Friday, 16 August 2013

Antiques or not..who knows what you get here for real..DONGTAI road

This famous street is as antique as the things displayed here and to note that it is just located off Xizang nanlu,been on the fringe of the former french concession area at Huai Hai middle road is easily assessible.It is also a stone throw away from sparking modern highrises and hopefully you could visit it before the bulldozers do one day.Its a three lanes shopping among old shophouses with a center intersection in the middle.
The nearest metro to it is by Laoximen lines 8 and 10.
Well it is true ,who knows what you get here is authentic or not as everything here looks old and dusty .I always have the urge to rub off the layer of dust to see if its yesterdays productions.
Unless you are a Sotheby expert it could be very challenging and it would be wiser not to buy anything too expensive as the prices are widely bargainable.
Most vendors would be delighted to make a sale especially early in the day so take your time to bargain.Among the stacks you could be surprised to really see some really handed down antiques which are not for sale.
Prices for most items could be slash ed as much as 80percent .Most vendors are rather friendly and old too and not too pushy.
Tactics like walking away and a look of disinteres and can do without it always help.
There are varied assortments of antiques like big vases and statues to small items like ying yang crystal balls,small porcelain figurines,saxo and gammaphones,and the etrnal longlasting little mao red books.Mao statues are abundant with jewelleries,beads,brollies etc.Something im very sure it is not antique is statues of the wide grinning Obama.Swords like LiMuBai "s,rice baskets,cookie jars,ancient suitcases,amoker pipes,ash trays,sunglasses,lanterns,brushes,watches,pocket watches,calligraphy,jades and old buttons at dirt cheap prices.
It is also fun to just browse around without buying anything.




Monday, 5 August 2013


NANJING means Southern City but in past many years ago its name has changed many was indeed such a good place that it was the capital city of a few dynasties.The most prominent one that i could remember is SunQuan,a legendary general made it the capital of his kingdom during the three Kingdoms period in year 229.
Another famous emperor of the Ming dynasty ZhuYuanZhang also made Nanjing as its capital but it as never known as Nanjing then.Its capital as Nanking during the rule of the KMT as Republic of China was shortlived with the defeat of the KMT and exodus to Taiwan.
Nanjing was even made more famous when Sun Yat Sen made it his base while overthrowing the Qing empire.SunYatSen mausoleum is a must see attraction here.
During the dark days of China when it was weak the Nanjing treaty was signed here when HongKong was placed under the british rule.
While in year 1937 the darkest moment in the history of China when the Nanjing massacre happened with the brutality of the invasion of the Japanese when more than 300000 chinese including women and children were killed in a space of 6 weeks.
There is a memorial hall to commemorate this strocities.
Confucius temple,Qinhuai river,Purple mountain observatory and the friendship bridge make up a long list of must sees in Nanjing.

Ultramodern G trains running at top speed of 350km/hr makes this 300kms journey a breeze in just under 11/2 to 2 hours.Cosy and spacious ,well maintained and clean.

 G trains can be taken from Shanghai main station or the Shanghai Hongqiao station to Nanjing South station or the Nanjing main station.









Due to the G trains it is even possible to do a day trip but it might be too much in a haste as Nanjing has much more to offer .An overnight stay would be more relaxed and enjoyable.


Friday, 5 July 2013

Zhouzhuang water village

Zhouzhuang is probably the biggest and most well known water town in China.It is also widely known as the Venice of the East and proudly proclaim itself as the number 1 watertown in China.
With its tranquil canals and ancient Ming and Qing architecture it dates back to more than 900 years ago.
There are many artistic bridges with tales and some are built during the Ming dynasty and thus differ from those built in the Qing.Famous bridges are like theFu an bridge,and the Double bridge.Notable residence is the Shens residence with its Qing style in full glory.
The hall of Shens is spectacular.Built in 1742 and located just near to teh Fu an bridge.Shen Wansan is a rich millionaire during the Qing dynasty.When you are on a boat you would be like in  dream rocking gently on a boat in a picture.
When nightfall the lighted lanterns will propel you back to an ancient era of spectacular beauty.
There is also a rectangular courtyard with a center stage where Kungqu operas are held.Chess competitions,home made spun cloth ,bamboo crafts making and tea culture are among some highlights.
There are also the Quangfu and Chengxu temples.
There is a Zhouzhuang light show casting beautiful shadows and lights on the water Zhouzhuang in all seasons.Cost of show is 180 yuan and 280 yuan for VIP seats.
In May there is the tea culture exhibition and dragon boat race ,one gets to eat zhongzi glutinous dumplings.
Boat rides are fun and costs about 50yuan.
Snacks and food-Snacks like Wansans pig shanks or Wansans hoofs.Sesame cakes in soy sauce.
Squirrel shaped mandarin fish-tradition has it that once Emperor Qianlong of Qing dynasty passed by on Jiangnan tour,Emperor Qian Long saw a carp frisking on the holy table and ordered it to be cooked for him.The chef knowing that its a emperor 's order spared no efforts in flavouring and seasoning. In order to escape the sins of cooking a holy fish for the gods the chef cooked it in such a way that the head and its tail soaring high up thus resembling a squirrel so it is not recognisable.
Crunchy sesame candy,Dried bean curd with soy sauce,Biluochun tea,whitebait soup,river syrimp are some of the popular dishes.
Transportation:Zhouzhuang is located about 30kms from Kunshan,38kms from Suzhou and 60kms from Shanghai.
The easiest and most relaxed way of transport to Zhouzhuang from Shanghai is taking the Gtrain to Suzhou or Kunshan and then transfer by taxi/car or bus.Suzhou to Zhouzhuang by taxi will take about 1 hour+ at a cost of 120 yuan.
One may also opt to travel by bus directly from Shanghai to Zhouzhuang.Buses are
1)Shanghai Tour Bus Center just outside the Caoxi Road subway station.The price is 150yuan /person inclusive of entrance fees but for senior citizens above 70 it is 75yuan.Prices are for round trips.
2)Hongkou Football Stadium.This is a tourist bus and departs for Zhouzhuang at 0815 and returns at 1615.Cost at 240yuan for round trips and entrance fees.
3)Long distance bus station next to Shanghai main railway station which is a normal regular bus departing at 0800,1200,1420 and 1630.The last bus back to Shanghai is at 1630.
Bus from Wuxian bus station departing at 0715,0940,1415 and 1420.
North Bus station departin half hourly .Earliest bus at 0645 and last bus at 1800 to return to Suzhou.
Entrance fees:100yuan /person at 0830 to 1630.80 yuan at 1630 to 2130.
Free after that.










1)Yunhai resorts
2)Three oxens garden hotel
3)Zhouzhuang renjia hotel
4)Twinbridge hostel
5)Yunting villa
6)Zhenshui hotel
Getting out of Zhouzhuang one can take bus/taxi to Suzhou or Kunshan then take G train back to Shanghai.Or
take bus from the bus station in Zhouzhuang located at Daqiao road.
Bus leaves for Suzhou every 30 mins from 0610 to 1700.
To Shanghai at 0915,1120,1420,1630.