Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shanghai - Hong Kong

Parks - Overall, Shanghai is a very livable city. There are all kinds of parks with locals sipping on boba and playing badminton in the grass. Also, they spend a lot more time designing their parks. I didn't see a flat area for sports and picnics, but zen gardens, ponds with fish and ducks, bamboo forests, etc.

Above the Clouds -Pudong, the financial center of Shanghai has the tallest buildings Ive ever seen. I went up to the Cloud 9 bar on the 87th floor of the Jinmao building (the tallest bar in the world). China is the only country in the world right now that has the ability to keep building. Shanghai is all under construction, every sidewalk is being uprooted. They are giving the whole city a face lift as they prepare for the 2010 World Expo. Like the Olympics, when China has the opportunity to go all out, they do, and they are using this as an opportunity to revamp a city like they did for Beijing with the Olympics.

The bar scene is China is quite odd. The whole staff is female while the customers are male. When Andrew and I stopped in for a beer, a guy next to us bought a bottle of Absolute, and poured himself a drink, and one for each of the staff so they would pay attention to him and play dice games. The staff looked bored.

Buildings as Art - Even the train station in Shanghai is an architectural gem. The architects must have a filed day in China.

From the station, we took an 18 hour train to Hong Kong. Hong Kong, is the most western city in Asia, and is full of fast food chains and expensive western clothing shops. I couldn't believe how commerical it was.

Chungking mansions - There are probably over 1000 dingy rooms in this place.This is where we stayed in Hong Kong. Our room had no windows, and didn't smell too nice. I heard there are live animals living in this building. I would not want to be in this place in case of any natural disaster. This place is definitely not up to US fire code, luckily for them, there is no fire code in Asia.

I don't have a picture, but the fountain in the middle of Hong Kong was one of the funniest sites I've ever seen. All the Persians in Hong Kong came out to have a giant flirt session around this fountain. Everyone looked like they were on their way to an A-list club - leather shoes, designer jeans, too much make up. Except it was 3PM.

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