Sunday, 11 May 2014

Chrissy Travels: Episode 1 - Shanghai and Surrounding Area

Greetings~
This will be episode one of many episodes. I will try to put in the highlights of my trip and tell funny stories. For other shots of the same trip for this episode, feel free to drop by my bff's blog at:
http://jygsawpuzzle.blogspot.com/

My vlogs are hideous. I get nauseated just trying to edit them. I will try my best to salvage what I can show the world to the best of my abilities and post them later on. :)

Moving on, I left the great land of Canada on December 29, 2013 and arrived at the land of Shanghai Asians on December 30, 2013. The first thing I have to say is that we totally underestimated how much we would need to be able to speak Mandarin. All four of us were Cantonese speakers and we couldn't ask for help at all at the airport. That all changed after a few days though (I have some background with Mandarin and just needed some practice :3)

The next day, we went to the temple in Shanghai and tasted the Xiao Long Bao that were famous there. We also went into a super cutesy anime store.
Taste testing the Xiao Long Bao. SOooooo yummy <3
Me and BFF attempting to make the kitty faces ... I say we succeeded ;)
We took a long bus ride to Hangzhou, a neighbouring city. We went on a short boat ride on the West River here at sunset, and then watched an evening acrobatic show (it wasn't very impressive). This is also where I lost my camera, which is why I need the footage from my friends to complete my blogging/vlogging. *sad face* We "celebrated" New Year's Eve sleeping.
Extremely beautiful shot of a temple in the background during sunset. 
Me attempting to give myself a temple hat. :) Yep. I'm awesome like that. Just in case you want to know...yes, that is the same temple in the gorgeous photo above. Obviously taken a little before sunset. 
On January 1, 2014, we visited a tea farm and emporium to celebrate the new year with good health. Then, we continued on with our journey and went to Nanjing. Here, we climbed up to Mr. Sun's resting place via 392 steps and with that accomplishment, we slept soundly.
Beautiful bag of fresh Dragon Well tea at the tea farm/emporium. Pricey, but worth it. The taste is superb. 
Looking at the 392 steps from the top. Amazing how it looks like nothing, but it felt like crap walking up =\
January 2, 2014, we visited a museum of sorts. They displayed and sold crystal art pieces (the art is drawn from the inside of the crystal). Then we visited a Jade store and was educated on how to tell the difference between a real and man-made Jade. Now onto the wonderful land of Wuxi.

I made a vlog and finally finished editing! It is in parts, and part one includes videos up to this day. So here you are, I hope you enjoy it :)

We were able to visit a lake where all the pearls are farmed, and I scored myself a pair of pretty pearl earrings that day. We were also educated on how to tell apart real and man-made pearls at the store.
We got to play with pearls XD Not sure if I felt rich or awkward about this...
As January 3, 2014 rolled by, we visited the world's largest standing Buddha. I also bought a good luck/health charm for my family. We also went onto the next city called Suzhou. Here, we visited one of the older gardens/houses and then took a 50 minute boat ride listening to the local songs. We also ate a special crab that is super delicious from here (dungeoness crab)
We couldn't resist taking a jumping photo here, they are never perfect, but we love them like that ;)
Here's another part of the vlog! I have kept editing and updating...so I'm sorry if the first time you clicked you didn't get video. 

This garden was truly breathtaking with its serenity and beauty.
My BFFs just snapped this picture of me and told me I make a great model for "emo" like photos.
What can I say? I have a dark side ;) 
These beauties tasted great, but were a pain to open up and eat. 
On January 4, 2014, we visited a silk factory in Suzhou. This is where we learned the benefits of silk worm poop! Apparently it has the ability to make you sleep sounder. All you need is a baggie of silk worm poop under your pillow and you are set. I was very tempted to buy some of this for my boyfriend and dad, but I could hear them scold me for paying $25CAD for a bag of poop. So that was the end of that.

After that, we went on the bus to go back to Shanghai for a second look of it. Here, we visited another pearl/jade store, and the funniest thing happened. It happened like all the others where we went in for a "presentation" from the place first. Then as the sales associate was speaking to us, another sales came in and said "The owner heard that there were foreign Chinese here, and wishes to speak with them." And so the fun begins. In walks this chubby-ish Chinese guy decked out in gold and ruby and jade. He says how he doesn't own this place and he doesn't know anything about jade, and he is the owner's son. He also wants to give us all a piece of jade as a gift, and one of the sales said "But sir, that one is really expensive! 1400HKD!" The "owner" just says "That number means nothing! These are my friends! And my friends are my father's friends. I will pay for them all! Bring them to me and hand them out to these kind people!" It was great.

We watched another acrobatics show after all that excitement. This one ended up to be much better that the first. Other than losing my camera, I would have to say that I had a lot of fun during this part of the trip. Next time in Chrissy Travels, I will bring you to Beijing.
I'm a princess ;)
This was taking in a mall. We were exploring and saw this and decided to have some fun with it. 
-Chrissymon