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I mentioned in my last post that today is my last day in China. I head back to Canada on Tuesday (after being in Asia for 7 months!) and enjoy some down time before starting work in September. I’ll be making one grand post shortly after I am back in Canada that wraps up my 7 months abroad.


On my last day of school, two of my friends and I decided to head out to Shanghai. The government opened a high speed bullet train (at a cost of $40 billion USD) linking Beijing and Shanghai on July 1 so we decided to check the new ride out. The train was quite comfortable and very smooth.

The train maxed out at 306km/h

Mason and I feeling the high speed "force" of the train

Upon arrival in Shanghai we checked out the city and walked around the French Concession Area, an area that was developed with French influence.

French Concession Area

We then headed to The Bund (along the Huangpu River) to check out the famous skyline.

Mason, Myself and Nick with the Shanghai skyline

Traditional architecture on the opposite side of Shanghai's modern skyline

An interesting note on picture taking in China: Locals often approach foreigners to take pictures with them. Mason and I were asked a couple times throughout the trip to take photos with locals. Here is one shot I had with a couple:

Posing for a picture with locals

That night, we headed up the Pearl Tower (the tower with the 3 spheres) to check out the night view of Shanghai. The Tower is about 100 metres shorter than the CN Tower but still provides a great view of the city.

View of Shanghai at night from the Pearl Tower

View of Shanghai at Night

We also checked out Nanjing (the equivalent of Yonge Street in Toronto). Good food and lots of lights at night:

Nanjing Street at Night

The following day we decided to check out a famous garden in Shanghai and the Expo Site. We went to the Yuyuan Garden located in the city. The garden was very beautiful with many trees, shrubs, ponds, and several old buildings with Chinese architecture:

Yuyuan Gardens

Another shot in the Yuyuan Gardens

Shanghai hosted the World Expo in 2010 and attracted the largest attendance ever to the event (73 million visitors). Today, the China pavilion remains for tourists to check out:

China Pavilion at the Expo Site in Shanghai

Large story map display showing some of China's history inside the China Pavilion.


That night we took a night train to Huangshan to do some trekking in the mountains. The area is built up with steps but it was tiring nonetheless to climb up so many steps. The site in Huashan (Xian) was pretty cool but the view in Huangshan was even more impressive. The mountains reminded me of Avatar (Director James Cameron did get some of inspiration for Pandora in China)

Avatar like - Huangshan

At a viewing post

Another site of mountains between mountains in Huangshan

Climbed the highest peak in Huangshan! (LtoR: Nick, Mason, Johan, and myself)

Up at 5AM for sunrise


After two days in the mountain, we headed to Hangzhou, a popular tourism destination in China. The city encloses a large lake and is well known for its Longjing Tea. We met a nice lady who took us to a tea shop where she was buying some tea to try some longjing:

Longjing Tea

Tea yards in Hangzhou

That evening, we went for a boat ride in the lake and a man approached us and asked if we could take his grandson with us on the ride. He did not speak much English but Nick was able to translate. We ended up teaching him a few words including the word “bro”.

On the boat ride with our new bro

Sunset in Hangzhou


We headed out to Nanjing the next day to wrap up our last day of the trip. Nanjing stands for South Capital and was formerly the capital city of China. We checked out the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and the City Wall at night. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a leader during the 1911 Revolution:

At the bottom of Dr. Sun Yat-sen mausoleum (LtoR: Mason, myself, and Nick)

Night view of the lake in Nanjing:

Nanjing at Night

The following morning (July 29th) we wrapped up our week of travel and headed back to Beijing. I have been in Beijing ever since and returning to Canada tomorrow! So long China. It’s been a blast!


Next Post: 7 Months in Asia

My Grand Finale post highlighting my 7 months in Asia is coming up next when I’m back in Canada. Stay tuned!

Categories: Exchange
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