Shanghai: World spectacle of light and color
SHANGHAI and wider surroundings are rich parts of China. These are cities where China likes to be proud and happy to show them to the foreigners. Everything here is pimped, up to - airports, taxis, streets, parks, coastal paths, fine restaurants, and the most spectacular night-lit skyscrapers. The whole city is a great show, arranged to accept wealthy guests and provide them with everything they need. If you stick to the usual routine, customer stays "pressed" to extremes. Everything is at your fingertips - tickets for any transportation purchased from fine gentlemen in the hotel, where you can immediately replace the money or pay day trips to the countryside. Just ask for a cab and it drives you wherever you want. In fine restaurants they speak English, Chinese food is adapted to Westerners, with coffee, beer and wine - anything you like.
Great beer, no coffee
However, if you refuse to "sneak" in such Shanghai and want to travel as an ordinary tourist who seeks real China, the whole show suddenly falls apart. Subway is crammed to the edge of the stampede, buying train tickets after standing in line for hours, looking for counters where someone supposedly speaks English, nothing is clear, and you do not understand a word ... However, you find that the restaurants for the "ordinary" Chinese are extremely favorable, and cooks are real masters. However, you have a specific problem - that no one understands what you are ordering, so you hope not to eat something like a dog, chicken heads or insects. A coffee just does not exiyt- ordinary Chinese do not drink it. Consolation is a great beer, a big bottle in the restaurant costs about 5 kuna.
Shell without much content
Another travel books from the region:Travelogue Cambodia
Travelogue China 1
Travelogue China 2
Travelogue China 3
Travelogue China 5
All the lights, all that night spectacle in which Shanghai is probably the strongest in the world, all marveled at the first and second day, and even the third night we were waiting to re-admire these colors. But if you want to stay there longer, you`ll probably be disappointed. Shanghai seems like a luminous shell without much content. For example, the old Shanghai, the core of the old town, is turned into a strange, glowing kvazi historic show. Even the location of the first session of the Communist Party of China is unconvincing - that site is surrounded by an extremely expensive cafes, from which it is apparent that bourgeoisie drove the workers and peasants from there a long time ago. Without a rich history, identity and "soul", Shanghai is a big show of economic strength of modern China. It is vain to look for much more than that.
From the Pacific to the west
If you go to west, you encounter a different China. Big and rich city Hangzhou is interesting for its huge, beautiful lake. Chinese people hold this as a very happy place, mentioned in countless songs. The lake is really comfortable, quiet and romantic. Our westernmost point was to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, another terribly big Chinese city; impersonal, overcrowded and deadly tiring. Although some will remember their opera, spicy foods or Taoist and Buddhist temples, the best reason for coming here is a visit to the nearby panda reserve. These truly beautiful animals are on the verge of extinction. Due to its specific feeding methods, they are very sensitive, and people narrowed their living space. Pandas really look like teddy bears which spend their days peacefully eating bamboo leaves and sleeping. Unfortunately, you can not take them home.