travelwithkay

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Skyscrapers in Shanghai

Our flight from Xi’an to Shanghai arrived quite late so we headed straight to the hotel to sleep as we knew the following day would be a 7am start!

The first stop was the Shanghai Natural History Museum. Again, very interesting. I always love museums.

We visited the Yuyuan Garden (located beside the ‘City God Temple’) – incredible architecture and of course beautiful flowers. You cannot miss the huge Jade rock centrepiece as you walk through the gardens.  I learnt that it was built around 1500 during the Ming Dynasty.

We were taken to a genuine Silk Factory. In the photos, you’ll see the machines used to make the silk as well as the silkworms! I learnt that it can take around 5000 silkworms to make one piece of clothing (e.g. a kimono)! I treated myself to a traditional Chinese silk dress…only for special occasions of course!

After another delicious à la carte lunch, we enjoyed an hour long cruise along the Huangpu River – incredible views of all the different skyscrapers. Unfortunately, it was really overcast whilst we were in Shanghai, so you’ll see in the photos, some of them are dark in colour as well as being slightly blurry. The pollution also contributed to the grey tint in the photos.  We then headed back to the hotel to say our goodbyes as it was the official end of the tour (although we extended our stay).

The tour was extremely fast-paced so we took the following day at a slower pace! After enjoying yet another buffet breakfast at our hotel, we took a leisurely walk to a nearby mall with a lovely park next door to it and strolled around there for a while. We stopped off at an outdoor café in the park for coffee and cake. We spent the afternoon back at the hotel, making use of the pool etc. In the evening, we ventured out to a nearby restaurant for a quick bite to eat as well as stopping by another fresh juice bar I found!

The following morning, we had our flight from Shanghai to Tokyo so ‘stay tuned’ to find out what I got up to in Tokyo!

 

 

 

Ultramodern Tokyo

When I think of Tokyo I think of an attractive, futuristic city scattered with neon-lit skyscrapers. Well it certainly didn’t disappointment. There was such a buzz…

First was the jaw-dropping Tokyo Skytree. Which I must point out, we had an amazing view of from our hotel room! Only a ten minute walk away, we stopped for breakfast on the way. As you arrive at the Skytree, you walk into quite a large entrance hall with different types of ticket offices etc. There was also a large fact file on the wall about the different types of towers/tallest buildings that have been built around the world at different points in time. The Tokyo Skytree is currently the tallest observation tower in the world, 634m to be exact! The views from the Skytree were just incredible.

travelwithkay’s advice: you can get pretty cheap tickets if you’re willing to wait roughly 10-15 minutes in the line. Or there’s an ‘international fast-track’ line at a much higher cost!

After the Skytree, we felt we ‘needed’ a coffee stop…we found this lovely coffee house. It was quite high up (we climbed many stairs to get to the main Skytree entrance as well as the cafés etc.) and we sat on the veranda with our coffees taking in the stunning views of the city.

We decided to brave the subway and headed to Shinjuku. A very comerical district and Tokyo’s largest neighbourhood. There was a lot of delicious looking street food. And of course, the destinctive neon signs!

The next day we went to Ginza. It’s known as the Western-style shopping district and I can see why. I wasn’t too fond of Ginza. It was full of high-end designer stores like ‘Chanel’. The kind of stores I can’t afford! We went to Roppongi after that. Which is known for it’s nightlife and dining. Also visited (by taking the subway) Shimbashi, Akasaka, Shibuya (lots of bars, restaurants etc.),

48 hours in X’ian

Xi’an is home to the Terracotta Warriors and is also known for being the starting point of the ‘Silk Road’. The Silk Road was a very old network of trade routes that connected the East and West of China. The reason behind why it’s called the Silk Road is quite obvious…it was because of the large amount of Silk trade that was carried out.

 

We arrived in Xi’an quite late and just went straight to the hotel…I find even after a short flight you still feel exhausted! Below, you’ll see a few photos of the hotel. We started off the next day at the Terracotta Factory – it was interesting to see them making the souvenirs etc. We didn’t spend too long here and then headed straight onto the main Terracotta Museum – the most important part of our time in Xi’an!

Our tour guide told us that the best order to view the Terracotta Warriors was starting with pit 1, pit 3 and then finishing with pit 2. So pit 1 is the largest pit with around 6000 soldiers as well as being the 1st of the pits to be discovered (in 1974 by farmers). It’s a large hall/warehouse, it’s a lot lighter than the other pits due to there being quite a few sky lights. Pit 3 – the smallest of the 3 pits (with around 68 soldiers) and the only one that is actually finished. A lot of the warriors were badly destroyed in this pit, with many of them having missing heads etc. There is also a chariot equipped with four horses that was discovered inside the chamber of the pit. Pit 2 has around 1000-2000 soldiers. Most of the roof had caved in so the warriors were extremely damaged.

After an unforgettable trip to see the Terracotta Warriors, we were taken to a nearby hotel in Xi’an for another delicious feast.

In the evening, we were taken to watch the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show as well as enjoying a ‘Dumpling Tasting Dinner’. Dumplings are apparently traditional local food in northern China.

The following day started off at the Ancient City Wall. You can hire bicycles to ride along the wall so my Mom and I bravely decided to hire a tandem bicycle for the first time. As you can imagine, it took us a while to get going (almost crashing into pedestrians as well as the wall itself…all while locals laughed at us!) but we soon got the hang of it and had a lot of fun! Next was the Shaanxi History Museum which was extremely interesting. Items in the museum included coins, jewellery, murals, paintings etc.

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