Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Shanghai Weekend

Looking across the river to the Pudong side from the Bund at night.

One of only a couple reclining Buddah's made from a single piece of Jade.

Mao statues for sale

This is hand embroidery, very beautiful.
We bought some much smaller pieces as they
take months to make and were fairly expensive.

This guy had a knife and other tools and was working on this ladies foot.
I believe his sign says he has some kind of knowledge of hands and feet?

This is how you eat cheap, a complete lunch here cost less than a quarter.

Live Crickets for Sale

These are some pictures from our Shanghai weekend. Bev and I both fell in love with Shanghai. It is a wonderful city. We traveled with another couple that are from Napa, Idaho. We decided to do a one day city tour to get a feel for the city and maximize our time. We visited the Bund and the French Concession district, Shanghai Museum of Ancient Chinese Art which contains over 120,000 pieces of rare and precious art. The Qing Dynasty, Yuyuan Gardens, Jade Buddha Temple called Xin Tian Di, had a tea ceremony, visited a pearl factory. In addition we had visited the Bund on our own in the evening and were treated to a wonderful fireworks show. The opposite side of the Huangpu River is being developed at a very fast rate. It was completely inaccessible just 20 years ago. It is called the Pudong, a district in Shanghai, which has emerged as China\'s financial and commercial hub. Before we left we were able to take a river cruise and visit an antique village area near our hotel where we bought some souvenirs.

Quite a busy three days when you add in travel to Hong Kong and back for our flights. Our passports are getting filled with many stamps as we get four every time we go to Hong Kong, or Macau.

This is a mix of pictures, most of street vendors, which I find quite interesting. We ended up walking a few blocks on Sunday morning and went through an area that has a Sunday morning 2nd hand sales by individuals. Stuff was laid out on blankets. Some amazing things. Everyting can be sold, rocks, crickets, turtles and lots of stuff. Bev picked up some pot holders and was handed additional items, a cell phone I think, and then started to draw a crowd as she looked the items over, she decided she didn't want to make a purchase that was difficult.

If you touch anything or show any interest with your eyes or pointing at something you will have a hard time getting away from the vendor without being rude, which is many times the only thing you can do! Once you agree to a price with ok or yes. It is yours. That is the final word on the sale. There is no I changed my mind. As soon as you pay. You totally own it and a return just 30 seconds later or exchange is going to cost you, or is not possible. You have to be ready for final purchase when you say "ok".

Monday, November 5, 2007

Shekou Apartment

Many people have asked to see our apartment so here it is. We live on the 19th floor of a building that is 20 stories tall. Our apartment has a total of about 1250 square feet. We have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We are very lucky to have an apartment that has a view and a deck. We are one of only two families to have such a great view. Our apartment was just remodeled prior to our lease. The floors are fake hardwood panels or ceramic tile. Bathroom, kitchen and utility are all tile walls and floor. The kitchen is small as is the utility room but has fit our needs. Yes that, on the wall, corner appliance, is a minature clothes dryer, it can hold only one pair of jeans at a time. We are not complaining some people have no dryer, but only a washer. We along with every Chinese family hang much outside to dry. Actually we don't the AYI does. We have put up a few pictures and completed a little bit of decorating. Our latest purchase is the deck furniture. Yahoo. Any questions?

Shanghai Weekend, Yuyuan Carden

These picture were taken in the Yuyuan Garden. This is right in the heart of Shanghai. Don't think that there are a few people visiting, The last picture is similar to the one above but includes the crowd. How many people visit daily it many, many thousands, yet you felt a very calming effect while walking around the garden.

This is information about the Garden.

Yuyuan Carden was built during the reign of Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty (1577), 440 hundred years from now. It is a residential garden built by Pan Yunduan, minister of finance in Sichuan Prooince in the Mig Dunasty. Pan built the garden to “please his parents and let them enjoy themselves in their late years”. In ancient Chinese “yu” means “pleasing”, hence the name of the garden. The garden is typical of the gardening art south of the Changjiang River and is famed as “a wonder of beauty in south-east China”. It is still a famous classical garden in south China. At the end of the Ming Dynasty the garden was deserted. It was rebuilt in the 25 th year of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1760). In the 19 th century, during the Opium War, the beautiful garden was badly damaged. During the Small Sword Society Uprising, the Spring Hall in the Yuyuan Garden was made as the northern headquarters of the uprising army. Now, there is a number of historical relics left by the uprising, like weapons, coins and literature. After liberation, the municipal government renovated the garden several times. It was opened to the public in 1961. On entering the gate, you will come face to face with the Three Corn-ear Hall. Standing in the hall and looking up, you will see a borizontal plaque with the characters “Mountians and Forests in the City”, describing the environment of the garden being located in the midst of a bustling town yet full of the natural pleasantness of mountain and forests. Going through the “Hall of Viewing the Mountain” you can see a large rockery on the other side of a pond. It is 12-m high, piled up with 2,000 tons of yellow stones from Wukang, full of twists and turns, , looking magnificent and enchanting. The Inner Garden was built in the 48 th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1708), occupying only an area of 0.13 hectare but complete with all the rockeries, ponds, halls, chambers, pavilions and terraces, crenelated walls and corridors, cleverly arranged and proportionately laid out. In front of the Hall of Jade Magnificence in the Outer Garden are 3 stone peaks; in the middle of these is the Exquisite Jade Stone. It is one of the famous exquisite stones south of the Changjiang River, the other two being the Duanyun Peak in Suzhou and the Wrinkled Peak in Hangzhou. It is 3.2-m tall. In the stone are 72 holes. If you burn an incense at the bottom, smoke will come out from all the holes; if you pour water from the top, there will be water dripping from all the holes. It is said that it was a piece of curio stone of the Imperial Marbel convoy in the Song Dynasty. It somehow got lost on the way and then reclaimed. The stone also has a history of more than 400 year here. In the garden there are such famous tourist attractions, like the Happy Fish Waterside Pavillion, a Thousand Flower Hall, the Hall of Mildnesss, the Hall of Elegance, the Nine-zig Bridge, the lotus pond, and the Mid-lake Pavilion. This classical garden, integrating the gardening art of the Ming and Qing Dynasties with chambers and halls, beautiful rockeries, luxuriant trees and plants, is featured by its gracefulness and peacefulness, delicateness and exquisiteness, small but striking you as large, presenting the artistic styles of gardens south of the Changjiang River. It deserves the fame of a masterpiece of classical gardens. It is listed as a key cultural relic protected by the state and a popular tourist attraction for both domestic and overseas tourists.

This is the website that contains the above information. Shanghai Tourism