We arrived in this spectacular city…..almost right downtown, within walking distance of the Bund, unlike when I was here in late September.  The reason we sailed right up to the city’s front door was because this ship is much smaller…..525+/- as opposed to 2300 passengers.  Anyway, I t still takes my breath away.  Everyone should see this city atleast once in their lifetimes.  Although this is a smaller ship it is running at less than capacity of 684 (plus 400 crew) because China changed the rules saying that ships cannot enter Beijing directly from another Chinese port without going to a foreign port first.  That being said, a number of tourist cancelled because the new schedule change.   The change left not enough time for people to see the Great Wall….probably the only reason some people would come here.  So….we get to go to Seoul, S. Korea.
The first day we were in Shanghai, we had a tour to one of the water towns near to the city.  This one is called Zhujiajiao……try saying that???  Tony is our guide.  He says that there are 24 million people in Shanghai.  Things change so rapidly that they have to change the maps every 3 months.   The cost of apartment to buy here is $10,000 US/sq. metre.  October wedding month. Every 600 metres is a park. He says that although the government has changed the law regarding the one child families to two but most couple will continue to only have one child because it costs so much to raise a child.  One of those reasons is that they pay up to $1000/month for tutoring each child because the competition is so strong.  Those mothers are called “Tiger mothers”.  The children have no time for sports…. They have to study til midnight ever night. 

“Wechat” is Chinese answer to Facebook. China can’t control Facebook so they block it although this time it has worked intermittently.  According to our guide, anyone can speak freely but don’t dare demonstrate or act on anything.

According to Tony…..I think he said that if you believe in Chinese medicine, if you repeat certain numbers that those numbers will cure your ailment.  These are a few of the fixes: 7040….. To stop snoring;  7070… To stop stomach pain; Press 4 fingers above ankle one to look younger;  720… Cancer; 820.. Make money and for in ees …….so not to get replacement …. 720.050.440.  The Chinese are very superstitious. They like their houseto face east…. To the rising Sun….. It is Hope.

Tony was policeman but quit when he was bit by criminal that had more than 50 grams of heroin…..50 grams of heroin is a death sentence.  He had ended up in hospital from that bite. 
1/3 of newlyweds will divorce in 2 yrs.  Shanghai men better husband…. do cooking, etc…. everything.  This generation are little emperors…. have everything. 

Have to get licence plate before car… 10,000 apply for plate in every month but only 10% get one. 

Guide will be moving to Spain… To Valencia because of pollution here.

Living space was 7 sq m. for family of 10 during Mao…. Now 40/person.  
JinMao tower is 340 metres high…88 floors in 45 secs. 

Since leaving Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), the temperature has steadily decreased.  It is downight freezing.  The day we arrived in Shanghai, the day was beautiful, sunny with the temp being 68 F. But within an hour in mid afternoon it dropped to 45 F.  Then overnight, I believe it did go to freezing.  We heard that the temp in Seoul had dropped to 26 F.    Not my idea of great cruising weather. 

One of our nights of sailing, ( think it was between Hong Kong and Ziamen) it was so windy and choppy, sleep was very difficult.  It felt like someone shaking the hell out of you to try to wake you up.  It really was the worse Ive ever experienced.

Today, March 2nd, we arrived in Seoul.  We all had to depart the ship to meet face to face with Immigration where they check our temperature.  (I think it was using heat imaging).  I guess they were checking for sickies.  Who knows!  Anyways we all had to get off.  There was skiffs of snow on the ground.  Funny thing, the bus driver on one of the return trips from immigration…..maybe 1000 metres away, lost his way back….lol!  I did nothing but return to the ship to organize myself to return home.  Anxious!  It has been a long time.  Never mind that this port city of Incheon (Seoul’s port & airport) is dead ugly!  The price of the excursions were a ridicuous price as well so it was an easy choice.

Tomorrow we have a day at sea then arrive in Beijing in time to tak a tour of the Forbidden City (been there before) on the way to the airport.

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