Arriving in Shanghai and Getting to Ningbo

17 04 2017

So I  just spent Friday + the weekend in China on business in a city I had never been to before.

Flying out of Narita was a breeze but once I arrived in Pudong, the international airport in Shanghai, things did not look so bright.

No photos allowed so I don’t have any but immigration was a total jam.  And who would’ve thought leaving the baggage claim area when I didn’t have any checked in luggage would be so time consuming.

Arrival hall. Really?

I had to take the inter-terminal shuttle which I had trouble finding to get to my meeting point with my host and other delegates that were participating in the same conference.

The shuttle

And it was a nice day in Shanghai as we left the airport to our hotel in Ningbo about three hours away.

Our ride

Restroom stop on the way.

Arrived at hotel, had dinner.

The following morning. A nice day!

So began my stay in Ningbo, China.





24+ Hours in London

15 04 2017

After about half an hour black cab journey from Liverpool Street Station to Paddington, checked into my hotel for a one-night stay.

Lovely color scheme

View from my room

The public terrace used as, if one wishes, a smoking area.

And then I stepped out for a visit to the Selfridges before my dinner appointment.

And then my dinner appointment wrote in to tell me he had lost his voice. Didn’t mind spending time in my hotel room for a change.





The KGB Hotel of Tallinn, Estonia

11 04 2017

It is quite unbelievable that Estonia and other Baltic states were all under Soviet rule until the early ’90s.  I cannot imagine the fear people lived under and the limited freedom they were allowed.

In the only hotel in Tallinn, Estonia where foreigners were allowed to stay during the Soviet regime, is the “KGB Museum“.  On the 23rd floor of the still working hotel were the secret KGB offices used to spy on guests.  Filled with memorabilia including one room where everything is left as the KGB left it, rooms have been turned into a museum.

Near the ticket booth of the museum, you find cynical and irritated Snicker bars which we thought was hilarious.

View from the 22nd floor balcony

The door to the stairs leading up to the secret 23rd floor. The museum sign reads “entrance” at the top but the bottom part in Estonian and Russian apparently says “Do not enter” as it said when the top floor was occupied by the KGB.

Old floor guide

Selfie point

Direct to Moscow line

Our funny and excellent guide

What the KGB left in chaos.

The hotel in its present day at night





The Bar @ White Swan Hotel, Guangzhou, China

9 02 2017

Whenever I go away on a trip I try to visit the most classy hotel of where I’m staying and have a drink at its bar.

White Swan Hotel is Guangzhou’s premier luxury hotel.  Visited its bar during my brief stay in Guangzhou, China.

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I found on this trip that Chinese beer in general is very weak, weaker than the so-called “light beer” which is not great.

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Didn’t think it was going to be a modern high rise but yes it was.

They gave me this as souvenir.

They gave me this as souvenir.

Its service was nice but otherwise not great.  The little shrimp dish I ordered thinking it was going to be Chinese was an imitation of something Italian but not anything close…!





Signs of the Chinese New Year

7 02 2017

Mostly somewhat lavish decorations but happy all around.  All except the last two are from Guangzhou, China.

My hotel with the new year lanterns

My hotel with the new year lanterns

Outside the hotel. The favorite fruit of the new year.

Outside the hotel. The favorite fruit of the new year.

Special new year food I presume just like we have in Japan

Special new year food I presume just like we have in Japan

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Even at a Catholic church

Even at a Catholic church

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Below are from villages near Kaiping.

Remains of fire crackers

Remains of fire crackers

Very similar to what we would do in Japan to put on your door (or entrance to the house) or come to think of it it's similar to a Christmas wreath.

Similar in style (but not appearance or what is used) to what we would do in Japan to put on your door (or entrance to the house) or come to think of it it’s kind of similar to a Christmas wreath.

And we do have a new year decoration that’s mochi (rice cake) + orange which I never thought had anything similar to Chinese new year decorations but that’s just ignorant me.





Arriving in Guangzhou, China

1 02 2017

So I visited Guangzhou, China at the start of the Chinese New Year this past weekend.  I booked my trip w/o knowing it was the holiday season but discovered that was the case at the end of last year when I was visiting Penang, Malaysia from my Grab (equivalent of Uber) driver.

Anyway, as I arrived at CAN, decorations suggested celebrations were underway but in the city it was business as usual in some parts.

At the airport

In the cab

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At my hotel

At dinner in a nearby shopping mall

At supermarket after dinner in the same shopping mall.  The incorrect Japanese on the packaging of the squid snack is beyond funny.

In my room at hotel after an OK day!

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Happy Chinese New Year!!





Random George Town, Penang

30 01 2017

My last post on George Town, Penang, Malaysia with random random random photos (that I haven’t posted before) from the World Heritage town.

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