Tuesday, 28 July 2015

My Trip to China // Part 1

By the time you read this, I'll be back from my two week trip to China! I'm on the bus to see the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'An right now and it's at least 35 degrees outside. Today I'm going to take you through some of the cool things I've done on this trip.

Monday. After 2 long flights we arrived in Shanghai in the late afternoon, though we felt as if we were in the middle of the night. We met our main tour guide, Eve, who is American,  and our Shanghai tour guide, Steven, a local with a wonderful habit of placing the word "wow" in almost any sentence, not necessarily where it should be though. In the evening we went for our first dinner and explored the area near the Yu Gardens. 

Tuesday. The next day we headed straight for the propaganda museum. We weren't all too sure what to expect but it was actually pretty interesting. It was crazy to see firsthand the propaganda that was fed to the public for so many years during Chairman Mau's life. Later we went up the most iconic building on the Shanghai skyline, the Oriental Pearl Tower. It was incredible up there, there was a lot of smog but it was still an amazing way to see the city. There was also a section with a glass floor that was super cool. We also got asked for pictures with people a lot, our tour guide said it was because there were a lot of tourists from faraway provinces of China that don't get to see us Westerners all that often. It was very weird at first, I thought they wanted me to take a picture of them.Later we went on an amazing boat trip down the Huangpu River. All the buildings were lit up and I honestly felt like I was in some kind of crazy James Bond film with three amazing friends right by my side. 

Wednesday. We were lucky enough to go to a local Chinese school to have a look round and meet some of the students. So the first thing that struck/embarrassed us was how good they were at English and how awkwardly bad we all are at Mandarin. We tried to ask some questions in Mandarin but they would just reply in really eloquent English. We taught them to play Wink Murder and gave them gifts from England, they showed us round their school and took us for a spot of badminton. Later we went to visit a Buddhist temple which was pretty cool.

Thursday. In the morning we went to Shanghai's biggest shopping street, Nanjing Road for some free time. It was a really cool place and I bought some really cool stuff! Later on we went to the Shanghai Museum where we met this Chinese guy called Huan Rui, whose English name was Ted. After this we went to a spot along the river which an incredible view of the Shanghai skyline. We took a bunch of group photo's but loads of people started taking pictures of us when we were all posed up in a line. It was weird and as we walked further on, more people asked for photo's with us! It was crazy because it was clear they only wanted a photo with us because we look different. I couldn't quite figure out if we were being treated as if we were famous or animals in a zoo.

Friday. On this day we went to a chocolate factory! The company was called Zotter and it was family owned so we met the creators daughter, who introduced us to the company and showed us a video about it. It was really quirky and cool, the company seemed like a really cool place to work. We got to try the chocolate at each stage of creation, the cocoa beans, the unsweetened melted chocolate, each variety of melted chocolate (different percentages and sweeteners) and finally all the different flavours of the finished product! They all tasted amazing and I wish I could have bought the whole collection! Later we headed to the fake goods market to try out our haggling skills. I managed to get some fake Toms for £5 and some Ray Bans down from £18 to £5 simply by walking away.That night we watched an amazing acrobatics show that completely blew all our minds. I can't even begin to describe some of the fantastic stunts that they pulled off but I can tell you that my heart rate didn't calm down for a while after the performance!

I'll post the second week of my trip soon!

What trips have you been on recently? Have you ever been to China?

Have a wonderful week!

Hattie xo

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