Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beijing & Shanghai

My trip to the 2 major Chinese cities was marked with a rich educational experience on Chinese culture and a beautiful jade bangle courtesy of my mom. I honestly was not planning on shopping, as this was supposed to be a strictly cultural exchange holiday. However, like most of my holidays, I just cannot help it. I bought something from almost everywhere the tour guide brought us (oops). By the time I left, my suitcase was filled with Mao memorabilia, silk, jade, pearl cream and paper cuttings. I must be channeling the spirit of a silk route trader.

Beijing’s traditional architecture is predominantly grey and white. It is a surprisingly serene and calming colour scheme. I love the traditional tiled roofs and especially the brass doorknobs. In Shanghai, I had to sample all the dumplings (soup dumplings, pork dumplings, seafood dumplings, both steamed and fried) that I don’t think I can stomach another one. It was all delicious, with just a little juice dripping out of each bite.

Today's travel tip : Bring moisturizer or you can just buy pearl cream. It's what the locals have been using for decades (when they do not have access to western style beauty products) and it's cheap too.

China just before the Olympics is expensive. It cost me SGD$20 for 3 cups of coffee at a local coffee house. With most of the attractions closed for refurbishing before the Olympics, I will definitely be making another trip down to catch all the things I missed out on.

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