A Travellerspoint blog

Hard to Leave Home


Our plane needed to pulled back to the gate from the runway in SFO due to mechanical problem. The extra two hours were must needed for me to finish my absentee ballot, and convinced one of the technicians to drop if into the mailbox for me on his way getting off the plane. I was having a flashback as the last time I mailed out our absentee ballot from the airport, Aaron was in the race...

By the time we arrived in Shanghai Pudong International Airport, it was almost 10PM. I made a few phone call to secure a hotel close to the Bund because the other hotel Shannon booked was a bit off downtown.

Astor's House was built in 1846, and was one of the most luxuries hotels in Shanghai in the early 20th century. Now a youth hostel (but it is not cheap by any standard), it is at the north end of the Bund, next to Russian Consulate. We fell in love with the colonial style architecture immediately. The standard double room, was very basic and the bathroom was very unattractive. However, staying in a room next to where President Grant used to stay in 1921 made us feel a great sense of history. Among the many of its famous guests are the former Prime Minister of China, Zhouenlai, Albert Einstein, Charles Chaplin, etc.

Shanghai's midnight is a quiet in the Bund, we fond a fast food chain for midnight snacks, which was surprisingly good. This has been a long day.

Posted by travelchic 06:58 Archived in China Tagged air_travel Comments (0)


Start of another epic trip


Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006

Every one of our trips seem to start with extreme anxiety and stress – work always reaches the unbearable stage; we never seem to have time to finish all the errands; there are always more things to pack than I want; our schedules are filled up to the hours before our plane takes off… Maybe we need to stop doing these epic trips, or maybe we should simply move to Europe.

For the first time ever, I packed, mostly, three days before my trip. Glad that I can reuse my South America trip packing list. More important, many of my friends gave me advice as they took similar trips recently – for example, Lucy’s parents gave me a SIM card for use in China, couple Octopus cards for transportation in Hong Kong, and some Diamox, for which I didn’t bother to call Dr. Fong because I knew he’s not going to like it. Just checked my Sierra Trading Post order, which arrived San Francisco UPS facility at 1:45 AM. I should receive it later today. It has a few items I want to bring with me this trip. Still a few more things to do: getting travel insurance, medical insurance, medicine, etc. I might not pack any lotion, sun block, tooth paste, etc. instead I will buy them in China so I can do a carry-on only (waiting for the luggage in the luggage claim is one of the most time wasting activities invented by human). Again, I think I need to stop doing trips that require me to pack clothes for more than two seasons of weather types.

Shannon, my long time travel agent in China (found her on the internet back in 2002 when there wasn’t many travel information for China online), confirmed all four of our Chinese domestic flights (good thing that they finally move to eTickets). I still don’t know whom our driver is in Yunnan though Big Brother, my driver for my Sichuan to Tibet overland trip (check my TravelLog for details), told me that his friend will take care of us.

Here is the itinerary planned:

  • From SFO to Shanghai, and spend couple days there including visiting Suzhou.

  • From Shanghai to Lijiang, Yunnan, from where we will start a seven-day overland trip to Zhongdian, Daocheng, Yading (in Sichuan), then back to Lijiang. This will be the toughest part of our trip because we will go over a few 4500M or above mountains. I just learned that it started snow last week.

  • After resting for a day or so in Lijiang, we will fly to Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan; and then to Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi.

  • From Nanning, we will do a road trip to Detian Waterfall at the border of Vietnam and China for three days.

  • Back from Detian, we will take a train to Guilin and Yangshuo, where we will rest for couple of days before heading to Guangzhou, my hometown to celebrate grandma’s 92nd birthday, and to see my uncle who finally could walk again after a recent surgery.

  • We will fly back from Hong Kong, just in time for the American’s crazy holiday shopping season.

Time to get ready for another long work day…

Posted by travelchic 05:33 Archived in China Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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