|Yu Yuan Gardens|
Sorry for the delay between posts, with a combination of a broken laptop screen, rubbish internet and doing so much it’s been hard finding time to edit photos and write the blog. That being said, there really wasn’t much we found to do in Shanghai. Walking around The Bund at night was great, really lively and the skyline was stunning! The rooftop bar in the hostel was also a lot of fun, we met lots of German’s and American’s! We also went to the very picturesque Yu Yuan Gardens where apparently Tom “found tranquillity”!
There was much more to do in Huangshan…the Yellow Mountains, which inspired the movie ‘Avatar’ really was stunning, probably our greatest day of the trip so far, or at least on par with the Great Wall. Unfortunately Collette has bad knees so she couldn’t join us. Good thing too as it was hard work! There was more drama with Tom, he left his wallet on the bus which broke down on the way to the gate before we hopped onto another one. Luckily when we got there, even though we don’t speak Chinese and everyone helping spoke no English, the kind fella’s got on their phones and tracked down the wallet. It was brought back with nothing missing and in good time so we could still make a day of it!
We started at the gate with a long bus journey upwards and our ears were already popping. After a cable car up even further, we were above and in the clouds. We had a good 6 or so hours of walking around and getting lost in the mountains, but really there could be worse places to be lost, the views were amazing! If you’ve ever seen Avatar then you can see how this inspired it. Men work walking up and down the mountain carrying building equipment and such all-day slung over their shoulders. You would have to be brave and damned determined to do that full time!
The next day we went to a couple of ancient Chinese villages and world heritage sites, Hongcun and Xidi. They were really nice to see for the scenery and the old buildings and layout of the place, but both were ruined by so many tour groups and the locals try too hard to sell you tacky gifts, gets tedious after a while. It was different with the local kids though, all of them love art and you see them all sat around drawing and painting different viewpoints of the village. They love to take photos with us! In fact, since we arrived in China loads of people take photos of us and with us, quite strange! Anyway, this time it was Collette’s turn to lose something…When we called her iPhone, somebody found it and picked up to guide us back to it! The Chinese really are kind!
I’ll upload some of my pictures to my Flickr page here for anybody to check out, and for friends and family I’ll upload some more of the personal ones to my Facebook page. Next destination…Yangshuo, which I have a funny feeling will be my favourite place in the world so far!