Tale of Two Cities

There are so many things going on, that I did not have time, to write this longer blog entry. Good that wordpress allows me to date back, so nobody will know that this was posted only in April.

My parents came to visit us in Shanghai and went with us on the big tour of Shanghai and Hong Kong. We had a full program, so here is the summary.

They arrived on Michis Birthday. On the special occasion, we wen to Lost Heaven on the Bund for dinner (sweat and sour pork was superb). After a walk on the Bund, we took the obligatory first evening drink at the usual Hyatt Bar with great view on the Lujiazui Skiline.

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Saturday’s (27.02.) adventures have already been reported on here.

Sunday (28.02.), we started with an easy breakfast at Baker and Spice at the Shanghai Center. With our bellies filled up, the next stop was WW Chan for some shirts. My dad had a set of shirts made and I could not resist to get one, as well. We walked down Nanjing Lu (with a detour via the small animal market on Jiangyin Lu.

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At People Square, we mingled with the people on the marriage market (parents write key information of their kids (gender, birthday and income) on paper and pin it to umbrellas for other parents to read. Fortunately, not many children follow this match making).

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From people square, we took the subway to Yu Yuan, to mix with the weekend crowd and had some famous ice cream before we headed to our usual/favorite night market for dinner.

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Monday (29.02.), Tuesday (01.03.), Michi and I had to work. So we sent my parents on their own expedition. Monday night, we went for small hotpot dinner in the Superbrand Mall. Tuesday, we had a quiet night preparing for our departure to Hongkong.

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Wednesday (02.03.) morning, we took of to our fourth trip to Hongkong (there cannot be enough). We had booked rooms again at the iClub in Sheung Wang, where Michi and I had stayed last January.

First stop is Victoria Harbor. Hongkong feeling, here we come. From there we go (almost) directly to Sams for suites (Birthday and Christmas presents for my parents) and shirts with a small detour via ChungKing Mansion.

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The weather is beautiful 17C when we walk through Kowloon Park and hit the Tempel Street Night Market. Our favorite restaurant disappoints us  a little bit; maybe we were a bit early in the evening. We console ourselves with some awesome egg waffels (they never ever let you down) at Jordan/Nathan.

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Thursday (03.03.), was our Hongkong Madness Day. Breakfast at Lin Huang, Milk Tea and Coffe-Tea at the Escalator. Stop at Sam’s for first fitting. And then diving into Mong Kock Street markets. Ladies Market, a wet market, Flower Market and Bird Market.

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With our heads buzzing, we made it back to Hongkong Island and up on the Victoria Peak just in time for a beautiful sunset. On our way home, late at night (ca. 23:00) we meet many people waiting in line in front of the Sheung Wang tempels. Apparently, there is a festival where you borrow fake money in the temple to pray for real fortune in the coming year.

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Friday (04.03.) morning, we went to see the temple again and have breakfast directly opposite. We spend the morning shopping on Hollywood Road and Cat Street (we bought our third Little Mao and a great Lenin Statue. We are quite set on memorabilia, now), and strolled through the dried seafood streets around the Western Market.

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Early noon, we took the subway and bus to the far west of Hongkong Island, the Shek’o Park to hike the Dragon’s Trail. The first part, walking upwards from the bus stop, was clearly the most spectacular part. On the second part, we covered some distance in the forest (perfect temperatures), while all of a sudden, we stepped out of the forest and onto Big Wave Beach. Great feeling to put your feet in the water, eat some ice cream and watch the surfers. Everything only about 45 minutes away from Central.

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Fresh from the beach, we went to Sams for fittings and took a sundowner in the Peninsula Bar (nice view but obstructed by some shades fixed to the window). After a long day, we went for some Michelin recognized wonton nudel soup and beer with the Brits at the Escalator.

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Saturday (05.03.), we had breakfast at our favorite place in Wan Chai, the Flying Pan. To get there, we took the DingDing (fortunately, it was quite empty. also, smartly, we had bought some octupus cards, which made traveling on public transport much easier). So we had a big egg and bacon breakfast. To loose it again, we took a long walk from Wan Chai via the parks to Central, where we took the boat to revisit Mong Kock, esp. the Computer Markets, and Fish Markets.

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We have a bear at the Knutsford Terrace (Michi and I had had a Hotel on Observatory Road, just around the corner, last year) before we went to Sams for final pickup. Because Sam himself had measured Michis neck size wrong, her shirts had to be shipped to Shanghai.

With our clothes in hand, we, this time, went to the Ritz Carlton Bar. Much nicer at the 118 floor of the Kowloon IFC tower with open roof and a beautiful view. From there, we went straight home to bed.

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Sunday (06.03.), we repeated the breakfast at the Flying Pan, but at Central. Same food but different flair. After breakfast, we went on a final walk through Central, in particular to see the Maids Picknick, where many thousand maids, mainly from the Philippines, gather in the streets for a Sunday picknick (to get out of the house, i.e. their workplace).

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From their, super efficiently, as always, to the airport and back to Shanghai.

Monday (07.03.) My parents left and Michi and I had to go back to work (actually, I went on the next adventure to the Ghost town of Ordos Kangbashi).

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