Pandas enjoying some good bamboo at the Beijing Zoo

We are in Hong Kong ending the 2009 year, in the same hotel where we started the 5 week China journey.  We knew then that the next 5 weeks would be the toughest part of our trip because it was going to be the coldest.  It was cold.  We were lucky we did not have to buy snow boots only cold weather clothing.  At the Great Wall the wind was 20 mph and the temperature in the high 30’s.  Strangely on the wall for 3 hours we did not notice it because it was one of those moments where we said “Can you believe we are in China”.  Beijing left the impression of a really huge, wide city and it was our first encounter with the preservation of ancient thousand year old buildings along side the newer construction.  The city we were told is getting wider with the newer (more…)

Down by the Bund

Shanghai is a new city compared to other Chinese cities.  It is only 200 plus years old.  So there is not much of Chinese history here but it can be thought as a barometer of how far China has come in the last decade.  I have been told that China has progressed in the last 6 years what it took the west 16 years.  I can not vouch for that but I can say Shanghai is moving fast getting ready for its really big show in 2010, the World Expo.  Shanghai thinks of itself as China’s premier city, not Beijing.  So expect the World Expo to be somewhat more spectator than the 2008 Beijing  Olympics.

We comfortably settled into Shanghai ready to experience some modern Chinese urban living in our (more…)