Thursday, November 14, 2013

Around The World With Stops Mostly In Beijing, Shanghai, China and Chennai, India- Shanghai, Yu Gardens, Suzhou, Silk Spinning Factory, Suzhou Museum, Net Master Gardens, Zhouzhuang Water Village, Gondola ride and the Shanghai World Financial Center


This was the view outside our hotel window- the most amazing scene ever!

This was looking to the right

We stayed at the Westin Bund Center. I was roughly the same layout as our hotel in Beijing. With an extra bathroom in the hall, a sitting room, bedroom and main bathroom. Easily as nice as the Regent in Beijing. The nicest hotels I have ever stayed in!

The second day I took a Viator tour of the city. We went the the History museum first. That is the Marriott Hotel ahead

There was some pretty cool stuff inside, they had it divided up into different sections like pottery, writing or caligraphy, jewelry, clothing, furniture etc

Next we went to the Jade Buddha Temple

This was the outside

Inside there were Buddha's in four different directions and people would bow to each and then go into each and bow again. The incense was only outside though 

There were a lot of people there and they just ignored all the tourists

There was a master calligrapher there selling his wares

There were monks all over

Then we got back on the shuttle bus and went to the Bund

Probably the most photographed place in Shanghai is from the Bund

We could see our hotel from the Bund (which is the long walkway along the river). It's the one with the crown on top

Then we went to see the Yu Gardens and I saw some pretty cool stuff along the way

We visited the Yu Gardens

The walkway to the Yu Gardens with the unfinished Shanghai Tower in the background. It will be the second tallest building in the world. Only the Dubai Tower is taller

I loved the rock mosaic floors

Tour to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang water village

First we went to the Suzhou museum. This was to oldest thing I have ever seen at 7000 to 6000 BC

An interesting Elephants carved tusk

The museum was built very contemporary

I couldn't resist this sweet old ladies jasmine flower bracelets. I bought two

We walked through the gardens of Net Master, which was a good example of a typical Ming Dynasty gardens

Next we went to the Silk Spinning factory. These are real, live silkworms

These are the silk pods woven by the silkworms and this lady is separating them out

Then they go into these machines which unwinds eight silk cocoons at once to make one silk thread

They take the bad cocoons, wash them, add a bunch together and then spread them to make comforters. Then of course you visit a room full of items to buy 

Sozhou was fortunate enough to escape the ravages of Mao's cultural revolution and remained untouched. This is the city's grand canal and you can see part of the old city wall on the right

Next we went to the Water Village of Zhouzhuang where we walked along a thin walkway with shops and then took a gondola ride. It was so charming and beautiful!
I was told these were pigs feet. There were lots of places to buy them here, yet I don't remember seeing these in Beijing or Shanghai anywhere. This is where they filmed the ending of Mission Impossible 3 with Tom Cruise

There were dozens of bridges crossing back and forth

I love the umbrella's on a overcast day

Several times I was asked to get my picture taken with someone

My favorite picture of the whole trip I think!

These flowers greeted us at our hotel entrance each day

On the last day in Shanghai we went up into the Shanghai World Financial Center where we could see the Pearl Tower in front of us

It was hard to get good pictures because of the glare from the glass

They had windows in the floor where you could look straight down but they weren't very big

There was a neon light pedestrian street that was very popular at night. We went to check it out for dinner but couldn't find anything we trusted so we ended up eating back at the hotel

Our hotel atrium. It changed colors every few seconds

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