And back to Shanghai

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Shanghai, Shanghai, China
I suspect some of you were thinking the reason no blog was posted yesterday was that we were down with Delhi belly (Beijing bottom, Shanghai sh...s?) after the dishes in the canal incident the day before. Well I am pleased to say you are wrong, yesterday was a day of rest and recuperation and therefore of little interest to anyone other than ourselves so we did not trouble you all. Actually it was pouring with rain during the morning.

Encouraged by the complete lack of side effects from some very dubious looking cooking facilities we tried a few more eateries and had two excellent meals, lunch, two plates of food plus 1 .8 litres of beer was the princely sum of £7.00, dinner £15 for two including another 1.8 litres of beer. The only snag is that the town is famous for its pork knuckle and steamed fish dishes so it is very difficult to get anything else and the snails were a no no. No idea what happens to the rest of the pig.

We enjoyed our break in Tongli, though at first we were a bit disappointed. Being old building enthusiasts were were expecting to see old buildings, but as I mentioned before they are all either rebuilt or over restored. But once we settled in Tongli is a great place to people watch and potter about, the hotel was the best yet, beautifully furnished and with large rooms. There were several little sitting rooms and a tea room (Chinese style) around a courtyard with a fish pond and ornamental trees where it is nice to sit and read. Very helpful staff even though they don't speak a word of English, except the boss. One snag however with Tongli is you are trapped, it costs £10 each to visit the old town, or more accurately, pass though the checkpoints so once in there has to be a compelling reason to go outside the gates as you will get caught again . So once in we stayed in. Maybe the small guest houses situated inside the village could come to an arrangement so that guests who stay longer than the more usual one night can get passes out and back again.

We are now back in Shanghai having managed to buy the right tickets at the station, find the right platform, coach and seats (you are allocated a seat on Chinese trains) we sped through the countryside on the bullet train at 186mph. It took longer to queue up and get the tickets than it took to travel the 100km to Shanghai. As mentioned before, in Beijing if you don't have a Chinese ID card you can't use the ticket machines and have to queue up behind people with the most complex travel requirements, or so I seems by the amount of time it takes to serve each customer. I seem to be becoming a train bore! (yep, Gill!) I have posted a couple of pictures for any train spotters reading this. Tomorrow we do some museums and the day after will board our last train of the holiday and travel even faster than today, and floating!!!!! All will be revealed in the further exciting adventures of Gill & John Go East.
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2018-02-25