Travel: China Trip Review (Wuxi, Shanghai and Hangzhou)

Went to China for the first time and finally got around to posting a few photos. China is a big place and there's a lot to see (rural China and urban China are completely different). During this trip I only went to Wuxi, Shanghai and Hangzhou. So you may call this my "Urban China" experience.

Shopping malls in China can be pretty impressive...Definitely a step above what we have in Montreal.

Since this was my first ever trip to China, here's my bullet point review and discoveries:
  • I like green tea in almost everything (Bubble tea, muffins etc.)
  • Food is great, I think I only had a couple of average/not good meals during my entire stay.
  • Air pollution is not as bad as I feared.
  • Bubble teas are super popular...They are everywhere kind of like coffee shops (Tim Horton's and Starbucks) in Montreal. I really liked them and drank one almost everyday.
  • Insane level of contruction happening...Just driving along on the highway you'd see what seemed like a dozen apartment buildings in a suburb going up, all at the same time.
  • They have what I'm going to call "hotel restaurants", which is essentially a hotel converted into a restaurant. You can reserve a private room with your own waiter all in a fancy yet old fashioned decor.
  • Shanghai is really cool and modern.
  • Lots of cool looking and modern restaurants that we simply don't have in Montreal.
  • Shopping malls are new, modern and huge. Some great designs went into these, and makes Montreal seem old by comparison.
  • Bullet train from Wuxi to Shanghai covering ~200km (distance from Montreal to Ottawa) in about 40mins and reached up to 289km/h. It used to take me 40mins just to get to school...Imagine being able to go to Ottawa in 30-40mins.

Photos from My China Trip (Wuxi and Shanghai)

My first green tea muffin

Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou

Laterns in a small town outside Wuxi

Same area canal view

More canal stuff

Foot bridge shot

My first of many hot bubble teas in China

Taiwanese street food festival

Grilling it for us

A free public museum...The building itself was impressive, not much on display inside though.

Eating at what felt like a former hotel room.

Three super skyscrapers all just one block away from each other...Each of them dwarfs Montreal's tallest building. The tallest one, Shanghai Tower (right most), is over 3 times taller than Montreal's tallest building!!! It's really something to see...

The view from the second tallest of the three super skyscrapers. Looking down on Jin Mao building which itself, is about twice the height of the Place Ville Marie building in Montreal.

One more shot of the three buildings together from ground level.

Old Shanghai

The view from across the river.

An area with western restaurants, like a "reverse Chinatown"...Westerntown?

Food Photos

Of course I had to add some food photos...There's much more than what I'm posting here, but this is a good sample of what I had. This single meal had literally close to 20 different dishes to choose from (I left a couple out). I've never seen anything like that before. I'll try to remember what I ate...
Pork slices that looks like bacon

Steamed chicken

Fried mushrooms...Really tasty

More pork...I think

Tiny shrimp-like seafood (too small to be shrimps)

Pork fat

Beef soup I think?

Some kind of fish, I really don't know what kind...

BBQ pork chunks

More pork with tofu? I didn't realize there was that much pork...

NOT mushrooms...But actually buns with meat in it (just made to look like mushrooms).



Great China Trip

It obviously helps a lot if you can speak Mandarin, or go with someone who does (so I cannot comment on how it would be if you didn't have some language skills to rely on). But I can only imagine that it would be easier and less stressful if you are able to communicate with the locals.

In any case, it was winter when I made the trip, and coming from Montreal, the weather felt colder than I expected. The photos are just a sample of my China experience. Great restaurants, new tasty things to try and eat, bubble tea, modern new buildings, large cities...If you have an open mind (and not just think that you do), you'll probably enjoy it. I did.

Update: More China Pictures

Had some more pictures to throw in on this post...Including one of my favorites at the end.
Lake in Hangzhou

Small town near Wuxi

Large Buddha statue


More temple

And more temple

Water fountain and Giant Buddha shot. I was going for a Lord of the Rings: Two Towers look.

Everyone went for a touch-the-Buddha's-hand photo...
I just went about it differently (and got a few people looking at me while I posed for this shot).

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