I hope everyone is having a lovely 2015 so far! I’m kicking it off with an overseas business trip to China. By the time you read this I’ll be (hopefully) asleep somewhere over the Pacific Ocean en route to Hong Kong. It’s a looong flight so anything that makes it a bit more bearable helps. Here's my list of carry on essentials for international travel:
Those are my essentials, what are some of yours?
I'm not sure how often I'll be posting while overseas, but you can follow me on instagram: farbluemountains (if it's not blocked in China, otherwise I'll be massively uploading pics when I get back!)
Here's the last batch of my China pictures. These are all from the old part of Shanghai, right outside Yu Garden, called the Old City God Temple area. This part of the city surrounds the old temple and dates back to at least the 1400s. It's become a shopping center and a bit touristy, but the amazing architecture is still there. As a bonus, we visited right before Chinese New Year, so the entire old city was decked out in these amazing and bright decorations!
Even though I know it's not true, again, this is how I imagine China. The buildings are amazing and it truly feels like you're in another world. And the over the top New Year decorations just made it even better! Last year was the year of the Dragon and this year is the year of the horse, so horses were everywhere. It was so cool to be able to see a new culture, even if it was very brief. I hope I get to travel to Asia again someday, and not just for business!
We left Hong Kong and headed up to Shanghai where we finished meeting with vendors and finalizing our products. After working 10+ hour days for the last 7 days straight, we were absolutely determined to take in some history and culture before we left. So the morning of our departing flight we woke up at the crack of dawn, finished packing, and headed out to get a quick glimpse of the city before catching our noon flight. We ended up walking into the eye of the storm. Within this busy, gigantic, crowded city lies Yuyuan (or Yu) Garden – a respite from the bustling noise of the outside world.
Yu Garden is a 16th century garden from the Ming Dynasty era located near the “Old City God Temple” part of Shanghai (pictures of that next time). It was built by a government official in the 1500s as a tranquil retreat for his parents. As with most historical buildings it had several owners, various parts were destroyed, it was rebuilt and restored, and the garden opened to the public in the 1960s. Even for all this, it still maintains its peaceful and calming atmosphere and you really do feel like you’ve just stepped back in time. This is what I picture China to look like in my head. Even though I know for a fact that the cities are modernized (and crowded and dirty like any city), when I think of China this is what I see -fish ponds, stone walls, cloisters, and pavilions.
It was amazing and I wish I had more than an hour there. It would be a lovely place to spend an afternoon reading or people watching or meditating or doing tai chi like some people were.
Welcome! I'm Sarah and this is my blog about exploring and adventuring while living in the southwest. You'll find a bit of food, DIY, travel, and geekery in these pages. Glad you're here, stay a bit and say hello!