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We just happen to run into Don and Kathy

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View Sri Lanka Maldives 2016 on RDILL's travel map.

Our flight leaves at midnight and gets into Shanghai at 5 am. Our onward connection leaves at 2 pm (9 hours later) so we decide to clear customs and go exploring but we don't have any idea where or how. Rob has downloaded an Internet article on what to do in Shanghai in a day, and brother Don and Kathy have arrived earlier and are overnighting, but it is a bit early to contact them and once we leave the airport we have no internet. Our one clue is they discussed going to the TianZiFang market area so we decide to head for it. Not much is open at 5am but we get a map of the city and change some money. Rob wants to try out the Maglev - a high speed train that takes you to the edge of the city at speeds up to 450 km per hour. We reach 384 km per hour and what would take an hour by the subway system takes 8 minutes. We now have to decide how to manage the subway system. Fortunately there is an English translation and we head for Tianzifang - the upscale shopping area in the back alleys of the original French quarters. No problemo if you don't mind being squashed like sardines on the subway and at every stop more commuters crowd into a car that was filled long ago. We are there by 8 am and walk the streets for an hour or two, interacting with the locals and eating from little stands along the road. Mani of course finds a couple of wool and fabric shops that she decides to explore. We really haven't found what we are looking for but as we head back towards the subway station we come across a little alley with the sign Tian Zi Fang and we begin to explore the labyrinth of shops. Most don't open till 10 so we are a little early but as we turn a corner to head back to the subway there are Don and Kathy window shopping. They are the only non Chinese we have seen since leaving the airport. We are not in a tourist destination. We do some more exploring, walking the streets, watching the groups doing tai chi or kite flying in the parks. We then catch the subway system back to the airport arriving by noon and continue to check in for the flight to Colombo




It's high time Rob got here. His grade 6 socials teacher asked students to select a country to study and do a report to the class on, and Rob chose Sri Lanka. Captivated by the exotic people and animals and plants and colour, he spent weeks cutting out pictures and putting together his first major school report. We are travelling by China East Air and as a budget airline it is more comfortable than expected especially the first leg which had first rate movies and lots of leg room. We reach Colombo at 7 pm and a driver is waiting to take us two hours south to our destination in Beruwala. After almost two days of travelling we reach the hotel and are greeted with fruit smoothies, taken to our room and in a couple minutes dinner is brought to our room. It makes the travel all worthwhile. It is not long before we slumber to the sound of the sea lapping at the shore in front of us.

Posted by RDILL 08:19 Archived in China Tagged shanghai

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