Tuesday, July 27, 2010

China 2010 Scrapbook: Scenery

Question of the Day: Do you prefer a cell phone that has a touchscreen (like an iPhone) or one that has a keypad (like a Blackberry)? Why?

So basically I took over 400 photos while I was in China and had a pretty tough challenge before me in deciding which ones to host on my blog. I've decided to do 3 different posts, each one called China 2010 Scrapbook, but with a unique subtitle. The 3 scrapbook pages will be: Scenery, Food, and Fashion. There were loads of different foods that I ate and I'm sure you've probably never seen before, plus lots of clothing and accessories that I bought. Can't wait to share them all with you!
13-hour plane flight FROM Chicago (after the 2-hour connecting flight TO Chicago) TO Shanghai, China. I absolutely adore plane flights, mostly in part by the beautiful view from the sky. Honestly, you can literally see a map forming before your eyes as everything gets smaller and smaller and eventually turns into a whirlwind of green and brown. Love it.
Here, I was at Pudong, one of Shanghai's major skylines. It serves as the more contemporary side of the Huangpu river; on the other side (the side that I was standing on) is called Puxi and is made up of more historical and traditional buildings. I think it's so cool how that skyscraper to the right curves inward and looks like some sort of fish or knife.
Another photo of Pudong, but with the famous Oriental Pearl Tower, which is actually a tower that operates television. Isn't it beautiful? Also, you can see exactly how foggy and humid it gets in Shanghai...most days, the weather there is characterized by lots of cloudiness and fog.

This is Chen Hua Miao, aka Yu Garden, otherwise known as one of the busiest and most famous bazaars in Shanghai. I bought tons of little trinkets and oriental gifts there for myself and my friends. Rain or shine, there are always loads of people there. Plus, the cultural architecture is wonderful to view and admire. Nanjing Lu is one of the biggest shopping centers in Shanghai as well, and is particularly breathtaking at nighttime. As you can see, there are LOADS of people. Tons of malls and restaurants are located here showcasing the biggest name brands (Chinese as well as international), but the downside is that most everything is extremely expensive.

And here we are...pictures of The World Expo 2010!!! Over 200 countries from all over the world participated in the Expo, and each country had its own pavilion that they'd spent the past couple of years building in the Expo ground. The motto of the Expo was: Better City, better life.

This is China's Pavilion, one of the biggest and most noticeable ones there. Unfortunately, only VIPs were able to get in, but from what I saw on CCTV, the pavilion mainly has very oriental and professional performances with traditional dancing and singing. Everyday there were crowds of people waiting in line, sometimes for as long as 9 hours straight, to go into pavilion after pavilion. Underneath China's pavilion, you can see some other neat pavilions.
Welcome to the pavilion of the United Arab Emirates! I thought this was really beautiful...reminded me of a pot of gold, to be honest. There were loads of people in this pavilion, and it's not hard to see why. I realized that the first impression and architecture of the buildings have to be really impressive for them to be that popular.
I think Sri Lanka's pavilion was one of the coolest! It looked very oriental and centered very much around their culture. Unfortunately I didn't go in, but it was homongous and had lots of people in it, too!
Here is Argentina's national pavilion. If you look closer, you can actually see all the people standing in line, waiting to go in. Outside the pavilion, there was a really big television screen on the outer wall showcasing Argentina.

How could I have gone to the World Expo without seeing good ol' America's pavilion? Ours reminded me a lot of an airplane, hehe. The USA showed two large-screened movie clips and had a few performances led by American dancers and singers. They also had a small restaurant that served American food. We ate some burgers and fries, but it wasn't like the real thing. xD

Brazil's pavilion was pretty neat. Like Argentina, they had a giant screen showing (I think) Brazil in this year's World Cup (congratulations to Spain, by the way!)...but I may be wrong.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

#50: My Return From China

Question of the Day: What is the farthest you've ever travelled before?


You can imagine how alarmed I felt when I connected to the Internet in our cozy little place in Shanghai, China and found out that Blogspot, along with several other sites like Facebook and Youtube, was blocked off!! What's more, my beloved Pandora refused to work, saying it could no longer provide service to me since I was outside of the USA. :(

Thus, my daily blogging ritual (and other Internet rituals except for email) was put to a halt for an entire month.

But, as you can see, I back now! HURRAY! *fireworks* Did you miss me? =D Well, I must say that I missed you all, and am so happy to see that none of you gave up on my blog, despite my sudden disappearance.

To put it very simply, my vacation in China was...BUSY! I kept a journal of events for -almost- every day we were away and now the pages are all filled up. We stayed for 1 week less than we usually do, and therefore had to cram all of our to-do's, to-go's, and to-eat's all in just a matter of approximately 3.857 weeks, according to my handy-dandy Blackberry calculator.

I cannot possibly copy my entire leaflet of records into my blog, so here's a rough breakdown of what I did, week by week:

Week 1: Met up with family, attended the World Expo of 2010, clothes shopping!, and explored Shanghai's greatest attractions.

Week 2: Travelled to Beijing AND Shenyang, did tons of sightseeing, visited China universities, gobbled up exotic foods (duck heart dumplings, anyone?)

Week 3: Book shopping, travelled to Nanjing, learned mahjong

Week .857: Visited more universities, met with more family, came home

Whew! As you can see, my 1st and 2nd weeks away were definitely the busiest. It's been pretty tiring, especially since we had a few casualities (such as an almost stolen camera, a horrifying stye, sore wisdom teeth, and uncomfortable bowel problems, yuck!), but overall the trip was very educational and never boring---a perfect vacation right before I go to college!

Now that I am back and the climax of my summer 2010 is over, there are many things to be done in such little time! I have less than a month to get everything packed up for college. My boyfriend and I will be hosting a yard sale, which I am extremely excited about!

Pictures from China's vacation will be posted soon!

In addition, I created my first Gmail Account and have a new email address specifically for my fellow bloggers and followers like you to contact me! Questions, comments, suggestions for blog improvement, and other can be emailed to me at:


So, you tell me: Have you accomplished what you wanted so far during the summertime? Are you looking forward to going back to school/work, or have you thoroughly enjoyed the lazy days of doing nothing productive? (hehe)

This is my 50th blog post of the year! =D


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