Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shanghai Suzie

At the beginning of the month we visited my daughter Kate-Lynn who is teaching English in Busan, South Korea for the year. I have always wanted to visit Shanghai so I made it a mission to stop there first en route to Korea. It is only a 1 1/2 hour flight from Shanghai to Busan, Busan being on the east coast in a similar location in relation to the country as Durban is to South Africa. Korea is sort of sandwiched inbetween China and Japan.. you can see Nagasaki and Hiroshima which is about a 2 hour ferry ride to the east and Shanghai to the west. My son Mark flew from Cape Town and I flew from Durban, meeting up with him in Dubai and then catching the same flight to Shanghai where we met up with Shanghai Suzie, the daughter of a good friend of ours, Paul, from the Blarney Brothers, Durban's best Beerfest musicians.

Showing Busan on the east coast of South Korea, Shanghai, China to the left, and Japan to the right

The Shanghai skyline wearing my Durban Skyye golfer

Mark posing in Shanghai

Figuring out our whereabouts the old-fashioned way

The amazing buildings of Shanghai

After walking the main shopping streets it was time to fine a Metro back to the hotel

Shanghai is stunning at night as seen from the Indigo Hotel Skybar

We met up with Durban girl Suzie who has been living in Shanghai for 10 years - she took us to the best best view spot and a lovely restaurant for dinner

Sampling the local brew - not cheap at about R80 a bottle

A bit hazy but incredible city lights nevertheless

Drinks and dinner with Suzie and Charman

Suzie took us on a wild taxi ride around Shanghai finding the South African bar, Cape Grape or Grape Vine and of course Durban was on top

This was about 1am and we were ready to find our way back after a great night out in Shanghai

Very informative

We had found our hotel around 1.30am after arriving in Shanghai at midnight to find the train service closed at that time.. so it took quite a bit to find a late bus and then walk some with my street map of Shanghai but the hotel was amazing, close to People's Square and perfectly located for our whistle-stop visit.

Street scene in Shanghai

I had the beef noodles (for breakfast) reasonable priced at R25 but it was really soup with plenty of noodles and about 5 baby fingernail-sized sliver's that could have been beef

The child labour served us and Mark was not sure that this was really supposed to be breakfast.. will have to find more food

Ok, we'll go this way

The Maglev (Magnetic levitation) train was closed on the night of our arrival, but we managed to catch it back to the Airport when we left for Korea

We're on our way to the Airport, first by Metro, then we switched lines to the MAGLEV train

The Maglev train - magnetic levitation floating along the rails got to a cracking speed of 300 kmh

Nearing our top speed of 300 kmh

Dad /Son MC tattoos - for Mark's 21st

We're checking in for our flight on China Eastern Airlines for our flight from Shanghai to Korea - they upgraded us to Business Class and what an amazing airline. Fantastic service all the way and great food! Highly recommended

China Eastern - the way to fly

Our first view of the islands in the Yellow Sea close to Korea

Our first glimpse of South Korea.. what an amazing, advanced, clean and beautiful part of the world - and huge apartment blocks

We landed at Gimhai International Airport in Busan - Busan is huge as well, the city stretching like from Durban to Cato Ridge or Pietermaritzburg - an hour from side to side on the speedy Metro

What a huge surprise when my daughter Kate met us at the airport on our arrival in Korea

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