Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hot summer trip: Shanghai Day 2

Day two in Shanghai, we woke-up early continues exploring this city. Weather in Shanghai still smoking even early morning at 7.00am, which is bad for skyline photography.

Am I in Shanghai or London?

We walk back to The Bund, hold it with litter information finding our next visit place: Shanghai Yuyuan Garden. Its some international brand stores along The Bund, in older time people named Shanghai as The Eastern Paris, meaning that Shanghainese fashions taste is good as French people living in fashion capital. But after one and half day, we hard to see fashion diva walking on the streets, is a bit disappointed about The Eastern Paris.

Dolce & Gabbana's store at The Bund

Armani's store in very European building just few block away from D&G

After almost one hour walking, we finally found the place. Time still early for visit the garden, so we having our first breakfast at one of the older restaurant in Yuyuan. Again, Shanghainese dumplings is on our menu list.

Shanghai Yuyuan Street

Lots of shops around Yuyuan Garden

Ling Po is one of the older restaurant in Yuyuan area

Shanghainese dumplings

Ling Po restaurant's famous...

Yuyuan Garden, a 400 years old famous classical garden in Shanghai. The Inner Garden is compact and exquisite, and the rocks, pavilions, ornamental ponds and flower walls, is a nice place to finding a atmosphere of oldies Shanghai.

Back to oldies Shanghai...

Inner garden, but for me is very huge...

I will get lost if staying here with huge garden

Our next visit place is a American style Shanghai Outlets Mall which need to taking a bus ride from the station near Shanghai Stadium, while we get out from metro station, we get lost direction for the bus station. In the middle of confusing, I asking for help from the police officer or even the Olympic officer (Shanghai Stadium is one of Olympic games stadium), but all give me helpless answer with coldness unfriendly face, we keep round and round the area for more than half an hour found the bus station. Unfortunately, they stop service going to the place we want...

What really make us disappointed as a Olympic game city, the human relationship, tourist information facilities still not friendly for tourist as another cities.

La Tour, sound like French restaurant but selling fusion foods

With no another choice, malls around city center is our final destination. The foreign brands in China is 30% more expensive than the city I live, now I totally understand why China tourist crazy shopping during the trip. We end up at Pudong on evening with tired walk, because of done not much on shopping, we decided spending a bit more go for luxury buffet at the La Tour restaurant having our dinner there with nice Pudong view.

A last night for Shanghai...

Luxury buffet only cost RM64 per person...

Monday, August 11, 2008

A mark cost with lot of pain

Last week, I finally make a decision did something on my bodies which been dream for it many years, a forever mark of personal identities until death.

Me and Ms. J went to this DragonFly tattoo store having our "first time" there, After paid the payment and signing some document, I choose to be first one enjoying "the joy of tattoo".

I am in the "joy of tattoo"

In this moment, I already reaching the high level of pain...

I get knew from the website said will get a bit painful during the process, but I didn't know is even painful what I thought. The tattoo master putting tattoo gun on my belly part starting "drawing" without inform me, the first injection on my skin is really unforgettable, pains is directing shock my brain stop thinking for 5 seconds.

Is it done? not yet....

...Gosh! still not yet done

During I am in "joy of tattoo", my mobile phone is ringing, a "greeting text" from Ms. J said: "Pain or not?". Do stop make her worry about it (next is her turn), I reply said: "pain just like having medicine injection, but many time", later on she reply in very confident words said: "I think I can take it.....". I stop thinking on that moment, the "joy of tattoo" is filling my brain, I completely in pain.

Now is done with lot of painzzz...

After one and half hour in "joy of tattoo", my personal identities mark is complete, during Ms.J turn, I blessing her with good luck, she looking on my evil face and start loosing her confident, with no choice, she step-in the tattoo room having a "joy of tattoo".

Five minute later, I got text from Ms. J said: " you bluff, its very pain"....

Welcome to tattoo family Ms. J.

Ms. J's tattoo worth RM180 with lot of tears...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hot summer trip: Shanghai Day 1

Night fall after finish our dinner, temperature still remain hot and dry at 33 degree Celsius. Walking around this city feel like having a steam bath in sauna room, we keep drop-in some air condition department store after some walking to cool down our body temperature.

Shanghai another tourist attractions is the night view of Pudong and The Bund, buildings with fantastic lighting make this city shining like a diamond.

The most famous and attractive sight which is at the west side of the Bund are the 52 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. The Bund was the centre of Shanghai's politics, economy and culture hundreds of years ago, consulates of most countries and many banks, businesses and newspaper offices were settled there, walking around there, the "Europe feel" is fully filling in my mind.

But for my travel partner, Nanjing East Road is more attractive and make his eye shining like diamond specially on stores with summer sales tag. Nanjing East Road is shopping heaven with lot of malls, department store and shops, the street is overcrowded even in weekday late night.

Pudong make Shanghai more metropolitan

The Bund, the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds years

The Gothic, Romanesque buildings make very "Europe feel"...

Nanjing East Road, shopping heaven

Fancy dining place near the waterfront

Some hundreds years department store at Nanjing East Road

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hot summer trip: Shanghai Day 1

Shanghai, I only get knew about this city from TV show. never thought I can be there. Thanks for the budget airlines strong growing, now I can more affordable taking more trips each year.

After almost five hours on plane, we landing on noon time. Hangzhou welcome us with 38 degree Celsius hot summer. Gosh! is even higher temperature that topical city I live, we get fool by the website information said estimated journey only two hours bus ride from Hangzhou Airport to Shanghai, and actually took us three and half hours to arrive.

The Bund

Shanghai is one of the officially city for Olympics games, but the direction broads still not really friendly for tourist, we get off at the Shanghai bus station around Nanpu Bridge area and keep finding the MRT station sign as I knew from travel guides which about 100 meter away from bus station.

Unfortunately, shops worker there is very unfriendly refuse to helping us, taxis driver trying "blood sucking" us about RM50 for short journey ride to hotel. While we in middle hopeless, so lucky that a nice gentlemen helping us for the MRT station direction. Thanks god I still can found someone kindness in this city.

Our "home" at Shanghai

Our hotel or even more look like a service apartment is located at WuChang road, about 10 minute walk from The Bund. A studio room with kitchen and dining area, of course the most important is with fantastic city skyline of The Bund and Pudong.

Pudong skyline from our dining area

Another view of The Pund from our bedroom

After finish set-down our "home of Shanghai" is about 6pm, we walk down to The Bund having our first dinner at this city, juicy Shanghainese dumplings is one of the dishes most we wanted to try.

Our Shanghainese dinner

Friday, August 1, 2008

"blood sucker" victim

Two weeks before the Shanghai trip, I went to applying visa to enter this great mainland. While I arrive at China visa counter, I am get shocking what counter girl told me...

Counter girl: Yes, what I can do for you?
Me: Hi. I would like to apply a visa for my trip.

Counter girl: How many days you will staying and which city you will visit?
Me: 6 days, will visit Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai.

Counter girl: Sorry, if you wanted to apply 6 days visa might have a bit problem, because is too near the Olympics month. Somehow you will only get approve for 5 days visa on July.
Me: But I get knew from the TV news said that China didn't stopping tourist apply visa for visit China as long the person have all the flight and hotel documents during apply. I have all the documents with me now.

Counter girl: Yes I knew, but its latest order from "decision maker". Here the deal, if you apply visa by using our agent service, you will be confirm get 30 days stay. if not you might have to shorten your visit days.
Me: I can't change the date, because I am already booking my flight and hotels. Than how much I have to pay for agent service?

Counter girl: Only RM360. Fall up the form with your picture, we will process for you the visa in three days.
Me: What? But if I line up apply by my self only cost RM40, why the agent service costing so much?

Counter girl: Well, if you feel is too expensive, you can to go line up and apply by your self, but I am not sure you can get approve for 6 days visa, because for July month is only have 5 days visa...

Finally, I paid RM360 for the visa, I think if I not yet booking the flight and hotel, I will not spending that much money only for a China visa. Because Olympics game, I be one of the "blood sucker" victim.