Fengjing Ancient Water Town – Good Day Trip from Shanghai

Fengjing Ancient Water Town

China, Shanghai, FengjingFengjing ancient water town is one of the ancient water towns within a day trip from Shanghai.  The history of the town is very long – per some of the local people, the town is about 1500 years old.  Some of the references I saw on-line desrcribed it as one of the gate towns to Shanghai.  The streets in the old town criss cross old houses, restaurants and tea shops.  Probably the main attraction that we saw (at least) are the canals that create the old city – the interesting houses being built all around the canals.

Fengjing is certainly much less visited by tourists – while Qibao is much easier to access, Fengjing is significantly larger, and much less over-run by tourists.  Let's put it this way – during our visit on October 6th, we saw only one obvious foreign tourist in the area.  I am sure there were plenty of tourists overall, but all in all, it is one of the off the beaten track locations.

China, Shanghai, FengjingThe local folks sell tons of food items – it appears frog legs are a major specialty here – we did not dare try, but tons of other folks did not hesitate as far as we can see…

Folks art is a big thing in the area.  I did not care too much for it – but if you like it, there is plenty of it.

 

 

In terms of getting to and from the city – here are some instructions – hopefully useful for you to use:

 

The town is easily reachable via metro and bus.  The town is located approximately 60 kilometers southwest from downtown Shanghai (e.g. Jing'An district).  

Instructions to get to Fengjing Ancient Water Town: 

  • Travel on metro line 1 to Jinjiang Park station
  • Exit either via 1 or 2 North exit 
  • Turn left and walk to the bus terminal – the name is West Meilong Bus Station
  • You need to get to a ticket window and buy a ticket for the FengMeiXian bus line – the ticket is 12RMB and you can use your Shanghai Metro card to purchase it (or use cash)

China, Shanghai, Fengjing, Feng Mei Xian 

  • The bus takes about 55-65 minutes based on how heavy traffic is
  • Once you reach Fengjing, the bus will drop you off infront of the Ancient Town.  You can then walk to the left of where the bus drop you off or to the right and in both cases bypass the visitor center and walk into the Ancient Town

China, Shanghai, Fengjing

  • On the way back, you need to remember to walk back to the same spot and look for a city bus with a sign (unfortunately in Chinese – Jin Mei Xian – this is a local city bus which can transport you to the town main bus terminal (you pay 2RMB as you get on that bus, you can use your Shanghai metro card again) – at the main terminal you will get back on the Feng Mei Xian to travel back to Shanghai.
  • The bus will stop at the Lianhua Road Metro Line 1 stop – or you can stay on the bus all the way back to the main terminal in Shanghai and walk back to the Jinjiang park metro stop

For a photo gallery of our day in Fengjing, please follow this link to the Travel Photo Blog.   Thanks!

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Gone, Gone Dongtai Road Antique Market Closed

<H2>Dongtai Road Antique Market</H2>

Dongtai Road Antique market was one of the top attractions in the city. The market used to be the place to go and buy all sort of (may be, most likely not) antiques and overall interesting stuff – stone and wood carvings, some art – paintings, porcelain, etc

Well, as of recently – may be couple of months – the market is gone!

I asked several of the local people if the market has moved to a new location. The answer was “No” it is gone, shutdown and that is it.

This used to be the market http://www.jamiesinz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/20090618_shanghai_1095.jpg
(Borrowed image from another blog – hopefully don’t mind)

Near by, on Xizang Lu, at the intersection with LuHeKou Lu, you can find the Shanghai Insect market – a place for all your cricket, grasshopper, turtle, fish, bird and occasional woodcarving needs.

More on that as well as pictures of all sort of insects in my next posting

Now off to FuYou Market which may or may not be hosting the vendors from the now closed Dongtai Market

Stay tuned for the posting ….

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Jing’An Sculpture Park – a Pleasant Place in Shanghai

Jing'An Sculpture Park

If you are going to the Shanghai Natural History Museum, you will very likely stroll through the Jing'An Sculpture Park.  It is a pleasant oasis in the middle of the hussle and bustle of the busy Jing'An area of the city.

China, Shanghai, Jing'An, Sculpture ParkThe park provides a nice setting for both leisure strolls and exercise.  As you walk or run through it, you can admire the interesting sculptures in it — please see the photos in this posting

This park is located at the intersection of Beijing West Road and Shimen 2 Road.  It is also at the Natural History museum stop of the number 13 metro line.

There are tons of trees in the park as well as of course the sculptures of all sort and shapes – some of them pretty whimsical (in my opinion)

This morning, during my morning run, I took a bunch of photos.  Several of them are below in this posting.

One of the big uses of the park is for morning exercises.  Go here around 7, or 7:30am on the weekends, and you will find groups of folks doing all sort of TaiQi.   Then there are the groups of sword dancers – the old grannies are well organized and moving in unison… I come across to do my monring runs as well.

Enough said, here are some photos to give you an idea…

China, Shanghai, Jing'An Sculpture Park

More Art

 
China, Shanghai, Jing'An Sculpture Park

Lawn with Sculptures

China, Shanghai, Jing'An Sculpture Park

 

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Nanxiang – Old Street and Wrap Up

Nanxiang Old Street

Visit Nanxiang and you will have quite a nice experience.  According to local history, Nanxiang is the birthplace of the famous in Shanghai and all over China, xiaolongbao.  These are the small soup dumplings made with pork or crab filling.  They are great!

Shanghai, Nanxiang, Xiaolongbao Xiaolongbao, Shanghai, Nanxiang

Then there is the Old Street.   Interesting place, of course packed with people, but nevertheless very interesting.  My family and I walked the street and encountered many kids playing and of course all the old China architecture you can absorb.   This town is certainly a good place to visit for multiple reasons

  • Easy access — via metro line 11
  • The main landmarks and places to visit are within easy walking distance from the metro station
  • Great food!  Did I say xiaolongbao?  Of course I did – the dumplings (no matter whether they originated here or not) are extremely tasty…

Here are the next set of photos from the trip here:  

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang China, Shanghai, Nanxiang China, Shanghai, Nanxiang China, Shanghai, Nanxiang China, Shanghai, Nanxiang China, Shanghai, Nanxiang

If you like some of the photos, you can find a whole lot more on the Photo Blog pages here… Enjoy!

 

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Nanxiang – Yunxiang Temple

Yunxiang Temple

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang TempleYunxiang Temple is also known as Liuyun Buddhist Temple.  It is located at one of the edges of the Nanxiang Old Street.  The temple has a very long history – being originally built in the fourth year of Tianjian during the reign of the Liang of the Southern Dynasty (505). Per recorded history I saw in the temple – during the Kaicheng reign of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 -907), the land area of the temple was expanded to 12 hectares and it had more than 700 monks.

It was renamed apparently in 1700, with an inscription from Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was destroyed in a fire, with only the Double Temple, Shijing Streamer and Shita Temple left. After the original Beihe Nanxiang Temple was burnt, a new temple was built in 2004 near the original site. The new temple, however, is still gorgeous with magnificent buildings – a very rare group of Tang-style buildings in the south of China.

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang Temple

The temple is located at 100 Renmin Road, Nanxiang Town, Jiading District.  Take Line 11 to Nanxiang Station (if you reach any of the Jiading stations you have gone too far) – then follow the map (see photo of the Google map) – the temple is a short 25-minute walk from the metro station.

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang Temple  China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang Temple  China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang Temple

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang TempleThe entrance to the temple requires a ticket – according to the ticket office on every 1st and 15th of the month, the tickets are 2RMB and during the rest of the time 8RMB but yesterday (October 3rd) the tickets were at 2RMB (for adults) as well – score…!

Overall the ticket cost is negligible given the interesting sights and views you will experience.  The temple provides an a good glimpse into how much China has changed over the years.  When I first came to Shanghai (in 1988!) for an extended period – I stayed for 2.5 years – it would have been very difficult to find a place like this temple and see people actually actively participating in various ceremonies…..

Today, this appears to be a normal act for many…. Given the number of people we say doing everything from a simple prayer to burining elaborate offerings (made out of paper of course).  

 

 

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yunxiang Temple, PrayerPrayer for Good Fortunes

It also has become the most popular site during the Spring Festival in Nanxiang as people from all over the city come to pray for a prosperous new year. 

Of course, if offering a prayer is not your purpose of visit (as we were) – the temple offers excellent way to just walk around, do some people watching, enjoy the beauty of the architecture and overall find a place to sit down and contemplate….

 

This posting is a second one in the series about the less traveled part of Shanghai – the town of Nanxiang.  The first posting introduced you to the Ancient Yi Garden..

You can see many more pictures of the Liuyun Buddhst Temple in my photo blog.   Enjoy!

 

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Nanxiang – Ancient Yi Garden – Guyi Garden

Guyi Garden

Guyi Garden (古漪园) – Ancient Yi Garden is a beautiful park located in Nanxiang in North West Shanghai, just before Jiading.  The garden is one of the five classical gardens in Shanghai.  It was built during the reign period of Emperor JiaJing in the Ming Dynasty.

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yi GardenThe park is large – with an approximate area (per signs inside) of approximately nine hectares.  It is divided into six scenic sections based on very different landscapes.  Based on that there are several key halls, lakes and areas – the Hall of Interest of the Wild, the Goose Playing Pond, the Pine and Crane Garden, the Verdant Green Garden, the Mandarin Duck Lake, and the Nanxiang Wall.  The Yi Garden is also famous for its many different types of bamboo – purple bamboo, sturdy bamboo, chopstick bamboo, Japanese bamboo, and big bright bamboo. 

 

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang, Yi GardenThere are plenty of places to explore while in the Garden – more than 20 halls, pavilions, chambers and verandas.  Then there are the Mid-lake Pavilion, Lacking-one-Corner Pavilion, the Hall of Interest of the Wild, Fragrant Snow Pavilion, Plum Blossom Hall, the Stone House, and some I did not even visit and did not record.   

Then there are the water lilies – there are tons of them in different colors and sizes.  You will really enjoy them.   Additionally, there are great shrubs and trees everywhere – and of course wonderful scenic spots all across the park.

I think the place is an oasis in the city of Shanghai – you can come here and enjoy some time to reflect and enjoy the beautiful scenery.   

How do you get here?   Well, really simple – get on line 11 and look for Nanxiang Station. Once there you can just use Google Maps or Baidu Maps and get to the Gu Yi Garden.   Included below are some more photos – but there is an album you can enjoy at my photo blog – check it out.

China, Shanghai, Nanxiang

Vendor just outside Yi Garden

 China, Shanghai, Nanxiang

 

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Shanghai: Places to Eat in Pudong – Yeshari Restaurant

Places to Eat in Pudong

What are the places to eat in Pudong?  Hm…there are many, but it is also difficult to determine which one to go to….So, I decided to start posting my own expereinces.

I earlier postings I am adding my personal experiences from eating out in Puxi.  Then I decided that I need to get more organized and might as well provide you with my experiences from both Puxi and Pudong.  So in this posting I will add the first of the reviews – this is a nice place to eat in Pudong on Dong Feng Road – not far – about 10-min walk from the Century Avenue Subway stop.

Yeshari Restaurant

The restaurant name is pronounced as follows:  Ye Li Xia Li Xin Jiang Fan Dian.   It is located at 918 Dongfang Lu, near Xiangcheng Lu, in Shanghai's Pudong District

The restaurant provides great selection of interesting food.  Dined in it a couple of times with my family. Then decided that I can have a good dinner with my team here as well… Overall, very affordable and authentic Xinjiang chain of restaurant with locations around the city.  The atmosphere is lively and packed, you will enjoy the great food options of beef, LAMB, chicken and fish…Great lamb skewers and roasted leg of lamb

This place is out of the way a little bit but if you live near by number 2 metro line, you can just jump on that subway, travel to the Century Avenue stop and from there walk about 10-minutes to the location.  Come early as the restaurant does not take reservations and you could end up with a long wait.   

One of the unique aspects of this place is the dance performance.  It is a bit weird from standpoint of covering Latin, Russian as well as XinJiang dance / music.  But overall interesting and a good performacne to see.

China, Shanghai, Pudong, XinJiang Restaurant China, Shanghai, Pudong, XinJiang Restaurant China, Shanghai, Pudong, XinJiang Restaurant China, Shanghai, Pudong, XinJiang Restaurant China, Shanghai, Pudong, XinJiang Restaurant China, Shanghai, Pudong, XinJiang Restaurant

To get to the restaurant, you can also show this to a taxi driver:  请带我去 东方路918号

You can find more good information on doing business and living in China / Shanghai with these eBooks:

For photo galleries from Shanghai, you can check out my photo blog… Would love to get your feedback…Enjoy!

Posted in Living in China, Living in Shanghai, Observations, Photo Gallery, Photo_Blog, Places to Eat in Shanghai, Pudong, restaurants, Reviews, Shanghai | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

China National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival

China Holiday

Happy National Day China!  Today, October 1st, is China's National Day… I am sure you can find tons of info on that on-line.  But here are the fundamentals as it relates to your potential travel (this year or in the future)

China National DayThe legal holiday for Chinese National Day is currently 3 days in mainland China, 2 days in Macau and 1 day in Hong Kong. In mainland China, these 3 days are connected with the weekends on both ends creating a 7-day period from October 1st to 7th known as “Golden Week”.

Microsoft is on with the program – Bing.com is appropriately decked out…

Where your travel plans are concerned you need to keep in mind that besides the Chinese New Year (usually in late January / early February), this is the longest public holiday in the country.   The weather is very nice during this time which makes for very nice travel conditions, however, that is what everyone knows and enjoys – therefore creating a very busy travel conditions everywhere in China.  

Here is the schedule for everyone in China:

Oct. 1
(Sun)
Oct. 2
(Mon)
 Oct. 3
(Tue)
Oct. 4
(Wed)
Oct. 5
(Thu)
Oct. 6
(Fri)
Oct. 7
(Sat)
Oct. 8
(Sun)
3 day legal holiday

Mid-Autumn Festival

Enjoy your Mooncakes

Holiday week bookend Completing the Golden Week period

Now some pictures from downtown Shanghai – Nanjing Road of course – with the throngs of people strolling on the National Day… (note to everyone – Gone are the National Day Parade from this area …)

China, Shanghai, National Da

Shanghai

China National Daygallery

You can check out the initial installment of a Moving to China guide….Shameless advertisement indeed…!

Mid-Autumn Festival 

Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the 'Harvest Moon Festival' or 'Mooncake Festival,' is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated both in China as well as in Chinese communities across the world.  It is usually held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. The name for it in Chinese is Zhōngqiū Jié (中秋节).  This year, the festival was on October 4th.  The origins of the celebration go back many centuries – all the way to 10th century B.C.  It is associated with celebrations of the Fall harvest – the most critical one in the farming economy.  

 

 

 

The festival is associated with Mooncakes and plenty of other pastries that have gradually entered into the celebration.   The traditional mooncakes are everywhere.  They are sold in supermarkets, hotels, …The flling of the mooncake has also taken many shapes and forms over the years.   Historically, the filling is red bean paste or lotus seed paste and in both cases egg yolks in the middle of the cake.   Another very traditional filling is the 5-seed filling:  5 types of nuts and seeds (walnuts, pumpkin, watermellon, peanuts, sesame or almonds) plus added candied winter mellon, jinhua ham, sugar and some flavorings that may differ in different parts of China.  Now they are all sort of other new fillings – some of them pretty good, some weird…

As I mentioned, these days some new forms of cakes are showing up – why?  Just because of experimenting with new forms of flavors, and pastry — all very interesting.  So enjoy!   Here are some photos for reference.

China, Shanghai, Mooncake

Traditional Mooncake

China, Shanghai, Mooncake

Even Metro sells Mooncakes

China, Shanghai, Mooncake

New Cakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival

Posted in Living in China, Living in Shanghai, Observations, Photo_Blog, Places to visit in China, Shanghai, Things To Do | Tagged | Leave a comment

United Airlines SFO – Shanghai PVG bad experience

United Airlines

Yesterday I took for may be 10th time the United Airlines flight from SFO to Shanghai Pudong. The flight has been serviced via a very aging Boeing 747 which is was old a year ago already.

The flight yesterday was rather disappointing. Here is why I say that: – the seats on the plane were obviously tired and rather uncomfortable
– since the plane does not have in-seat entertainment screens, you would have to either watch the TVs that are for all to share or watch on your own phone or tablet – there are two problems with that approach

A) the audio jack on my seat was busted…so no way to watch the shared programs unless you want to make up your own stories as you watch the "silent" movie…

B) the WiFi service was very intermittent-I tried to watch Game of Thrones….but the games ended up very choppy 🙂 The streaming kept pausing and starting- until I finally gave up

So why are we being kidded that there is a "convenient" service to select your own entertainment …? Yes you can do that by downloading your own movies from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

So, to top this I had also a mishap with the butter during the breakfast service As you probably know – the trays get served
Hot with some meal – as a result the butter in the small container had melted and when I tried to open it, the content – liquid butter – poured all over my shirt! I was pretty unhappy!

Now – why would you put the butter on a hot tray? How can you possibly use that butter?

All this point to is sloppy service – I do not see another explanation…

So bad service, no entertainment, great way to spend 13 hours on the plane….!

Oh, oh, and to top this our flight was delayed by 1 hour… the plane just came late into SFO so we left at 3pm rather than 1:30 pm and even though the pilot tried we were still late…. why a long haul flight had a plane that was late to come in for its flight is a mystery to me…. bad planning ?

Don't know, but the net result was frustrating experience

One of the flight attendants told me this plane was being decommissioned in one month – for sure that is a positive step. Hope the hot trays and melted butter goes away too 🙂

By the way, I fly quite a bit on American as well – you can see my review of their business class to Europe, from a flight this summer…Hm…

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United Club international terminal at SFO – painfully slow renovation

United Club

Almost 14 months ago I came through SFO on my way to Texas. At the time I was coming back from Japan after major delays due to a taifun which is why I vividly remember the date At any rate that was late August 2016. At that time United was already renovating the Club in the international terminal. 13-14 months later, the saga continues The Club is packed with people constantly. The coffee machines are often out of order – no wonder – one machine!! for the whole club … The food area gets pretty messy too – again – one of them for the whole Club The line at checkin stretches well out in the terminal outside of the lounge premises… I could continue….but you get the picture I wonder – how long does it take to renovate a club ? Over an year?! Really???

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