1279 marks the start of the Yuan Dynasty, declared by Kublai Khan of the Mongols. It was the first time China was ruled by foreigners. By this point, the Song Dynasty only had rule over southern [Read more…]
After my night out in Shanghai, having arrived almost 24 hours late, I was ready to begin my first full day in China. It was also time for my first day trip. I took the subway out to the western part of the city to Shanghai’s ultra-modern station for high-speed trains. Let me tell you, China’s main train stations are like airline terminals. And this one takes the cake, as it’s the largest train station in Asia. As with all high-speed trains I rode in China, the train cruised along at about 180 miles per hour. (This was the same speed as the Maglev train I took from the airport on Day 1.) At about 10 a.m., I arrived in Hangzhou (pronounced “hung-joe”) (formerly known as Hangchow).
Shanghai is known for its dumplings, especially its soup dumplings. Soup dumplings are filled with pork and a soupy liquid. If you’re not careful, the soup will burn your tongue and face when you bite into the dumpling. Everything I read told me that the best place for soup dumplings was Yang’s Fry-Dumpling. So that was the first place I headed to upon arriving in Shanghai. Using extremely limited Chinese and some pointing, I ordered 4 dumplings at the counter. I didn’t see any Diet Coke, just a cabinet with bottles of brightly colored beverages. Having limited linguistic tools at my disposal, I ordered “huang”. In other words, “Give me the yellow one.”
Understanding the (quite long) history of China is helpful in appreciating its fascinating sights. Every week while I’m sending out the pictures of my trip to China, I’ll add a post on Chinese history. In a perfect world, I’d match up the history with the sights for that week. But I don’t think I could quite get that to work, so I’ll just go chronologically. Chinese civilization goes back about 10,000 years. I’ll cover the first [Read more…]
Welcome to Shanghai! Welcome to China!
I got into China almost a full 24 hours late because my connecting flight out of Seattle was delayed. (It was annoying, but still not as bad as the nightmare I had [Read more…]