Saturday, March 8, 2014

Travel with Me: 你好中国!~ Hello China! Nexus Holiday Review + My stay in Shanghai

 I spent 3 weeks in China, the first week was spent with a tour group. I booked a 7 day tour around Jiangnan district with Nexus Holidays in Australia. I couldn't believe the deal... it was $180aud per person (including airport pickup, tour fee, entrance to various sites, performances, 5 star hotels, 3 meals per day - excluding the first and last days). If we went with any other tours, it would've been at least $2000aud. We had great tour guides who taught us lots about Chinese history  - and tried to sell us products.

Day 1 - We arrived at our hotel, took a stroll around the close vicinity and watched tv for most of the night. Dinner was not provided.

Day 2- Shanghai

City God Temple @ Shanghai

These temples were dedicated to various spiritual gods in Chinese culture. However, since globalisation City God Temple is now a well known tourist destination with countless stores and stalls. Perfect place to go for little kitsch things. This place was packed with people and beautiful lights during the Luna New Year.

It's wonderful to see this aspect of the culture, yet partly hindering to know that multiple cultural means and customs are discontinued alongside global and economical progression. I would love to see the maintenance of cultural heritage in each district. China is such a beautiful country with numerous cultural values and customs running simultaneously within the nation - this is beyond fascinating. While I was on the plane to Shanghai, there was a father with his teenage daughter sitting in front of us. For a good part of the hour, the father was reading a Chinese newspaper, however, when the air attendant came to ask for his meal preference, he all of a sudden lost the ability to speak his native tongue and started blabbering an earful of broken English. I can't decide whether this man is worthy of pity.

 Shanghai Museum

Great place to go for a slice of history. Here you'll see various traditional Chinese art works, ancient pottery, old currency, 20th century furniture, minority's clothing, jade, calligraphy, ancient weapons and much more. Chinese characters fascinates me, especially ancient characters, they reminds me of hieroglyphs.

Day 3 - Hangzhou

Tea Plantation

I enjoyed being here, the tea was beautiful, the view was beautiful. Everything was jolly until they wanted us to buy tea leaves. It was some ridiculous tourist price. I think it was a bag for 800yuan (approx $153AUD)

West Lake 

We arrived near the dusk of a cold and foggy day. 

Hangzhou's West Lake is a hotspot for tourists and couples. This lake inspired many poets and artists, the lake was loved by Emperor Qianlong from the Qing dynasty.

We went on the West Lake Cruise, but it was so cold we had to stay inside.

Night of West Lake Show

At night we were provided with a spectacular show. Hangzhou was my favourite destination during the 7 day tour. 2-3 hours from Shanghai, the West Lake in particular was worth the visit.

Day 4 - Nanjing

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Here's the view of Nanjing from the Masusoleum. Sun Yat-Sen is commonly known as the "Father of modern day China". After the revolution, he founded the "Republic of China". The 392 steps he built to his tomb symbolised the 392million people within the nation at the time.

Day 5 - Wuxi

Grand Buddha Scenic Area - Lingshan

This was a HUGE complex full of various Buddha statues and palace. The giant Buddha on top is 88m tall. You can probably spend a whole day in here. It's probably the size of a small suburb.

Day 6 - Suzhou

Suzhou was my least favourite. Mainly because we didn't see anything worthy of historical value. As soon as the tour guide got on the bus, she'd started talking about "Gucci, Armani, Hermez....". When we got on the boat to look at the lake in Suzhou, we were asked to sit inside the boat she we can listen to more Gucci, Armani and Hermez products. We were then transported to a silk factory, it was interesting for the first 15 mins. The next 2 hours, my boyfriend and I wondered around aimlessly, as we watched the tour guide attempting to hard sell replica Gucci, Armani, Hermez silk doona and blankets, this was worse than solitary confinement.

Day 7 - Breakfast was provided. Transport to the airport was provided as a part of the tour. We spent another 2 weeks in shanghai, so ended our own way.

Overall, I enjoyed the tour. It was value for money. However, their endless sales pitch to increase their profit margin was borderline heinous. On the bright side, beautiful 5 star hotels, 3 meals per day, we also had some fantastic tour guides who spent hours telling us about local customs, different dialects and the historical underpinning of each site.

Alright, no more talking.. I'll leave you with some photos of Shanghai (AND YES!!! SNOW!!!!).

 Oh by the way, I've been having heaps of trouble loading disqus, so I haven't been able to comment on a lot of blog :( I'm trying my best to rectify the issue!


  1. Gosh it looks beautiful! I'd love to go one day and experience the history and culture for myself. The photo with the snow is mesmerising!

  2. Beautiful photos Lily. I was having a lot of problems with Disqus too, I had to change security settings, I don't know if this will help you?

    Jac x0x

  3. How disappointing that they kept trying to push fake things onto you guys! Perhaps that was why it was such a good deal for the overall tour? Glad you guys had so much fun otherwise - gorgeous pictures!

  4. Awwh, so beautiful photos! Shanghai is so colorful city! ^_^

    ❤ ✿ VISIT MY BLOG ✿ ❤

  5. Amazing photos, hun. Great price for such a wonderful holiday xx

  6. I'll be in Shanghai in a months time! Looking forward to it. Looks like a very lively place!

  7. So many gorgeous pics, looks like you had an amazing time!

  8. What a bargain that tour was! And the photos are lovely too. I so enjoyed my visits to China. There's so much to discover there!

  9. ooo i think i want to watch that show :) your photos are beautiful and i also encountered some problems with disqus and i couldnt comment on my friends blogs

  10. It's been a few years since I last traveled to China but my favourite city has always been Shanghai. Sounds like you had a lovely trip but yes, I hate those hard sales pitch too!! My favourite photo has to be the one with the cute face masks!!

  11. Such a beautiful pics dear !! xx

  12. I'm glad you could enjoy your holidays in China!! Also, it's great it was so cheap (^^)
    The photos you took are awesome ☆(●′∀`)ノ

  13. Wow Lily.. incredible photos! The foggy lake looks beautiful even if it was freezing!! Looks awesome x

  14. Wow, you saw so many amazing things. I love your pictures.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  15. Amaaazing photos! I've been to Shanghai myself and your photos are such a good memory for me :) Visit me sometime :)


  16. wonderful post! Maybe you’d like to follow me too? 
    Kisses, Alina

    Project Germany

  17. Oh so beautiful I would love to have a holiday there too!! *0*

    恵美より ♥

  18. wonderful <333

    Please make one clicks on my choies wishlist it help me a lot ^^

  19. Great pictures!
    Love it.
    Would you like to follow? Let me know!


  20. This looks like so much fun! You should plan my next vacation xD

  21. oh I've been on that same holiday tour! I think mine was $99 but I did go a few years ago. The tea leaves were crazy expensive but I did like how they "danced" lol, and the silk factory was pretty bad- although my tour guide didn't ramble so much on the high end brands, but they did push people into buying stuff badly haha
    your photos look great! It snowed the week before & after I went so I didn't catch the snow *sadface*

  22. Shanghai looks amazing! I really wish sometime in the future I can visit it myself!
    Kookii || The Beauty Diary♥


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