Trip to Beijing

As you may have notice, I don’t have so much time to update my blog lately. As many other blogs, this one is turning into a mere log of my trips around Asia…

It doesn’t help much to solve this, but here are some pics of my last trip to Beijing with Alex. Nevertheless, I promise to tell you more stories about Seoul as soon as I have some free time again (work, Korean exams, job interviews, etc. have been keeping me busy all this time).

DSC_3462
First funny picture of the trip. Two workers made turns to carry each other in this little car… in the middle of a four-lane avanue.

DSC_3483
Entrance of the Lama Temple.

DSC_3492
With Alex, my travel mate.

DSC_3588
InTiananmen, undoubtedly one of the must-see spots in Beijing, where in 1989 the famous revolution about the Chinese communist dictatorship took place (more info here: video 1, video 2).

DSC_3672
Another view of Tiananmen, from the top.

DSC_3702
At the Silk Market (where more than Silk, all kinds of fake products are sold). I bought these two girls a pair of fake Adidas for 60 yuan (9 USD). Kind of expensive, but they were so cute…

DSC_3533
A hair shop in the middle of the street?

DSC_3689
What would Mao say about this…?

DSC_3720
Of course, we also visited  The Great Wall of China.

DSC_3799
One of the hobbies of Chinese people is the artistic writing of Chinese ideograms. At the huge Summer Palace, this woman spent the whole morning writing with this stick that she dip into a bucket with water. Obviously, after a few minutes, the characters were gone.

DSC_3854
This seems to be another hobbie of Chinese. I don’t know how to call that.

DSC_3880
Right before going back to the airport, a picture with “The Nest” at the background, where Usain Bolt made history with his record.

Of course, I can’t leave without thanking my friend and coworker Peque, great friend and better person, who arranged our housing in Beijing and showed us the city’s nightlife, and my friend and Korean-mom Ga-Young, who made time in her busy student schedule to meet us and spend some time with us. Hope I can see you guys again soon! 🙂

Trip to Shanghai

Shame on me for uploading the post with the trip to Shanghai with almost two months delay… but well, here is the result:D

We were lucky enough to visit Shanghai during Chinese New year, which is always celebrated some day between January 21st and February 21st (this year it was on februray 7th), depending on the lunisolar calendar.

The result was just awesome. Being the country of gunpowder you can imagine how Chinese celebrate their New Year… in China, not only can anybody buy a firecracker, but they can also buy true loads of gunpowder, children, adults… the point is to make noise, the more the better. As a sample of this, take a look at these videos, taken on New Year’s midnight in any street of Shanghai:

As for the city, Shanghai is full of contrasts, even more than Seoul. As soon as you leave the Bund, which is the “rich” area where all the skyscrapers are, the impression is sometimes that of going back in time like thirty years, poverty, ugly buildings, dirtiness…

I had the chance to meet other two ICEX interns, Alberto (Ho Chi Minh) and Javi (Hong Kong) also on a trip, as well as the local intern, Quique. You can also take a look at their posts about Shanghai (here, here, here, here, here, here y here) much more elaborated than mine (I’m sorry, but my days need more hours…).

Also, I could spend some days with Azusa, a friend from my American days with whom I also spent some days when I went to Japan, and who finally decided to join us in Shanghai. Tanja, also came with us from Seúl as part of her vacation period.

IMG_2132
In the subway, from left to right, Alex, Ciro, Carlos, Itzíar, and Jairo.

IMG_2134
The typical picture, with the Bund and its Pearl Tower on the background. It was a little cloudy, as it is usual in Shanghai (we were very lucky that it didn’t rain indeed).

DSC_0521
One of the communist-oriented commercials that Adidas released for the Olimpic Games. (More of this series at el blog de chinochano.)

IMG_2136
The almost-finished Shanghai World Financial Center on the left (492 m.) and the Jin Mao Tower on the right (421 m., although it looks taller becaouse of the perspective). Once finished, the first one will be the tallest building in the world (not including antennas).

DSC_0541
Decorations for the New Year in the Old Town. Being New Year’s it was a national holiday, which explains why the lots of heads 🙂

IMG_2183
Next to the Old Town, there was the Yuyuan Garden, one of the most popular gardens in China. This is one of its lakes.

DSC_0564
The Old Town with lighting.

IMG_2221
Having dinner with Azusa.

DSC_0628
We also went to Zhouzhuang a city one hour by bus from Shanghai also known as the “Chinese Venice” (in spite of the evident differences…).

DSC_0653
Azusa and Tanja. I like this pic:)

You can see all the (many) pictures from the trip here.

¡Happy Year of the Rat!