Time for a more travel focused article! Today I’ll be writing about my China travel experiences.
So one of the benefits of my job in engineering is that I get to travel occasionally, and one of my previous programs – The Jeep Grand Commander PHEV had me traveling back and forth to China quite a bit. So this article will focus on a few of my favorite places to visit while I was there.
What I’m not going to do here is show you that super iconic shot of the Oriental Pearl Tower. But if you visit make sure you stick around until after sunset when they light up the tower – it’s a fantastic view. For an added treat I’d suggest walking there from Jing’an Temple (you can just follow Nanjing road the whole way) rather then taking the subway. Along the way make sure you stop and check out all the amazing shops and side streets and once you reach The Bund don’t forget to turn around and get some shots of the city behind you!
Outdoor cafes, tiny bars, tiny boutique shops, tree lined alleyways. The French district is definitely a unique experience in Shanghai. This area is massive, I spent a day exploring there (starting in Tianzifang) and still did not get to see everything – so don’t worry, there is plenty to explore there.
As far as town squares go, yeah it’s famous and it’s kinda neat to see. But would I make a separate trip just to see it? No. But if you are in the area then yeah, check it out. I suspect you know the history behind it already. Sadly, when I visited I was not in time to tour The Forbidden City next to the square. Maybe next time!
The Great Wall
This, in my opinion, is the top reason to plan a trip to Beijing. You can see portions of the wall in several cities but since I was flying into Beijing it was the logical choice, it’s also got the highest section that you can still climb to – and boy what a climb. You can see it in the shot behind me, so many stairs… but worth every step!
The assembly plant I was visiting was located in Changsha, so I spent a fair bit of time in this city. On the rare occasion I had a weekend off I would go visit Yuelu Academy and Yuelu Mountain. The academy is pretty cool, lot of interesting buildings and exhibits, but I like hiking so I usually try to get to the mountain as soon as I can. I know Orange Island is also a popular tourist spot, but for my time and money I prefer Yuelu Mountain.
Never underestimate how much fun it can be to just walk around a city. Changsha is the capital of the Hunan province, and it’s well known for it’s entertainment industry and nightlife so just head downtown to Jiefang Xilu, pick a direction and you are sure to see something fun and interesting! Oh and the people are just super friendly!
Once a major stopping point on the Silk Road this place is just cool. The Shazhou night market – incredible, and you have to check out the theater. I got to see the show “Encore Dunhuang” while I was there and it was just amazing and a fantastic way to get a taste of the history of this city and unlike most plays where you at in your seat the whole time this show has you walk through multiple rooms to experience different key moments in time. It’s absolutely worth seeing.
This is the furthest West I was able to visit in China. It’s the hottest region in China (so of course we went in the middle of summer to test our vehicles in extreme heat). If you are there then I’d recommend checking out the nearby ancient cities, but honestly I can’t recommend visiting this area. It has a heavy military and police presence due to the ongoing conflict with the native Uyghur population (I’ll let you google this on your own, and please do – it’s shocking) and the whole region just has a weird and kinda unsettling feel to it.