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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Shanghai, China

I left for Shanghai, China on February 28 (connecting in Detroit) and landed in China on the evening of March 1. The 7000 mile flight also had a 13 hour time difference, so by the time we landed, I really didn't know what day it was. We checked into the Marriott Changfeng Park, a really beautiful hotel.

The next morning I had a delicious breakfast of rice cakes, fried dumplings, mushrooms and buns before riding out to the site of where we will be building Habitat homes in May, Pinghu. It took about an hour and a half to get out to Pinghu, a rural area with a number of factories. I can tell this will be a good build by the way the friendly neighbors come out to say hello and meet us.


Build site

Neighbors at the build site
Everyone comes out to greet us!

After returning from Pinghu, we visited a temple called the Jade Buddha Temple.

Jade Buddha Temple
Monk at Jade Buddha Temple
For dinner, we ate at a restaurant called South Beauty, where I tried many interesting dishes, including pork lung, which was actually quite good.

Pork Lung 
That night, we attended an acrobatic show called ERA. It was really amazing, and beautifully produced.

Shanghai at night
The next day, after meeting with the hotel team and touring the property, we went to an area called Yuyuan for lunch at a dim sum place called Ding Tai Feng. In the picture below, you see one of their specialties, Xiao Long Bao (steamed soup buns.) Delicious!

With Sheryl at Ding Tai Feng
Afterwards we did a little shopping in Yuyuan market. Some street scenes:

One of the more interesting things I saw while shopping was a vat of fried baby birds. This I did not try.

Fried baby birds

We also visited Yuyuan Garden, classical Chinese garden architecture built in 1559 as a private garden of a government administrator.

Inside Yuyuan Garden

Before leaving Yuyuan, I found a little store that was basically an "everything is less than a dollar" store. Mama would have been proud. I bought her a 'prize' there too. We then did some more 'upscale' shopping in an area called Tianzifang which had cute shops on narrow streets.

That night, we had dinner at Yuan Yuan, on Huaihai Road. The food was good, and obviously very fresh.

Flounder and Crab "Before"
Flounder "After"
Crab "After"
After dinner, we returned briefly to the hotel before going to Hongqiao Railway station for our overnight trip to Beijing. I had reserved "soft sleeper" which is a cabin with two bunk beds sleeping four people. Sheryl and I were in one, sharing with two Chinese strangers. It made for an interesting evening. (We were in train car 2 and ran to find Scarlet in her "Deluxe Soft Sleeper" in car 9.)

Inside Hongqiao Railway Station

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