to see some of the countryside along the way. Amazing how green the countryside is and how polluted the air is even two hours outside of Beijing - you may be able to see the pollution in some of the pictures - all of these pictures taken through the window of the bullet train.

I am getting the hang of traveling around china and I can now read train tickets and show up to the correct gate. As you can see by the picture of shanghai railway station it is a very busy place. I now also ensure that I look up my accommodation on the website and print off the Chinese address to give to the taxi driver at the airport or train station and always carry the business card of the hotel which also has the Chinese address - these little things make for a lot less drama.

I did have a bit of drama with my bank card as neither of them would work on several ATM's so when I arrived in shanghai at night I only had enough cash for a McDonald's supper - yuk! You can use credit cards for some things in china but for food, sightseeing and shopping you need cash. The next day I found an HSBC bank and was able to use my debit card - hallelujah !

My hotel in shanghai is mediocre but is in a great location so I can walk everywhere. The customer service in china needs some help - the bellboys sleep on the couches in the lobby when they are not busy - and the staff are not exactly friendly.

There seems to be a bit more english in shanghai but still a struggle with the language barrier and a number of the tourists are europeans who speak limited english. Quite cool here (well compared to the weather i have been use to) in the high teens, so I am thankful I have brought a few warm pieces of clothing.


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