Thursday, April 07, 2011


Well it's been too long since I have done this blogging malarkey, but as my new job role requires me to have my finger on the pulse of all things social media/social networking and the all encompassing world of digital marketing - I thought I'd better do my bit and show willing. Since I fisrt attempted this in 2005 a lot has changed and many new blogs have come and gone - I'm now a fully fledged tweeter, facebooker and my Linked In profile does not sound like me - until you see the picture. Well I'm signing off now as it's time to rest, had the pleasure of my 2yr old godson for company tonight, whilst his mum gave birth to his brother and the little fella has run us ragged.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 13 - Wednesday

With only a few days left before the end of our trip - although the weather has turned and the mist and smog is returning back to coat the city we decided today would be the day to take a trip up the 2nd highest building in the world.

In the eyes of some, the building resembles a giant bottle opener.

(The three buildings in red are still to be completed!)

The skyscraper was topped out at 492.0 meters (1,614.2 ft) and became the second tallest building in the world; as well as the tallest structure on mainland China, including Hong Kong. It is currently the world's tallest completed building by roof.

The Shanghai World Financial Center is a supertall skyscraper in Shanghai. It is a mixed use skyscraper consisting of offices, hotels, observation decks, and shops on the ground floors. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the hotel containing 174 rooms and suites. On opening, this hotel became the highest in the world, surpassing the Grand Hyatt Shanghai in the neighboring Jin Mao Tower.

We were expecting a roller-coaster ride that left stomachs churning on the ground while we hurtled ever upwards, but the journey was incredibly smooth, only the sound of whistling wind and the fact that our ears popped gave away the fact we had climbed 94 floors in less than a minute.

There are 3 observation decks in Shanghai World Financial Center. The height of its lowest observation deck is 423 m (1,388 ft), on the 94th floor, the second is 439 m (1,440 ft) high, on the 97th floor, named "Observatory Bridge" and the highest is 474 m (1,555 ft) high, on the 100th floor.
The skyscraper's roof height is set at 492 m, and has temporarily claimed the highest roof in the world.


The view looking out over the Bund and Huangpu river

The pic on the left shows you Pudong in 1990 and the pic on the right is pudong as it looks today.

Garry & Jodie larking about on the 94th floor - which can be hired out for private parties, coporate events and publicity launches - Sam briefely considering holding his 40th Birthday party here - That was until discussions turned to how much the hiring out of the room may actualy cost!!

The three main towers from ground level (l-r) Jin Mao, Bottle Opener, Oriental Pearl.

After the trip up the tower it was time for lunch - we decided to head back to Malones where we celevbrated by 30th - this is a pic of the stage that I was dragged up on to sing Happy Birthday to myself!
After I beat Sam at a couple of games of pool it was time for home, food and sleep!!

On the way to the car we were the amusement of this crowd of locals who where doing the 'crouching tiger, hidden dragon' pose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 12 - Tuesday

Today we started off with a trip out to PC Mall - this was 5 floors dedicated to PC's, Laptops, mobile Phones and all and everything computery. Gaz and Sam were loving it - I was bored out of my brain, but endured!

Josie not feeling to well today had made the best choice and stayed home!

<- This was just one of the sights I saw - Spot the gloves these were sellotaped to the handlebars of the bike. This is a familiar site throughout the city.

After PC Mall it was time for a trip to one of the museums - Starting with the Shangai Science & Technology Museum.

The first exhibition was the Animal Kingdom - this was more enjoyable than the Wild Animal Park visit from Saturday as it was warm and the views of the animals were better...

We didn't see this sort of movement or violence at the Safari park..

We then ventured through the Bat-Cave where Garry and Sam proceeded to display their knowledge of the Batman theme tune!
In the Robotics Exhibition we saw the dancing robot arms - that also displayed their car making skills as well as dancing skills.
There ws also the Piano playing robot who was activated by performers singing karaoke on the screen behind - now she didn't do much moving as the visitors all seemed to shy - and us biys couldn't help out as we can't read Chinese!!
In the Human & Health exhibition we had the choice of sitting inside a giant fruit on a ride taking us inside the human digestive system - This creature 'according to the ride' lives inside us - their was also some bizarre talking faces!
The journey starts with us looking like this - We start in the mouth, down the throat. You know how it all works. There were bubbles in the stomache...etc...etc... although what surprised us was the exit ... yes we were excreted through the arse by little babies wearing crowns that play with poo - Well that's what the ride was telling us
After our trip through the Body it was time for Outer Space - here Garry decided to take a ride on a Gyroscope - or something. (one of them thingies that spins you all upside down and around and around - see pic) The thing is I'd have been throwing up and screaming to get off whilst wondering what assortment of treats had fallen out of my pockets - Garry decided to laugh all the way through his experience.
After another day off fun it was time for home to check up on the poorly patient and to order Pizza for Dinner.. Mmm!!! food, drink and then sleep.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 11 - Monday

After the last two days of drunken debauchery we were all looking forward to a nice relaxing and quiet day - although we had to be up and out for 10am as the maid comes at this time..

So off we travelled, the gorgeous warm weather we had last week has dissapeared and it is teeth chatteringly cold again - although not before Garry insisted on us taking more pictures of the view from the apartment - as this is one of the things we will miss the most!
We decided to take a trip to the Jade Buddha Temple although we have alreadys been to see three other temples what harm could another do - maybe all these temples will bring about some spiritual enlightenment or speed up my trancendence - well once you've seen one Buddha Temple you ahve seen them all - although so we thought.

This temple contained 3 Jade Buddhas all carved from single pieces of Jade - one of which is guarded by security cameras and cost an extra 10RMB to go and take a look at - unfortunately we were unable to take photos of the 2 smaller jade buddhas - although were were allowed to photograph the Sleeping Buddha, which was the largest of them all - (we are still scratching our heads at this one)

We also took fed the Koi Carp in the pond in the temple grounds - although we couldn't take pictures unless we were going to feed the fish - so after paying £3 for a tiny bag of fish food (this cost more than the entry fee to the temple) we fed the fishies and took lots of photographs!
After the temple it was time for more shopping at Hong Qiao pearl market - this has a whole floor dedicated to pearls and made to measure jewellery which the stall holders would alter to fit there and then...It also gave Jodie the opportunity to once again show us her bartering skills when she managed to strike yet another deal!!
After another busy day it was time for an evening of relaxing...

Day 10 - Sunday

Despite awaking with a sore head and feleing a littel rough - I had been waiting for today for months before we came to Shangai - We were going to have what has been describeds as the 'World's Best Brunch' It was one of the most amazing deals at the Westin Hotel in Puxi.

The whole day was about enjoying the city's most celebrated Sunday Brunch, with its sumptuous buffet spread and entertaining live performances. For about £55 each we could dine on just about everything!

There was food stations all over that included some of the last beluga caviar, sushi, lobster, peking duck, smoked salmon, stonebaked pizza, kebab skewers, prime rib, BBQ pork, chinese dumpling, fruits, desserts, you name it we could fill our plates with it again, again, again and again if there was still room!!

Included in the price was unlimited Mumm Champagne refills, Mojito cocktails along with drinks ranging from make your own cocktail bar, wine, and beer.

Also included in the price is their floor show that is worth the cost alone. Acts include Chinese opera, acrobatics, modern Chinese music, dancing and more.

Now you are all probably realising what I was thinking, yes I was in heaven all the food I could eat and all the drink my liver could take!!!

Well throughout the meal the champagne glass was kept filled, there was at least two other drinks on the table at all times (one of these was water) Jodie and myself tried out a few cocktails, hers being Kahlua, Baileys and Chocolate Vodka...this was yummy. my preffered snifter was - Raspbery Vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, lemon juice topped up with fresh orange juice.. Oh and did i forget to mention it was self-service so I could do Mark measures!!! ;0)

It was one of the most memorable meals we have ever had and a highlight of our trip to Shanghai.

After the meal we had to spend the evening relaxing...we were all rather full and despite Sam and Garry getting a taste for the Champagne it was Jodie and Me that were feeling a little squiffy.

Day 9 - Saturday

Well today was my 30th Birthday - woke up not knowing what what is in store as today was all dependent upon the weather. First surprise was the apartment had banners up wishing me happy birthday - these were in English and Chinese - well we hope the chinese ones said Happy Birthday!! Then it was time for cards and pressies!! ;0D

After the obligatory birthday proceeding were out the way and I spent the usual 45mins getting myself ready to face the outside world - Although today I allowed a little more time to check for any extra 30th B'day wrinkleage!!

Time for the todays trip - If it was raining it would be a day at the museums, if it was dry then it would be a surprise to me where we would be going - It wasn't raining so I had no idea what we were doing - and those who know me know how much I don't like not knowing what was going on!?

We ended up at Shangai Wild Animal Park other than being cold we were all looking forward to seeing the animals - especailly the Lions and Tigers and Panda Bears.

We started off with the bus tour around the carniverous animal section of the park - this can best be described as a Benny Hill type bus tour where we sped around the park - only stopping for the occasional sight of one of the animals by the side of the bus - it was great fun and nice to not the one's on show for a change!!

After the whistle-stop bus trip we decided to grab some Birthday lunch in one of the 3 restaurants in the park, after sitting down they laid a cling film tablecoth on the table, we scanned the menu stood up and exited not feeling hungry anymore - other than rice there was nothing that taking our fancy!

We then tried out the fast food joint and the choice was chicken drumstick burger or chicken wings - this would of been ok if the chicken in question wasn't deforsting on the tea urn.... we didn't fancy food poisoning so left rather sharpish...after looking at the other eateries we settled for a snack stop of, Soupy noodles, Crips and Galaxy chocolate!!

It was then time to venture around the rest of the park - where the animals looked worse than we felt - the big animals were kept in tiny pens with nothing to amuse themselves with and the smaller animals had more space than they knew what to do with but spent all their time scavenging for food off the Chinse visitors that obviously couldn't read the no-feeding signs and were throwing in crisps, nuts and rice crackers - the ape was even been thrown sweets still in there wrappers!!

Some escapees - I'll you decide who I'm talking about!!?

After what was an entertaining morning it was time to head back to get ready for the evening out.

Not before being surprised once more with a Birthday Cake - Sweet things aren't the norm in China so this was a surprise. it was a gorgeous coffee and chocolate creation.. mmm!! Cake...

The night started of rather sedate with a gorgeous meal at Cafe Le Monde a resturant with authentic New Orleans cuisine, after feeding it was time for drinking - we hit Malones where the live music of house band 'Jagged Edge' provided us with plenty of entertainment to keep us wanting more cocktails - that is until I got called up on stage to sing Happy Birthday to myself in front of a crowd full of people - well I say sing Happy Birthday all I had to say were the words "to me" the band and crowd sung the rest (luckily I don't have pics of this)

All in all it was another great day and a Birthday I could never forget........

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 8 - Friday

Today was going to be a trip to one of the local water towns - but we had a last minute change of plan and started the day off with a visit of Longhua Temple.

This temple was so much nicer and grander that Jing'an temple it was actually recommended as a must see by the driver.

Similar to Jing'an temple, the worshippers would come and smoke the place out with the lighting of josh sticks - smelt nice - hurt eyes!!

Each of the individual buildings had a different Buddah inside this was one of the best with appox 1000 Buddahs each with there own significance sitting around the temple.

Within the grounds of the temple it was just so tranquil and relaxing to sit and people watch.

After leaving the temple we went over the road to KFC for lunch. Eating fast-food over here has put me off it back home. the chicken is rwal meat - none of this processed crap and for 2 KFC meals it was £6 that was 2 Zinger burgers, large popcorn chicken, large fries and drinks.. bargain!!
This bloke was carrying 10 bottles of Oil home on his Bike - I'm not surprised he was pushing it, I can't imagine him riding it back!!

Took this pic to show you how they seem to dry the washing over here - this is seen everywhere we see the apartment blocks - they thread the clothes through bamboo rods and prop them out the window! If it wasn't so dusty it wouldn't be a bad thing!!

After returning back to Puxi we took a trip on the Huanpu river up to where it meets the Yangtze river - it was a 3 hour cruise to rest our feet!!

This was just one of the sights we saw up the river - these guys were apparently hosing something down - but it looked more like they were topping the river back up again!!

Just to show you that they even dry their clothes whilst out on the river..

This is a view of the Bund from the river - The Bund is a lovely looking row of early 1900's buildings with fantastic architecture and a part of the history of early Shangai but when you actually see them you could be in any City in the world - Shangai has so much more to see than old buildings that could just as well be in London, Manchester - I think there may actually be a few like it in Stoke!!!

Although a majority of Shangai is like a concrete jungle there are hidden gems amongst it that show parts of ancient china and the china we see in the films..these boats moored up on the Bund promenade were just so beautiful...

Day 7 - Thursday

Today we took a walk up one of tha main shopping streets in Shangai - Nanjing Xi Lu. The Pedestrianised end of Nanjing Road.

The road was made up of Designer stores, Coffee shops and fast food booths as well as the usual street seller offering watches, shoe bags or anything we want... at one point Garry was offered hash-hish and spa-lady massage!!

At the middle of the road where Nanjing Dong Lu meets with Nanjing Xi Lu is where Peoples Park can be found - it's haven of peace and tranquility in the middle of the busy shops and roads

It's that peaceful within the park that this tired chap decided to take a kip on the pavement!
I've been told this sight isn't all that uncommon on the if i see more I shall be sure to capture them on camera..

We finished our walk up Nanjing Lu with a trek up and down the Bund and the Bund Promenade - the views from here of the Pudong and the towers was superb - especially with it being such a clear sunny day - I think the temperature was in the early 20's

After the trek on the Bund we took a taxi over to Pudong to the opposite view of the Bund form over the river - just as the sun was setting... Feet were hurting and it was time for food drink or both....
The one thing about this holiday is that i don't think I have ever walked so much...yet i'm craving sweet sugary snacks so much that I don't think I'll lose any weight!