Nov 7 2014

Jiangsu 江苏省

An eastern-central coastal province of China. It’s capital Nanjing/Nanking is 186 miles/300 km northwest of Shanghai. According to wiki – Jiangsu is the second smallest, but the fifth most populous and the most densely populated of the 22 provinces of the People’s Republic of China. Jiangsu has the second highest GDP of Chinese provinces, after Guangdong.

The well known cities are


Sep 4 2011

Shanghai 魅力江南八日游

Nexus Holidays offer a tour that was hard to refuse: 6 nights of 4 stars hotel plus 3 meals a day, all for US$49 per person. Kid under 18 adds additional $200; plus tips for the guide US$48 per person ($8 x 6 days). P.S. This kind of tour becomes a main stay.

I first learned it from my cousin Don in VA which offered it at US$99, then my cousin Sophie in LA told me it’s only US$49. Since I’ve never traveled with my Jiujiu and family so I decided to join them even it’s inconvenient my already booked/planned schedule.

We took the newly minted CRH Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway 京沪高速铁路, departing Beijing South Station at 8am on Friday July 29, arrived in Shanghai safely little before 1pm. It cost ¥550. In the aftermath of the Wenzhou CRH D301 and D3115 train rear-end accident that happened on July 23, we didn’t have any choice. My initially wish was to take the overnight train from Beijing to Shanghai, mainly for Pumpkin to experience it. But since the Beijing-Shanghai express starts running, many overnight trains, on the face of overwhelming complain, was being eliminated. I simply couldn’t get any tickets. Another story, another time.


The tour put us at MingYue 明悦 (上海浦東新區崮山路50 號) in Pudong, departing for the tour the following morning July 30, after breakfast. Over all, the tour is good, hotels were better than the lunches/dinners. Buffet breakfasts were at the hotels, generally ok. We have a baby-sitter tour guide who with the bus driver were with us 24/7; collected our passports at night for hotel check in, etc. At each city, the company would send a local guide who did the selling guiding.

Not sure IF there is talking point enforced by the company but the tour guides all uniformly echoed few themes:
– China, undeniably is doing pretty good, although there are many improvements to be made; please give us a break little time
– 孝顺 filial piety
The guides are well informed and worldly, they never hesitated in telling you that they, too, traveled the world. They can be sarcastic about China; openly talked about their personal experience/lives which made the conversations – even they were the one did the talking mostly – the more enjoyable.
It’s my first time joining a China tour. Few tour mates/cousins told me that this is pretty first class, in comparison to the local tours they experienced in the past. Perhaps Nexus wants to impress 统战 the overseas Chinese. I wasn’t prepare for the shopping element. Before the tour, Sophie said we would not buy anything. Ya right. .. We ended up spent our children’s college tuition. We wrote IOU at the jade store; we borrowed money from the baby sitter at Hangzhou, in order to buy Longjin, the dragon well teas. Heck, we even wrote I owe you for the tips. How charming! I couldn’t believe they, the stores and the tour guide would engage in such risky business!
Those stores we visited were all tour sponsors. However, there were never pressure to buy. It’s us who couldn’t resist.
As we drove back to Shanghai from Hangzhou after lunch (we always traveled to the next city after lunch), the baby sitter guide began telling us more about himself.
He’s the fourth child of a rural family, born in 1980. By the time, one child policy was already pushed to the countryside. So his parents considered to gave him away due to financial constrain but ultimately decided to pay the ¥250 fine, to keep him. He said many kids called him 250 二百五 which in Mandarin slang, means an insult: stupid person or simpleton. He would become the first college educated child of the family. During his college years, to help pay for his tuition, he went to Shenzhen for a summer job, as a shipyard labor. He earned a grand ¥2000+. When he went home, upon seeing him, his mother turned her head slightly to wipe away her tears: he was dark and extremely skinny. He said, he pretended not seeing her cry. He got me teared on this. Mothers.
He just got married a few years ago; they are expecting their first child this October. His father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer shortly after their marriage and purchasing of their apartment. His wife suggested to sell the apartment to help pay for the medical bills. He said he’s extremely moved by her devotion to her parents and loved her all the more. His father-in-law died a year later; left behind a ¥400,000 bill (after the insurance).
At the end of long talk, he gently asked for the tip. I thought it’s part of the package, no asking is needed. However, he said it’s US$60 ($8 x 7.5 days), and can be more or can be less. Hmmmmm… both advertisements in the USA printed $48. In any case, IOU him ¥800 for the two of us – Jiujiu would send the money: ¥2500 for the teas and ¥2400 tip (for the six of them), plus my share of tips from Beijing, a total of ¥5,700.
People in our group are predominately China-born. There were few Chinese from Australia, south east Asia, Taiwan. A black lady with a while husband who’s business partner with one of the Dads on the bus. The tour offers only Mandarin or Cantonese because the tour aims at: interested in China? Then learn the language.

439  438 440


Aug 1 2011

Wuxi pearls

Ok, I bough this one for ¥680 in Wuxi. My girl friend bough a similar one, in size and color in Shanghai for ¥200. It’s ok, we keep China’s economy humming and girls employed. Beside, it looks causally good on me, even only I said so.

The promotional booklet reads:

All my distinguished guests
Now you are visiting the largest pearl exhibition center in China.
Wuxi Yuan Run Ju Pearl Co Ltd. 无锡园润居珍珠首饰有限公司 is specialized in designing, producing and selling high quality pearls and her branch companies are blossoming in large Chinese metropolitan cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an.
Fu Yu Run 福钰润, created more than 30 years ago by Wuxi yuan Run Ju Pearl Co. Ltd. is now a well-known pearl product brand. It has earned the reputation for all the pearls from Taihu Lake as the most beautiful pearls ever found in the world 太湖珍珠甲天下.

 

737


Jul 31 2011

Wuxi’s Buddha

Lingshan Grand BuddhaMore pix on FB in Wuxi


Jul 31 2011

How and what they ride ..

Ordinary folks on their motor bikes in Wuxi. (I’m still on NY time, 12 hours behind)
.
Wuxi, July 31, 2011 Wuxi, July 31, 2011 (2)


Jul 31 2011

Wuxi, Taihu

太湖 Lake Tai, the Grand Lake in Wuxi.

The tallest building in Wuxi; and the Wuxi hospitality


Jul 31 2011

Wuxi Buddha


Maji Mountain area, the Lingshan Grand Buddha is one of the tourist attractions in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The Lingshan Brahma Palace is pretty remarkable (Youtube video).

The experience would have been more enjoyable with lower temperature and lesser crowds

Zhao Puchu (November 5, 1907 – May 22, 2000) 赵朴初

It wasn’t raining, yet so many people out there with umbrellas


Nov 27 2010

Wuxi 无锡

Sunday, July 7, 1985

I didn’t even remember that I’ve ever been to Wuxi if weren’t for those pictures.

I was in Shanghai for the Automotive China’85 which closed on Sunday. YZ was going to go with for the excursion but backed out at the last second. So it was me, the big bearded engineer from home office in Hamburg and Yu (couldn’t remember who’s girl was ..) More pictures here ..
… did I have 无锡肉骨头 for lunch?? …