Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not Shanghai: Day 12

The hotel had a decent breakfast buffet with various Chinese breakfast treats.

On to the tour bus. Our "fearless leader" the ever soft spoken but constantly talking Xiao Yang.

My aunt Marjorie gave me this weird fruit. Apparently it is sometimes cooked. Based on my one experience with this raw fruit, I think they should always be cooked. It was awful!

Traveling south from Shanghai, we are on the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, the world's 2nd longest bridge we were told but checking on wikipedia, I found that it is only the 5th longest bridge in the world but it is China's second longest so maybe there was a misinterpretation or something. At 35.7 km, it shadows to the Bang Na Expressway in Thailand which spans 54 km.

I guess they are building some sort of rest stop in the middle of the bridge. It felt like it took half an hour to get across the bridge. O__o

Stopping in for lunch.

At a hotel with a ridiculous lobby, sort of in the middle of nowhere. One of those places whose extravagance did not match up with the rest of the town.

Battered potatoes. These were decent but who wants to load up on starches this early in the meal?

This soup had some sort of strange fuzzy leaf in it.

Fish #2 of the tour.

Clam w/ steamed eggs.

String beans with Mei Gan Cai, a local ingredient that's quite good.

A beautiful mountain of Wibble with a skirt of Mei Gan Cai (great with Wibble)

Chicken & Squash


What you see...

Tasty corn cake. It's crunchy and sweet from the corn. I think the white stuff is made from sweetened condensed milk and it's served with fruit.

Random soup #2.

Next we headed out to Dong Hou - literally East Lake. Here we have Ba (dad) getting a big whiff of Mei Gan Cai.

Modern made crooked bridge.

Uncle Alan documenting...

Check out that trash symbol. We all know the recycle one but the other one stands for non-recyclables and other trash.

There's a story about George Lucas spending $1 million to have a creek he liked moved to his new studio park in the Presido. The Chinese emperor, having used his time machine, told Lucas to suck it. He liked this garden so much he had the entire thing recreated.

I bet the emperor even had these fishermen recreated with his cloning device he acquired from the future. But being an emperor, he probably had these lowly peasants immediately eliminated.

Here is the lake.

Full of boat men waiting for tourists to show up. Man, that must be a boring job. At least they have a lot of buddies to hang out with. I bet it's crazy and busy during the high tourist seasons though so it just looks boring because it's October.

Maria & Ma on the boat.

The boat is foot powered. They row a paddle with their feet!

A bridge in the distance.

Dur... A bridge not so far away.

Some crazy mountain craved poetry.

Ok, fast forward to some big garden. Some dude named Lu You.

Wishes hung on boards.

more of Lu You's garden.

Maria doing... not sure.

I think this was nicknamed a dragon claw tree?

A famous poem. All the ladies broke out in song. We have a rambuncious group here.

Garden rocks.

Garden... stools? urns?

Garden sunset.

This is probably a sculpture of Lu You. And Maria yelling in his ear. He's a tall mfk!

Me & Ba at the garden.

Maria... again, not so sure. Interpretive dancing?

This was a very fragrent flower. Aunt Polly was very excited about these. I can't remember the name but I remember Maria saying "you can remember the name as Obama + Chrysanthenum" something like Osthanthenum?

And even more of the same garden.

Ba & Uncle Alan.

Into the town of Shao Xing

At our hotel in Shao Xing. It's probably the nicest one in the city. I think we were staying at mostly 4 and 5 star hotels.

The view from the room. Maria was kind of freaked out by the cookie cutter mass produced identical housing units stretching across the horizon.

The same view at night.

We ate at the hotel restaurant. Here is a gigantic shark fin. So big we questioned whether or not it was fake.


Starters on a plate.

what is that? egg drop soup? I can't tell.

Stinky tofu. I think this stuff is made like tofu cheese. The stink is from a layer of edible mold. Edible culture. I think that's the euphamism for it.

Small river shrimp that are so small it isn't even worth the effort to peel them.

Fish #3

This is the cooked version of that thing I said was awful. Not so awful.

Lotus root and some interesting green thing.


The saying became "you know the meal is over when the watermelon comes." Afterwards, we went around town and man, Shao Xing sucks. At least the area around the hotel sucked.
These posts are freaking long. It sure takes a lot of effort to post SEVENTY ONE PICTURES! O__o

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