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Published: February 1st 2010
Shanghai - Panda SmilingPatsy in Hangzhou and Shanghai
These pandas at the Shanghai Zoo were soooo cute.
After Beijing, we flew to Hangzhou and spent six days or so in Hangzhou. Hangzhou was really fun.
Then we took a train to Shanghai. It was a very nice train that was only a couple of hours.
Here are some thoughts about Hangzhou and Shanghai: What I liked best in Hangzhou.
Jaozi (jow-zzuh). Jaozi are Chinese dumplings with pork and greens in the middle. That doesn’t capture how good they are, though.
The ones we got in Hangzhou were always very fresh, and they were juicy and tender. They had a flavor to them that’s hard to describe. It’s like a meat sauce, sort of. I’ve never had it in anything else, so it’s hard describe, but it’s delicious.
The place we got the jaozi was open air and had seven or eight tables crammed into a teeny space. All of the tables were always completely full.
You ordered at the front. There was a man standing there with a gigantic platter of jaozi that had just been fried two seconds ago. You told him how much you wanted, and he scooped it out of the tray and
Hangzou - Ella Loves Jaozi
Ella has become a chopsticks master. They don't give you a fork and spoon in China.
put it in a bowl, and gave it to you to take to a table. Some people also did takeaway. They were always fresh. We would always go back for seconds.
There was sauce that was like vinegar-soy-sauce, and you dipped them in that. There were just chopsticks, no forks or spoons. It was like the bottom was fried, but the top was more steamed. They were perfect. I want to eat them again.
I think it is my favorite food ever. Purple Cows love jaozi. What I liked best in Shanghai.
Shanghai is not as fun as Hangzhou or Beijing, but I think my favorite thing was when we went to the zoo, and there were 10 baby pandas on display.
They loved each other, and they played on their panda playground. The structure they were in was very nice. It had logs stacked on top of each other, like a big jungle gym. There were also trees for the pandas to climb up.
There was one tree that two pandas climbed up in at the same time. The tree was not that big. As soon as the second one climbed up, the one
Hangzhou - Wedding Pictures
We happened upon this couple having their wedding pictures made.
that had been up in the tree climbed down and ate some.
The pandas ate a lot. When they weren’t playing, they were eating. Some of them ate the whole time we watched.
There were two that were playing together on a part of the panda playground. One was on the ground, and one was up higher, on a log play structure. The one on the ground did a somersault, and then when it recovered from the somersault, the one up on the panda playground dived on top of it.
It was cute too how they moved. They sort of moved slowly and clumsily. They were like big teddy bears crawling.
It was like watching a bunch of puppies play, except teddy bears instead of puppies. It was like watching a bunch of teddy bear puppies play together. What I liked least.
Generally, Shanghai. The city is big and smoggy and not very nice. Everywhere that there are tourists, there are people trying to sell you stuff, and they won’t leave you alone.
There’s nothing really good about Shanghai. The only thing good about it were the Science Museum and the panda bears and
the acrobats. The rest of the stuff we’ve done here has not been much fun. Actually, there is a mall that’s pretty good.
One major issue for me is that the room at our youth hostel in Shanghai has very loud construction on the floor below, all day long. So we can’t sit in the room any.
There’s construction all over Shanghai. Everywhere. Nothing is not under construction. Construction is really bothering me. I did not realize how much it bothers me. It bugs me that we can’t sit in our room, because of all the banging and drilling.
There’s nothing much to do in Shanghai, especially compared to Hangzhou and Beijing. It’s kind of boring. The most fun I had.
West Lake, in Hangzhou. West Lake is Hangzhou’s major attraction. It is a lake with a beautiful, wonderful, re-done path around it. There are two causeways that are fun. The causeways are strips are land that have a road built into them, and they go across the lake.
The path around the lake is sort of like a park. There are pretty trees, and paths leading off of the main path.
Hangzhou - Jaozi
This is a good close-up of the jaozi. So delicious.
to describe how great it is. It’s like a really nice park, the area around the lake. It’s also a very pretty lake. It’s also kind of lively. There are lots of people walking around it, and looking like they’re having fun. And lots of cute little kids walking around it. There were people flying kites and riding bikes, and sitting on benches just looking like they were having fun.
There were funny names of the different places on West Lake, like:
- Nine Creeks Meandering through a Misty Forest
- Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
- Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor
- Orioles Singing in the Willows
- Precious Stone Hill Floating in the Rosy Cloud
- Yellow Dragon Cave Dressed in Green
There are many more famous West Lake scenes. In fact, there are “The Top Ten Scenes of West Lake,” “The New Top Ten Scenes of West Lake,” and “The Third Appraisal of the Top Ten Scenes of West Lake.”
The Chinese people go around in tour groups and take pictures at the different famous sights.
We saw “Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor,” “Orioles Singing in the Willows,” and “Three Pools Mirroring
Hangzhou - Mysterious Boys
These boys were playing some game in the bushes that only they understood.
the Moon.” “Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor” was a pond with some goldfish in it. “Orioles Singing in the Willows” was a line of trees. “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” was three posts sticking out of the water.
They didn’t look like much to us, but Chinese people have been writing poems about them for a thousand years, so it’s a big deal to them. The most like home.
I don’t know, really. It’s tricky. Eating cereal in the morning at our hostel in Shanghai.
We haven’t been able to eat cereal anywhere except Chiang Mai, because we don’t really have a refrigerator or kitchen.
In Shanghai our hostel has a refrigerator, so we eat cereal. We got the cereal at a grocery store near us that has three stories, one of which has clothes, one of which has vacuum and dusters and stuff, and one of which has food.
The store was not like home, even though the food we got there was. It had a whole shelf full of green tea, and it had lots of Chinese foods. The cutest thing I saw.
The dog at our hostel in Hangzhou. I think
his name was Lei-Fu.
Lei-Fu was a golden retriever. He lived at the hostel. He was an attention-loving, puppy-like dog.
One time one of the workers at the hostel played fetch with him, but he lived in the city, so he didn’t have a yard. Fetch was throwing the ball over the counter of the reception, and him running to get it.
He was very sweet.
I loved him a lot, so one time, when I came in, he barked at me and wagged his tail and flopped over on his back, so I could give him a tummy rub. It made me feel good. The best food I ate.
Jaozi. Very easily, no contest - jaozi. The weirdest food I ate.
Probably also jaozi, really. They’re weird because you eat them in an open-air restaurant, and it’s teeny and cramped and loud. You get served it right there, and it’s always fresh. And frankly, it tastes kind of weird. It tastes really good, but it’s not your everyday food. The most interesting thing I did.
Watching dancing in a square in Hangzhou.
There were 150 or so people out on a
square. They put on some music and danced. They all danced the exact same thing, and they all knew the dance very well. They were all in six or so long lines, with 25 to 30 people in each line. They danced to music that we had never heard, some kind of Chinese music.
It was a bunch of different dances, and they knew them all. There were leaders at the front who knew the dances especially well.
They did the dances every night that it wasn’t raining. Where we slept.
That’s a little interesting. Construction and cold.
In Hangzhou we slept in a room that had three beds and a table and a bathroom and the little heater that could. The heater, which was actually an air-conditioner that was heating, did not get our room warm for about 24 hours. And it never got very warm. We always wanted a good many clothes on in the room.
Shanghai’s room had construction on the floor below it. All day there were hammers and drills, which were so loud that you can’t even hear each other two inches away when you yell. It’s a good room,
They were both in youth hostels. Where we ate.
In Hangzhou, we ate jaozi and at a Muslim Restaurant. At the Muslim Restaurant, I got hummus and pitas. Purple Cows are very fond of hummus.
In Shanghai, we ate fast food usually one meal, and Chinese food at our hostel for dinner. How we got around.
In Shanghai we used the very nice subway system, which goes pretty much everywhere.
In Hangzhou, there were buses that were almost impossible to navigate. We got lost on them twice. Once we ended up very near where we wanted to be, but we thought we were very far. And once a nice lady helped us find what bus we wanted to get on.
It was hard to navigate because the bus schedule was all in Chinese, and there were just so many buses. And just because a bus stops on one side of the street, you can’t assume that it stops on the other side. I’m sure there’s a trick to navigating it, but we never figured it out. Chinese money.
I described this in the last blog. Chinese money is called Yuan. Chinese
Hangzhou - West Lake
This is "Orioles Singing in the Willows," one of West Lake's famous spots.
acrobats in Shanghai. We went to see “Shanghai Circus World” one night. There were people jumping through hoops, people flying through the air from a see-saw catapult, people flying through the air hanging from a sheet hanging from a wire, people doing plate-spinning, and a guy juggling a big pot.
The neatest thing was a structure like a small ferris wheel with three open round circles as part of the ferris wheel. People got on top of the circles when their circle was up high and did things like jump-roping, walking across blind-folded, and jumping way up in the air - when the circle was as it’s height. They jumped up through the air and sort of flew through the air, with their arms flailing, and then they landed. And no one fell.
There was also a stunt where six motorcycles got in a round ball that was about as tall as a two-storey house. They went inside the ball, and went around the edges, so that sometimes they were upside down and sometimes they were sideways. All six of them were in the ball at the same time and going in circles and following each other. They
were going in loops in crazy patterns.
Hangzhou was really fun, and Shanghai is fine.
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