Of recent, I’ve had a little time to explore some more of China. Now, I’ve been living in China for over a year and it was only last month in September that I was able to visit Beijing for the first time. Most of the time when I have holidays I share them with the rest of the country and as you know there are a lot of people here. Usually, I’d opt out of travelling during those times because I’d either end up standing in queues for endless amounts of time or sitting in traffic for hours.
September was a good month for travelling I must say. I went home only for a couple of weeks which flew by in my opinion. When I came back to China my dad had joined me. He landed in Shanghai and I showed him around as much as I could. The problem with cramming everything in to a short holiday is when things that we can’t control like Chinese airlines being a pain. They delayed my dad’s flight for six hours which changed the course of our exploring time. Note: Chinese airlines can be good – I flew with Juneyo to Thailand and they were good – but they do things their own way so if you’re flying around the country bear in mind air traffic control will just say “nope you can’t fly, wait” and that can be a long delay…six hours in some cases. Shanghai is a pretty big city. We conquered a tiny dent of Shanghai exploring the main parts such as the Bund. But hey! We were there! Note: spend at least 4-5 days in Shanghai to fully see and explore the city.
A grey day in Shanghai.
After exploring Shanghai, we went northwards to the capital – Beijing. Sometimes, I think Shanghai is the capital as there are some many things going on there – it resembles London in many ways… Anyway, we were in Beijing for a short period of time as well. The cool thing about China is that you can jump on a train a pretty much end up in every major city – providing which train you use it may take a while. We took the fast train to Beijing from Shanghai which was about five hours and then some. On my journey I sat next to a large man who apparently needed space to sprawl out, sleep, take his shoes off, cough and splutter everywhere, move things in the overhead compartment and not place them back properly (which some of his stuff fell out and hit me on my head .. I wasn’t impressed) soooo you can imagine those five hours felt like FOREVER! When we finally arrived in Beijing, we went to see part of the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square. Beijing requires a lot more than two days but still, we got to see the iconic parts of the city and that was the cool parts.
The not so cool part about being in China is that train tickets book up quickly. Mega, mega quickly! We ended up flying back to Shanghai which only took two hours but we had to go through security and wait for two hours so in total it was about 4hours. In many ways taking the train is faster because you jump on board and you’re off… oh well. The plus side about being on the plane though, we people were somewhat considerate and there was adequate spacing so there wasn’t a repeat of the earlier incident.
And that’s the first half of my exploring days in China. Tomorrow’s post shows a glimpse of the second half of my exploring days in China.