Daily Archives: July 9, 2013

Filling some time in on flight to Chengdu

I have rotated, reordered and deleted the first batch of photos from our trip to China on the flight. I am using dropbox to store everything as I only have limited capacity on my MacBook Air. I think Apple have made it expensive and difficult to use the cloud with its desktop apps. I am using around 4 cameras when I am here (2 iPhones and 2 regular digital cameras) and I want to plug everything in, catalogue it and create a backup while using the hotel wifi.

That means that if a camera or computer disappears I am not going to lose lots of great photo memories. I am also trying to use some the the space on my blog to do this.

I must look for a dropbox and WordPress integration – I am sure there is one out there.

Interestingly Twitter and Facebook are now accessible from China so I have been tweeting a little while I have been here. As I said in this post, I am trying to wean myself off Facebook. I find I can’t use too many social networks, and the advertising on Facebook is getting on my nerves.

I am really just using this blog for my own purpose, and I don’t really care if anyone reads it – it’s a great journal of this trip.

So in the end, our flight was delayed for THREE hours, and took of after 3pm instead of 12 noon. I checked online and China Eastern has a pretty bad timekeeping record (0.1 out of 5) on the web. So that ’s 1 in 50 flights on time.

I am assuming that most of the domestic carriers are the same. We have one more flight from Chengdu to Xian and then we try out the train network taking the bullet train between Xian and Beijing.

We will have had 12 nights accommodation (in some nice hotels) in 2 rooms including breakfast in all the hotels. 2 internals flights for the four of us and one bullet train between Xian and Beijing. Included is all the lunches on tour days, pick up at the hotel in a private van and a guide and driver for everyday.

I have to say when you look at that it isn’t such bad value. The only thing that is extra is dinner each day and tips (Oh and Internet access, I can’t live without that).

Internet access so far has cost me around 100 Yuan per day (£10) which in a decent hotel seems in line. As I mentioned earlier in the post, I am not just using this for checking email, I have set the computer up to sync with Dropbox everyday too (overnight).

So I should mention our tour company too – found them on the internet – China Odyssey Tours. Thanks to Kalinda there for helping by email before our trip!

Shanghai Photo Highlights

I thought I would add a few photo highlights from the stay in Shanghai. Freyja as I said was pretty popular with the boat cruise audience. I think we could have made a few Yuan by charging for photos!


Nanjing road was certainly busy, lots going on and things to see and do. We didn’t actually do much shopping as there was nothing that we really needed to get in Shanghai.


The lights on some of the buildings are fantastic. This is a last photo from the top of the Meridian Hotel in the bar on the last night


Dining in China

We certainly are changing our views on what the Chinese will eat while on this trip.

Firstly although the food is fantastic we are struggling slightly with the translations and also difference between “hot” and “cold” dishes when ordering.

We keep salivating at the pictures in the menus but then get slightly disappointed when something cold comes out of the kitchen. There certainly is a variety of things to eat. Turtle, Donkey, Chicken (whole with head!) and Duck gullets have been spotted so far.

Freyja has smiled a lot when we have mentioned Pizza Hut or Macdonald but so far we have avoided these and gorged on the hotel breakfast buffet and then experimented quite a bit while out.


A good selection last night and Claire and I have had to put a brave face on and eat things that we would normally turn our nose up at and keep a stiff upper lip!

I am quite a fan of dumplings and dim sum, but the novelty earned when we lived in California has worn off a little now.


Here is a nice pork dish (with Ginger) that we ordered – lots of nice bones to chew on…yum! DJ is becoming a big fan of dumplings too and finished off a large bowl with dumplings yesterday


Visit to Chinese water village

We visited a traditional chinese water village today. Very interesting (a bit touristy!) with some good little boat trips. We suffered a little with the heat, but enjoyed a cool drink in one of the bars with air conditioning.


Here is our guide Vivian. She was a great guide for us and really looked after us during the few days in Shanghai. I hope we have as good a guide in other destinations on this trip.


Shanghai to Chengdu

We are now sitting at the airport (delayed of course), waiting to head to Chengdu. The flight is delayed but there is no indication by China Eastern airline when the flight will take off.

I think in these circumstances it is better to use the internet to find the flight and get an accurate update of what is going on.

I personally use flightstats.com it is pretty reliable.

So highlights of Shanghai. Cruise this evening, was quite short. Freyja ended up being the star of the boat by being photographed quite a bit by the locals.


After the trip today we also had a few cocktails on the bar on the 67th floor of the hotel. Fantastic views of the Shanghai skyline and also some great (but not cheap!) cocktails. I stuck with a traditional Martini and Claire opted for the Apple Martini.