Xiang Yang Market - Heaven for Knock Offs
This is a mecca for bargain hunters & always frequented by foreign tourists to shop for imitation goods / knock offs.
Remember to bargain hard & slash the price up to 70% if you want your LV bag, Gucci handbag, Nike shoes or Cartier watch. Goods made in Korea are of better quality.
Just across the Xiang Yang Market, in the downtown area, ia s sight Malaysians will instantly recognise: a Parkson department store.
NOTE: XIANG YANG MARKET WAS OFFICIALLY CLOSED DOWN ON 1/7/2006 FOR GOOD. All your favourite brand names for clothes, shoes, watches, luggage bags, sunglasses, perfumes, handbags, T-shirts and so on.
The Grand Hyatt, Shanghai is reputedly the tallest hotel in the world starting on the 54th floor of the tallest building in Shanghai. On that floor, just off of the lobby, you will find the Grand Cafe. Both the food and the view are so spectacular that I ate there twice -- once for lunch and once for dinner. The luncheon price was very reasonable and the dinner was also about what I expected for such a great location and great food. The dinner buffet is fabulous for only about $35US (in '06). Crab legs, dim sum, almost every type of meat you could want, and fabulous dessert.
It is one of the tallest buildings in Shanghai. A visit to the top (88th floor) is a good idea. But it may be cheaper to go to Grand Hyatt Hotel (in the same Jinmao building) to the 54th foor where there is a Bar. I took this pic taking a cup of coffe ...
4/13 Friday Today was a very busy day getting ready for phase 2 of my trip in China. I cant believe that 9 weeks have passed since I left good old New Jersey!! In many ways it feels like yesterday that I was waiting in the Beijing airport nervous about the lack of signage in English, or the night that Helen arrived, or St. Pattys day when we 1st met Vickey-- but at the same time I felt so settled in Zibo that I could have been there for years. I'll definitely miss knowing my neighbors, my favorite street food lady, knowing which restaurants were good (and what to order at each one), spending time with Helen and Vickey, and ill especially miss teaching my little kids! After a nice dinner, Helen and Vickey dropped me off at the train station, we had a tearful goodbye! I felt like I was leaving home once again! Luckily Ill be meeting up with Vickey in Chengdu for a few weeks and we will meet up with Helen in Beijing!!
My backpacking trek officially started with a very traditional Chinese experience of pushing and shoving onto the train. Im not sure why everyone feels the need to rush the door but it causes such chaos. I hung back for the 1st ten minutes but was forced to join in as the final "toot toot" sounded from the train signaling that it was leaving. I showed my ticket to a police man off to the side and he helped me push my way through the crowd. Ahhh such is life in China! I wonder how foreigners for the Olympics are going to fare- or if someone will teach the Chinese how to wait in lines?!!? Time will tell I suppose! I was surprised to have a great seat in car #1. It was a window seat (1st plus), 2 seater (plus 2) and I didn't have anyone next to me!!!! How lucky can a girl get?? The 15 hour trip was interesting to say the least. The lights stayed on through the entire trip and piped in Chinese music or a tv show was playing throughout most of the night. I am pretty sure that I got about 4-5 hours of sleep.
4/14 Woke up for the 'nteenth time around 5:45 in Nanjing. From my map this looked quite close to Shanghai. I got all excited about arriving early only to have my hopes shattered as we sat and waiting at a stop for 2 hours! Arrived in Shanghai on time. Was hoping to stay in "Astor" but had some problems checking in. So I hopped in a taxi and went to the JW Marriot. I remembered reading about a hostel behind the Marriot. Found it okay, and it was a HI (YHA) which is an international hosteling company with very high hostel standards. Checked in and took a much needed nap.
Was up around 4pm and walked down to Renmin Guangchang which was like Peoples park. Found a STARBUCKS! Had to have a cup of coffee and wake myself up!! Toured the Shanghai Museum which was quite impressive! The calligraphy room was one of my favorites and had examples of how Chinese writing changed over time! Thank you Mom for sending my student ID card- never knew that an old ID from Texas would get me 75% discounts!! After leaving the museum I went and bought tickets to the infamous Portman Acrobatics show. It was pretty cool! Similar to the circus with about 20 acts: plate spinning, people balancing balls, tables, vases, etc on their feet, the ball of death, etc! It was a nice night out!!
4/15 Sunday Was up early this morning and decided to head to a church that I saw on my walk yesterday. I sat next to an old man that insisted on pointing to the words in his hymnal-even though I explained that I didn't understand them! So sweet!!! About 30 min or so into the mass I realized that somewhere along the way I must have lost my shell to my jacket. I backtracked back to the hotel and back twice but didn't find it. That's 2 points shanghai pickpocketers-- 0 pts me!! Yesterday my umbrella was "lifted" from the side pocket of my backpack. Ah! Good thing the weather is getting nicer and I held onto that fleece!! Bad things tend to happen in 3s so ill keep a tight watch on my phone, camera, and wallet! After backtracking and not finding my jacket I walked down Nanjing Lu which is a huge shopping street. Today is Shanghai's 14th annual Tea Culture ceremony so there was a show going on. I sat and watched some of the acts. Very nice singing and dancing. Found the bund- but my pictures wont be that great because it was extremely foggy!! Oh well! Ill try again tomorrow!! Next stop was "old street" which was supposed to be the old section of Shanghai that hasn't been destroyed to build skyscrapers. I was disappointed to find that although the buildings were built in the old style they were all new- upgraded to hold more souvenir shops. Walked back to the bund to take some night photos. Luckily these came out much better!
Shanghai is a very interesting city!! It reminded me a lot of new york, with tons of skyscrapers and a very international feel. Its much more westernized than any other area that I've been to thus far. There are tons of ripoff markets which sell every American name brand out there, so the teenagers tend to be dressed in polo, American eagle, etc. The amount of foreigners in Shanghai is also incredible. Id say for every 10 Chinese people on the street there is probably 1 foreigner. And for a city with 13.6 million people that is a lot of foreigners!!!
Well I am off to see the bund again today. Hopefully Ill get a better set of photos!
Tonight I head off to Guilin--- its a 26 (yes you heard right twenty-six) hour train ride there!!! WHEW!!!!!