26 Days in China

G and I arrived in Shanghai on 10/22/2015 and left Shanghai on 11/16/2015. During our 26 day visit in addition to time spent in Shanghai, we also visited Datong, Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Huangshan. More than half of G and I’s trip was dedicated solely to confirm facts for our book. The rest was to explore China and to show both G’s parents and my parents around Shanghai. Even though both sets of our parents were born in Shanghai and lived there until their 30’s, they no longer recognize 80% of today’s Shanghai despite have visited every several years since the 1990’s. It is no wonder as China is the third largest country in the world with over a billion people mostly concentrated in the cities and has undergone such a huge economic change during the past 30 years that it is a big puzzle to the world and even its own residents.

Myself, I was born in China (Shanghai) and lived there until I was 6 and visited in 1992 (month plus), 1994 (month plus), 1998 (month plus), 2002 (2-3 weeks?), 2006 (2 weeks), 2008(3 month stay), 2010 (1 week), 2011 (2 weeks), 2011-2012 (lived 14 months in Hong Kong), 2014 (23 days), 2015 (26 days). I speak Mandarin and Shanghainese like a native and read Chinese newspapers and books without problems. What I have discovered about China is that the more I learn the more I find there is to learn and that things change so quickly that what was in vogue or the way to do things this year will not be in the next year.

For our 26 day trip I probably spent almost 2 months to planning the trip with Plan B’s and Plan C’s in case Plan A fails. All major activities, all hotels, and all train tickets were purchased/booked in advance. 85% of my meals was planned prior to my arrival in Shanghai because there is too much good food in China to be wasted just eating out at random restaurants and stalls. Despite eating every single meal out for all 26 days, I only gained 3lbs during the entire trip due to walking 203 miles during the 26 days in addition to 25 minutes of yoga a day and weighing myself nightly to keep my weight in check.

Join me as I take you through a 26 day tour of China as seen through my eyes. Below is one of my favorite shots (unedited, shot with my Samsung Note 4 with HDR off) taken during my trip in China. Can you guess the location?