Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Journey to Become an Expert Bargainer

The agenda of the day was to visit Han City (Fake Market) for rain boots and the fabric market. 

小笼包 and shrimp wontons for lunch. 20¥ for this, which I thought wasn't too worth it since you can get a bigger, more filling meal with that amount of money. But it was still good. 

On our way to the train station, we passed by this shoe shop, so we went in and I ended up buying these for 39¥, which is pretty cheap. I just hope it lasts for the semester and won't be too uncomfortable. It's slight uncomfortable now trying to break into it because I had wide feet :(

So..Han City is at 580 Nanjing Rd (W), but we made a mistake and couldn't check to confirm, but we thought it was East, so we walked down one direction and after 20 minutes, we were in an unfamiliar place (since we were there two days before) so we walked back towards the starting point, and I think halfway back we walked back again before going back to the starting point, only to walked the other direction, but we ended up at the Bund, which wasn't right either, so we walked back again. 

Then we finally went to this tourist center and asked. Turns out where we stopped and turned back the first time was pretty much where we had to be, but we didn't cross the road we were supposed to (and it was less than a 5 minute walk from there. But had we gotten off at the right station, it was also within a five minute walk and we wouldn't have had to walk around back and forth so much. 

We finally reached there around 6:00PM and we had left the apartment around 1:45PM..

Anyways, we were already pretty familiar with how everything is, so we tried our best to haggle our way D: I think we got everything for a pretty standard price, though maybe we coulda done better. 

Han City has a bunch of handbags, luggage totes, scarves, shoes, electronic accessories, clothing (traditional and modern), sunglasses, glasses (they can do prescriptions there and then too), etc. Haggling is a must and if you walk away, vendors normally chase after you offering a lower price. Even if they don't chase after you or give you a price you set, another vendor might. For example, the lowest I was able to get a laptop case was 30¥, but some vendors pretty much make 50¥+ as the final deal and I just walked away because the last time I was there, I knew I could get it for less than that. Not to mention, since stalls have practically the same thing, if you can't get it one place, you can definitely get it at another. Even though I do believe that all the vendors work together to some extent. 
Macbook Air cover 30¥
Harajuku Lovers backpack 115¥
Hunter Boots 125¥

Can't comment on the quality of the stuff yet, but hopefully it's decent. Was kind of iffy about buying knockoffs, but with the bag, I wanted a cute one for class and it was pretty hard to find one that wasn't plain and the boots.. I really just needed rain boots and the price wasn't too bad. Couldn't really find any rain boots elsewhere. I wonder legit it looks though o_O

It was a fun experience. Ended the night at a local bar. My drink tastes just like juice though.

Sichuan Food and a Night In

August 29, 2014
Had a morning meeting for orientation about the internships and upcoming trip to Yunnan. It was raining and I still didn't have an umbrella yet :( We met up relatively early but still ended up late walking to the building. My shoes were killing my foot because it was cutting through the back of my foot. 

Afterwards, we had lunch at a Sichuan restaurant.
Even though this was just cabbage, it was my favorite dish because it had that very very slight burnt taste to it that made it yummy.

Went to Walmart at 五角场 to look for new sneakers and boots for the trip (because we'll be hiking), but couldn't find any :| Ended up buying some necessities, like toilet paper, slippers, snacks, etc. 

Got back and was kinda tired already. The group were planning on going out downtown to, and I ended up staying in instead. I heard from my roommate it was really weird though, like full of German students, fake alcohol, and people leaving early. She was back home before 1:00AM and she left around it didn't seem to last long considering it was a ~30 minute cab ride.

Wasn't much of an eventful day.. since orientation is starting to wind down. 

Super Tiring Tour Around the Bund

August 28, 2014
So the activity for the day was touring around the bund and we learned about some of history of the hotels and banks, and all the other buildings that we went into. We had these French tour guides showing us around. Left my SD card in the apartment so had to take photos with my phone. Turned out I actually stashed an extra in my handbag -_-
 Some residential area in a back alley.
View from the Peace Hotel
Suzhou Creek

Walked to visit this former slaughter house for like cows. It's modernized to be a shopping center of some sort now. By then, we had already walked for like over two hours and I just couldn't wait to be done with the day because my feet were hurting from all the walking the past few days.

Finally at 1:00PM we went to Jujube Tree (枣子树/zao zi shu), a vegetarian restaurant for lunch.
Address: 258 Fengxian Rd, Cross street Jiangning Rd (Behind Westgate Mall or Meilongzhen Guangchang)
枣子树, 奉贤路258号,近江宁路, 在美龙镇广场的后面
 Guess I didn't take that many photos of the food :X Some of them were good, but then in the end all of them all started tasting the same because a lot of dishes were like tofu or bean curd based or something.

Walked around Nanjing Road because we had some free time before our destination. We found this place called Han City or Fake Market on Nanjing Road (W), so I tried buying a laptop case, but that didn't work out. 

Went to Propaganda Poster Art Museum, which belongs to a private collector and it's kind of a small room full of posters from the time of the World War through Cold War sort of era. There was also a gift shop that had like originals for sale, including posters, pins, and even the Little Red Book. 
Address: 868 Huashan Rd, room BOC 徐汇区 华山路,靠近复兴东路

Had about half an hour or so to walk around the Former French Concession Area. Got bitten by sooo many mosquitoes during this time.

Met up with the rest of the group at Baoluo, a pretty fancy looking restaurant. Maybe it was because we sat with the vegetarians, but most of the dishes were vegetables D: We only had two meat dishes.. but then again I thought we split the dishes all in half with the other table because we didn't want to have too much since there weren't that many of us and we were all still full from lunch.
Address: 271 Fumin Rd at Changle Rd 富民路271号, 近长乐路

Took the bus back and stayed in for the rest of the night. Some of the girls wanted to do face masks and wine, but I was superrr tired D: So wasn't sure what to do, but then in the end they canceled it because they were tired too :x

Anyways, until next time! I'm almost all caught up with stuffs I want to post :X

Saturday, August 30, 2014

City God Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai World Financial Tower

August 27, 2014
Today the group met up to take the bus to the train station to take the subway for the first time here. We use this public transportation card for the bus, subway, taxi, etc.

We went to City God Temple first and apparently it's in the heart of Old City. People still go there nowadays to pray for anything basically.




Got some incense for 5元

Had some free time to roam around the Tourist Mart, so I went to find some food.
My skewers were 60元, which is crazy expensive for food because I can buy like an entire meal for <20元 easily. It was also cold and greasy >:(

Next stop was Yuyuan Garden (豫园)which was like a place dedicated to this guy's father. It's like the houses that rich people lived in back in the days, as seen in Chinese dramas.
 Fed fishes and gave away the extra pellets to little kids
 The place is known for its rocks that has holes or something. This particular one was supposed to be super famous.

 At 1:00PM it was time for lunch at a restaurant called Lubolang (绿波廊)
Lotus root with sticky rice

Next we went to the Pudong area via subway to visit the Shanghai World Financial Tower, which is shaped like a bottle opener. I didn't actually take a photo of the place though, hmm... 
 Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which to me is like a landmark in Shanghai that's easily distinguishable in the skyline.

So inside the SWFC:
They had this cool model of Shanghai and played the background and adjusted the lighting as it fast forwards along the day, so in the pic that's the "view" of the city at 6:46PM.

We went on the 94th, 97th, and 100th floor. They were all more or less the same, just gives the city view a different angle. 
100th floor view

For dinner, we went to a Hunan cuisine restaurant called Guyi (古意湘味浓)
Lamb ribs
Some sort of fish that people didn't really have too much of... I was hesitant too because it seemed like a lot of work and somewhat big, but it was actually really good and fresh! 
 Sticky banana balls which burned my tongue.. you take a piece and dip it into water so that the caramel or whatever hardens.
Night view of the Oriental Pearl Tower

Four of us were going to take a cab back, but we were told after the rest of the group left that it'll be hard to hail a cab at this time because we're right downtown and it's rush hour, so we opted for taking the subway home. It was a bit odd because I ended up getting home before my roommates, who left before us to take the subway home, but they took the bus the wrong direction >_<

Ahhh, trying to keep up with all my entries to make them as concurrent as possible, but I'm usually out and about for the whole day and by the time I get back, I pass out. 

Well, until next time!