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November 18th 2005
Published: January 14th 2006
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Brown, it's the new blackBrown, it's the new blackBrown, it's the new black

From the train to Datong on the Loess plateau. It's brown, very brown.
Even though I'm back in Old Blighty, I thought I'd finish the story of the trip. Last time I wrote, we were in Beijing, we then made a detour to the wild west to the town of Datong.
We took a train to Datong, 165 miles south west of Beijing. The train rose up through the mountains outside Beijing and on to the Loess plateau. This place defines the colour brown. Everything is a different shade of brown, that's when you can see it that is, for Datong is one of the most polluted cities in China due to industry and coalmining.
While we were staying in Datong we visited the Hanging Temple (Xuankong Si) at Heng Shan.
Really spectacular and a touch scary when you look at the pillars it's supported on. I'd advise not to examine them too cllosely until you get back down to the bottom!
We then went to the Yungang Caves, more Buddhas.
Literally thousands of them, built from 494AD onwards. Sadly the polution is starting to take it's toll and erode the stone.
After Datong we headed back to Beijing and then flew to Shanghai for the end of the trip. We stayed at Julian's
Hanging temple of..Hanging temple of..Hanging temple of..

Datong, not Babylon. Rather amazing,pearched high on the side of a cliff. Tip, if you ever go, make sure you don't study the posts until AFTER you have been in it. Not for the faint hearted!
parents on a Navel base in the city. Her parents were very good to us, lots of fantastic home cooking and watermelon galore. They also gave us full use of their military car and driver, I'm not sure what his Chinese name was, but it translated in to English as 'Golden Spring'. He even wore a uniform, it was great fun being driven round by him as he can park almost anywhere.
Shanghai is a wonderful city, the Bund on the front of the river has some wonderful Art Deco architecture and it over looks the modern Pudong area which was not much more than fields 15 years ago.
Go there!
Finally we had one final day out to a Yangtzee estuary village, very pretty. I think it's called Jin Xi, but I can't be sure, let's just adopt it for now.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Bright lights, big cityBright lights, big city
Bright lights, big city

The lights of the Nanjing road in Shanghai
My, that's hugeMy, that's huge
My, that's huge

It's the Oriental Pearl TV tower on rather a misty day in Shanghai. Just think, 20 years ago the Shanghainese could remember when it was all fields
Bund, James Bund.Bund, James Bund.
Bund, James Bund.

Yes, it's a rather wet Bund along the river in Shanghai.
Bund buildingBund building
Bund building

One of the buildings left over from Shanghai's rather 'interesting' past.

Not all of Shanghai is modern building, the old French concession is more traditional looking
Rock on!Rock on!
Rock on!

Yu's garden in Shanghai, the Chinese have a fondness for odd shaped rocks in their gardens. Each to their own I guess
More YuMore Yu
More Yu

Another shot from Yu's garden. I'm glad I don't have to weed it.
Last day, boo...Last day, boo...
Last day, boo...

Here we are on my last day in the Yangtzee Delta town, Jin Xi. L-r, Me, Andy, Julian and 'Golden Spring'
Tickets pleaseTickets please
Tickets please

Commuting old Chinese style. They ladies will also sing while taking you around, or was that a cat in pain?
So prettySo pretty
So pretty

Very Willow pattern
Isle be seeing youIsle be seeing you
Isle be seeing you

Last shot of the last day of my trip. Shame it is all over!

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