And now, the end is near...


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Asia » China
March 17th 2009
Published: March 27th 2009
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Our nice hotel roomOur nice hotel roomOur nice hotel room

Well, it was nice until we came and messed it up
We managed to get to Nanchang alright, and then successfully navigated our way to an English speaking kiosk to buy the ticket to Nanjing. Lots of Nans, its very confusing. The train to Nanjing was going to take 19hours, so we treated ourselves to a nice room in a hotel. Oh my god. That room had the best shower I've had for ages! Anyway... In Nanjing, we spent far too much money shopping. Mostly on DVD's. :S We soon realized that that was pretty much all we'd done in Nanjing, so we went for a walk. We were looking for a mausoleum but we found an observatory instead. It was up a hill though, and the cable car we were expecting seemed to be shut. There were some pretty flowers and the views at the top were quite nice but the space type stuff inside was all in Chinese so i didn't have a clue what any of it was.

The next day we got a train to Huangshan city. We arrived at night, so did nothing except book what we needed for the next day, which included a very 'spensive dorm room, and a stupidly early bus (06:30).
We managed to get up in time and after an hour and half and a bus change we arrived at the foot of Huangshan mountain. This is where Annie and I parted ways. She got the cable car up to the top and did a few more of the peaks than i did, while i walked up from the bottom. Bloody hell, what a lot of steps. The views were beautiful from the top though. Just breathtaking, although the steps might have had something to do with that. There were people walking up with big heavy looking bundles, balanced on either end of a bamboo cane and over their shoulder, to supply the hotels at the top. I don't know how they do it, up and down everyday. For the terminally lazy, there are also people with bamboo chair type things and you can bounce along in one of them and be carried up. I would feel really guilty getting one of them, not to mention the fact that you would have that bit further to fall... :S. I can prove how cold it is!! The mountain has snow on it! Which doesn't help when you already have balance issues. I got ambushed by a couple of kids having a snowball fight. I tried to retaliate but didn't have crampons yet and they ran off. XD

We had been told that the views on the East side (the way i walked up) were not very good. Not true. However, when you get to the west side, its easy to see why the east views are considered superfluous. Wow. That's it. Nothing more needed. Just look at the pictures. The West side is steeper and I'm so glad we walked down that side and not up. We had two really beautiful clear days. No need to say how much we ached the next day back in the city. We were pathetic, really. We moaned walking on the nice flat streets and just the sight of stairs could set us whimpering...

Next stop, Suzhou. When we arrived here, my first thoughts were along the lines of 'God, what a dump! Do we have to stay here three nights?' And the city really was grotty. But the area where our hostel was, was really nice. Somehow it managed to be quite. The canals with bridges over made it feel like a mini Venice, but oriental, obviously. In Suzhou we went to see some of the gardens, or we intended to at least. We ended up only going to one. The weather wasn't all that and there is only so much you can see before wandering around gets boring.

And then there was Shanghai. It was inevitable that we would get thoroughly lost when we arrived here. We were offered a taxi, pretty much as soon as we left the train station, but smelling a rat on the 100Yuan price tag we headed for the subway instead. It should have been simple. It wasn't. After a slight misread of a street name (Nanjiang instead of Nanjing Rd) we ended up on the other side of the city than where we were supposed to be. Conceding defeat, we hailed a cab. It was less then 50Yuan to go what i expect was more than twice as far.

On our first day, we went to the Shanghai Museum and did cultural stuff. Nothing too exciting to post about that. The second day we went shopping. For a shopping mecca, Shanghai is shit for shopping. You can get everything cheaper at home. Don't know if you can tell but i didn't like Shanghai much.

We flew to Beijing. On arrival at our hostel, despite the numerous emails id sent telling them we wouldn't be arriving until the wee hours of the morning, they had sold our beds to someone else. Bugger. The owner was really nice about it though. He got us a room in the hotel round the corner and paid the difference in price. :D We were planning to go to the forbidden city, but Annie was feeling ill, and i wanted to go shopping, so that didn't happen. For our last day, god that sounds depressing, we went on a tour to the Great Wall. We had to really. We went to the Mutianyu section. The day was really grey and grotty when we got up, so we set ourselves up for a bit of a disappointment, but the hours drive out of the city saw the skies turn blue. It was perfect. We got the cable car up before walking along. You would think this was the easy option and although it was easier, there were steps and they went up and down, quite steeply in places. Nothing on HuangShan but still...



And that concludes our little adventure. All that's left now is getting to the airport without getting lost (difficult for us) and then sit for 21hours. The Joy.



Additional photos below
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Me at the topMe at the top
Me at the top

I took another photo just before this one where i thought the top was, but half way through taking it i noticed some more steps round the corner. Fair to say that photo isn't of me smiling.
I just like this photo...I just like this photo...
I just like this photo...

2nd day, walking down
Busy train stationBusy train station
Busy train station

It was like a where's wollly type thing, only wheres the westerner instead.


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