If you’re heading to Shanghai for Expo 2010, you certainly won’t be alone. Over 25 million tickets have already been sold, and Shanghai city officials are predicting 70 million visitors to visit by the time the Expo wraps up in October. If you tire of traipsing through the rest of the world in the many indoor pavilions and are seeking some fresh-air experiences in and around Shanghai itself, here are five tips for short outdoor excursions:
1. Stroll along the riverside of the Bund for panoramic views of Pudong and the dramatic modern architecture of Lujiazui on the opposite bank, and explore the older Concession-era architecture in the roads west of the river. Skip the midday madness of the area, and come at dawn to take in some tai chi chuan or come at dusk to see twilight settle magically over the city. For fans of the bizarre and cheesy, take a psychedelic (although needlessly expensive) ride across the river on the tram through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel; if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, take the ferry for less money and better views.
2. Explore the French Concession, and meander the leafy backstreets. Drop by Sun Yat-sen’s former residence, take in the art-deco masterpieces like the Cathay Theatre and the Jin Jiang Hotel, and snap some pictures of the eccentric Gothic-meets-Scandinavian Moller House.
3. Visit Shanghai’s famed Yuyuan Gardens and explore the shaded alcoves, sparkling fish ponds, and the beckoning classical pavilions quite unlike those that you’ll find at Expo 2010. If you go, go early and only on weekdays to avoid the crowds and get a taste of the tranquil atmosphere before the hordes descend.
4. Escape to yesteryear and head out of town for quintessentially Chinese landscapes. Strewn across the Yangzi Delta area are picturesque whitewashed canal towns with cobbled lanes, humpbacked bridges, and original Ming and Qing architecture. Avoid the garishly made-over places such as Zhouzhuang and head for less-crowded villages such as Zhujiajiao and Tongli. If you’re short on time, Qibao is only a hop, skip and a metro ride away, making it a practical option for a short trip from Shanghai.
5. Shanghai’s remaining food streets are great places to wander for their variety of food and atmosphere. Head to Huanghe Rd near People’s Park for cheap lunches to late-night snacks, and sample the broad variety of fried, boiled and steamed dumplings. Yunnan Rd near People’s Square has an array of specialty restaurants serving everything from Shaanxi dumplings to Uighur kebabs. Nearer the Bund, try Zhapu Rd and Tanggu Rd for the cheapest eats in the area.
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ก.ค. 7, 2009 6:44:52 ก่อนเที่ยง
Thailand: which beach paradise?
It isn’t fair really – there are over 200 countries around the globe and Thailand has managed to snag a disproportionate amount of the world’s top beaches. These aren’t your average stretches of sand; you’re about to uncover perfect powder-soft dunes and dramatic limestone crags that pop straight out of the impossibly clear waters. Robinson Crusoe, eat your heart out!
This beauty will shock and awe. Perfect sand, limestone cliffs and caves, emerald water and colourful long-tail boats make this photographic bliss. It’s little more than a cosy nook, and tends to get crowded in high season.
On this seemingly endless swath of golden, boulder-studded beach, expect outrageous sunsets and lazy days. The Surin and Similan Islands as well as inland jungle parks are an easy boat or road trip away.
Trying to decide between a slice of lively sand and hermitic retreat? Ko Tao offers plenty of both. Hit the island’s west side for tiki-torched beach bars, and escape to the eastern shores to re-enact your favourite scenes from TV’s Lost.
Ko Mak & Ko Kut
Take your pick on quiet Ko Mak: sling your hammock up on a desolate beach or the next one over, which is just as perfect and pristine. Jungle-ier Ko Kut next door has an excellent spread of flaxen sand as well.
Cook on the slender, powder-white beach, dip in the sandy-bottomed shallows then slip over the reef for clear water, healthy corals and fish aplenty. Knobby karst islands fill the horizon towards the Krabi mainland in the distance.
With 8km of white sand, expect calm seas in the high season and surfable waves during the low season. Don’t let the posh Laguna Complex scare you; this laid-back yet lively beach has something for everyone.
Every month, on the night of the full moon, pilgrims pay tribute to the party gods with trancelike dancing and neon body paint. Join the legions of bucket-sippers on the infamous Sunrise Beach for the ultimate gathering that eclipses all other celebrations around the world.