Mm I don't know how to go about this in an organized manner, so this will just be a stream of photos with my intermittent narration.
Our trip was Shanghai > Hangzhou > Nanjing > Suzhou > Wuxi > back to Shanghai. Then we went to Hong Kong on our own.
Oh yeah, first, since I have no photos of these (for good reason): THE SQUAT TOILETS. They suck. They stink. You can always tell if there's a bathroom nearby by the smell in the air! Half the time the flush doesn't even work. All the used toilet paper is tossed in a bin, so the smell just lingers and lingers. For some reason, sometimes they sell food right outside the bathrooms. LIKE WHY?! I don't know how anybody can think about eating with that smell there.
I drank as little as possible. Between my sis and I, we also brought 5-6 rolls of toilet paper, so it was more than enough. (We left the extra rolls at Grandma's in HK afterwards haha.)
Anyhoo, onto pictures...
From our place to China was a 12 hour flight, 4 hour break at airport, then another 3 hour transfer flight @-@ It's definitely unpleasant.
In my hours of boredom, I made a croissant out of the towel they gave us.
On the plane, I also tried watching Twilight for a laugh....but I fell asleep instead and when I woke up, it was over. After that I just watched lots of TV shows.
Chinese Coca-Cola!!! I thought these were the greatest things when I first saw them! And then they became ordinary lol.
The sky in China is perpetually gray. It's very smoggy and there's always a funny smell in the air. Sometimes the funny smell is toilet.
Lucky for us, it was rainy season when we went, so the temperature hovered around 30 degrees the whole time. Still warm and very sticky, but at least not deadly. It's indeed very humid though. It's hard to breathe when you step outside after being in A/C indoors.
Like everyone warned, traffic is bad. The traffic lights are just for show. If you follow them, you will be run over >8I
I saw 4 cars driving side-by-side on a 3-lane road. Oh yeah, and mopeds are everywhere.
How is this guy not falling? @-@
We went with a bus tour, which was all Asians from overseas. The tour guides spoke in Cantonese and English and had terrible accents in both. Whenever our bus stopped anywhere, vendors would come around and try to sell us things. I guess you learn some useful phrases right away like "wo bu yao" (I don't want). I haggle by walking away =w= it's surprisingly effective.
First city was Shanghai, where I picked up that birdie at a market :3
At the market we also came across this anime/toy store, and found Eli!
My (taller younger) sister and I in Elizabeth hats 8D 8D
At this market we lost 2 people from our bus already. They never came back to the meeting place, and after a 45 minute wait, we left without them =o=;;
..and went to Shanghai Museum:
Lots of sculptures and paintings and such here. I liked the furniture.
And this duck figure 8D
My ancestor was some famous painter during the Yuan dynasty (according to my dad) and this is apparently his painting! He uhh..I don't know.. he paints nice trees.
After our museum visit, the 2 lost people managed to get ahold of a phone, call our tour guide, and we picked them up again, lucky for them :b They had gotten led away by vendors and were sold lots of suitcases. Don't follow strangers in China D:
Grapes above our heads! (in Hangzhou)
Tamarinds too! Ate some (outside of pad thai) for the first time :3
We got to ride a boat on a lake, and later on a canal.
This lady played and sang for us on the boat ride........ unfortunately I couldn't really hear her above the noise of the boat motor =3=
My favorite parts of the China trip are the acrobat shows 8) We got to see 2 of them. They're absolutely superhuman *___* Didn't take pics because I was too busy gaping in awe. I always like the flipping through hoops parts most. At one point, there were 8 motorcycles driving around inside a round metal cage.
My parents however, fell asleep the moment they turn off the lights. At BOTH SHOWS. D8 HOW???
The hotels were very nice as well. These tours are government-sponsored and they put us in awesome 5-star hotels.
The 1st night in, my sister left her shorts at the hotel.
The 2nd night in, I left my tablet charger at the hotel ;-; (Bought a replacement later in HK.)
My sister and I were mesmerized by the window between the room and the bathroom..
Also, free slippers 8D! I kept them at each hotel, now I have 7 pairs hahaha
The free buffet breakfast at each hotel was by far the best meal of each day.
My sister likes her fruits and veggies..
And I like my meat.
Otherwise, the meals were pre-ordered by the tour and the food was pretty blah.
^ A fly in my soup at one lunch.
Nobody got sick from anything though as far as I know. I brought all this Pepto-Bismol along too =o=;
Instead of giving us water, we just had beer at every meal.
Snakes in a jar!!! But we didn't get to eat any
One of the hotels had a pond outside.
Inside were black swans
And ducks! 8)
I love ducks!
Oh no they're leaving D8
Crazy swarms of fish as well. If you walk nearby, they think you're feeding them and will crowd around.
I thought this J-shaped banana was wonderful.
Somebody suggested we try these yangmei (bayberries) which aren't exported outside of China, so I bought some
They're good, but have a funny sourish smell.
We also ate some peach from Wuxi (which was mediocre because they weren't in season yet) and some mango from some island..I forget which, but it was really delicious.
Since it's a government-sponsored thing, we got ushered into all the national goods places that they want to promote: tea, silk, pearls, jade, etc. Anyone touring China with a bus tour will have gone to all these.
They give really convincing speeches but ummmm... the stuff they sell at these places are almost always overpriced, and may or may not be authentic. I'll just leave it at that. They'll also make you stay there for a long time to pressure you into buying something. On the good side, there is air-con.
Tea place. Free tea yay x:
We went to multiple jade places which I grew to hate. The ladies wouldn't stop putting bracelets on me and I couldn't get them off on my own without lotion D8<
Anyway a jade bok-choy 8D
We were there for HOURS. Sis and I bought these silk pencil cases and then got really bored and started taking pointless pics..
There was also this guy who paints inside of hollow glass bottles and teapots, that was pretty cool :0
Thanks to my mosquito-magnet sister, I only got one bite on the trip. She got 3? 4? Haha 8D I don't think it's peak mosquito season yet though.
A pretty garden in Suzhou...
..full of engrish signs!
I think this one is a threat.
My sister the rebel.
Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum at Nanjing:
It's nice..but not sure if it was worth climbing the 392 steps of stairs =A= We had green bean popsicles afterwards to avoid death by exhaustion.
My mom bought a sword here lolll 8'D
Lingshan at Wuxi
Xiangfu temple there
To go in, we had to wear these footbag thingers heehee
It had pretty ceilings and some cool carvings.
The giant buddha statue at Lingshan. Those steps looked too daunting, and it was pouring rain, so we just looked from a distance =v=
BEWARE THIS GIANT BUDDHA FOUNTAIN. It will suddenly spray everyone within a certain distance >80 We fell for it.
On the last day of the tour, they let us go eat on our own 8)
We had xiaolongbaos in Shanghai because it's a must!
They were decent and super super cheap. BUT, not as good as the xiaolongbaos in Hong Kong.
nom nom nom nom they were so ridiculously good
Also, tofu pudding *-* This tofu-fa place has been around since I lived in HK as a kid. I used to eat there in preschool. Still so good :L
Also, roast whole suckling pig!
I bought a bunch of random items in both China and HK, but too lazy to take more photos now. We bargained shamelessly 8D Got stuff like 30HK$ shirts (about $4) and some retarded toys meant for much younger children.
My cousin lives near the Peak so he drove us up. The sky in HK is a billion times bluer than that in China.
I don't have many pics of HK since it's fairly familiar grounds :b We just ate and shopped a lot, visited relatives, and picked up our government rebate 8Dv (yay free money)
There was a typhoon when we went to HK, so we walked around outside in it 8) The weather was pretty wonky while we were there, lots of sudden pouring rain, followed by bright sun, then pouring again 5 min later.
Ok that's it. Sorry for ultra long post xD;