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Winter travels: chill out read more
Dec-31st-2012 | Post by expatree

Winter is here, temperatures dropping lower and lower and shorter days. But it doesn’t mean that we have to hibernate and avoid travelling.
If you live in Shanghai, want to travel in China for a weekend or during the holidays and are adaptable, the cold season won’t stop you. You’ll just need a good rain coat and some extra layers for the outdoor activities… But where to go?

Here are some suggestions depending on how much free time you might have.
If in the warm season it’s nice even just to play the “tourist” in the city you live in, in the winter you’ll prefer to accept the discomfort of walking around in the cold only if you see something particularly interesting or beautiful.
But let’s start from the obvious. A popular Chinese saying goes: “In the sky there is heaven, while here on the earth we have Suzhou and Hangzhou”. The beauty of these two towns dates back a long way.

Nowadays, with the new high s
Train Safety in China read more
Sep-27th-2012 | Post by expatree
Hi speed train

However charming and exciting Shanghai is, after spending months entrenched in the urban jungle, getting out and seeing a bit more of the country is obligatory.  However, deciding the best way to go can be a real challenge. For all of its efficiency, flying is expensive, involves long commutes to and from airports, and requires foregoing the country’s many impressive vistas. Buses are an absolute nightmare: unreliable, slow, difficult to find information about, and deluded with prosaic highway scenery.  For one wanting to both get the lay of the land and travel in relative comfort, the way to travel China par excellence is clearly via railroad. The natural question of course is whether or not to do so is safe.

A tragic accident involving a high-speed train in Wenzhou in July of 2011 did much to dampen the euphoria that has surrounded China’s railroad sector in recent years. The collision of two trains, which was officially attributed to a signaling error, killed 4

Golden October read more
Sep-13th-2012 | Post by expatree

Shanghai Flags

It was the afternoon of the 1st October 1949 when chairman Mao Zedong, in front of a crowd of 300,000 people gathered in Tian'AnMen Square, declaring victory on the war of liberation and the founding of the People's Republic. Chairman Mao himself raised the first five-star PRC flag.
Since then every year in Beijing this is a day of speeches, military parades, state banquets, fireworks and concerts, to commemorate the historic date.

In 2000 the National holiday was extended from one to seven days to give Chinese workers living far from their hometowns the opportunity to return to visit relatives. It has also become a golden opportunity for the Chinese to travel domestically and increasingly to international destinations.

That is why during that week, travelling in China can be quite a challenge and without some previous planning can become particularly expensive. National holiday (国庆节GuóQìng Jié) is the one of two “Golden Weeks” together with the

Discover Spots in Summer: Off the beaten path read more
Aug-2nd-2012 | Post by expatree

Like in any other metropolis, summer in Shanghai is, for most residents here most of the time, an indoor season. The only frequently occurring outdoor activity would be traveling from one air-conditioned place to another, so it seems. To brave the temperature of 35 degrees Celsius or above, it takes some courage, and some ingenuity.

Fun is out there if you set your mind looking for them. What are introduced here are not always on the list of most favored tourist attractions, but that might change because of your discovery.


Xitang (Chinese: 西塘; pinyin: Xītáng) is an ancient scenic town in Jiashan County, Zhejiang Province, China. Its history dates back to at least the Spring and Autumn Period when it was located at the border of the State of Yue and Wu.
Xitang is a water town crisscrossed by nine rivers. The town stretches across eight sections, linked by old-fashioned stone bridges. In the older parts of town, the buildings are set along the banks of the canals, whic

The Chinese train journey - Ticketing. read more
Jul-26th-2012 | Post by expatree

Recent years have seen tremendous progress in rail construction and high speed rail travel has become ubiquitous. The flagship, high-speed (Gaotie, or G-class) line linking Shanghai and Beijing was launched on July 1st. Both the high-speed G-class and slightly slower, but still fast C and D-classes feature very modern cabins and comfortable seating. For weekend jaunts or day trips to Hangzhou, Suzhou, or Nanjing, these are ideal.

Chinese train ticket

Tickets are available at stations and authorized travel agents throughout the city. As the agents are unlikely to speak much English or be too patient, it helps to have your route number memorized. Some stations will even feature special English-speaking windows to assist foreigners. Tickets can even be purchased online here or here. Availability can be a bit unpredictable, so always come armed with a backup plan. Tickets typically go on sale 3-7 days in advance of departure date, but can be purchased further out for newer high-speed trains. Keep your route n

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