Shanghai & Suzhou

Old Jul 10th 2011, 12:04 pm
  #1  
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Default Shanghai & Suzhou

Note and observations on Shanghai & Suzhou

• Suzhou is dubbed by westerners living there as China Lite. Totally agree.
• Nearly all scooters in Suzhou are electric—so quiet you can't hear them coming.
• The Suzhou natives are friendly. Some particularly so.
• Health and safety?
• Taxi drivers don't know their way around.
• Suzhou bars are good fun. The Blackjack Bar (opposite the Sheraton) doesn't get the trade it deserves.
• Jen, the co-owner of The Blackjack Bar, didn't get beaten at pool all night. And man we tried.
• Indian Poker played for drinks is a good way to get customers to drink more.
• It gets light in Suzhou at about 4:45.
• The Kempinski Hotel in Suzhou is luxurious, reasonably-priced but dull.
• I heard the worst band ever in the German beer hall in the Kempinski in Suzhou. They were flip and unbelievable shit—tuneless and far too loud.
• I could live in Suzhou.
• Breakfast from 6.30 to 10.00 means all the food is cleared away at 10.00 sharp.
• The Americans are still the only ones who know how to starch shirts.
• And us Brits the only ones who know how to cook bacon for breakfast.
• Tsing Tao beer is tasteless.
• Great Wall red wine makes Retsina seem palatable.
• I don't believe the population of China is 1.2 billion. There were more people than that on one street in Shanghai.
• Chinese proverb: "Chinese will only eat those animals whose backs face the sun."
• The Manhattan bar in Shanghai rocks. Most others suck.
• Shanghai's dodgy bars have been all-but eliminated by the government because of the Expo.
• The Chinese really know how to make a cup of coffee.
• Did I already mention health & safety?
• My ADCB cash card worked easily.
• If there's anyone in Shanghai not on the make or take, I'd like to meet him or her.
• I used to think that Korean food was all about "its not that they eat parts of animals you didn't know you could eat, its that they eat parts of animals you didn't know animals had", but I'm beginning to think they learned it from the Chinese.
• Propoganda is alive and well.
• Most Chinese can't discriminate between luxury and kitsch.
• Shanghai is ****ing HUGE.
• If you stay in Shanghai, stay at the Astor House Hotel. Brilliant. http://www.astorhousehotel.com/en/jzfg/jzfg.php



General
• Upstains in an EK A380 is a nice place to be.
• EK7008 (aka the EK Abu Dhabi – DXB bus) is efficient, but I wouldn't take it again.
• I like Nautica watches.
• The Canon PowerShot G12 has got to be the best travel camera, although the new Fuji FinePix X100 looks to be tremendous.
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Old Jul 10th 2011, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Note and observations on Shanghai & Suzhou

• Suzhou is dubbed by westerners living there as China Lite. Totally agree.
• Nearly all scooters in Suzhou are electric—so quiet you can't hear them coming.
• The Suzhou natives are friendly. Some particularly so.
• Health and safety?
• Taxi drivers don't know their way around.
• Suzhou bars are good fun. The Blackjack Bar (opposite the Sheraton) doesn't get the trade it deserves.
• Jen, the co-owner of The Blackjack Bar, didn't get beaten at pool all night. And man we tried.
• Indian Poker played for drinks is a good way to get customers to drink more.
• It gets light in Suzhou at about 4:45.
• The Kempinski Hotel in Suzhou is luxurious, reasonably-priced but dull.
• I heard the worst band ever in the German beer hall in the Kempinski in Suzhou. They were flip and unbelievable shit—tuneless and far too loud.
• I could live in Suzhou.
• Breakfast from 6.30 to 10.00 means all the food is cleared away at 10.00 sharp.
• The Americans are still the only ones who know how to starch shirts.
• And us Brits the only ones who know how to cook bacon for breakfast.
• Tsing Tao beer is tasteless.
• Great Wall red wine makes Retsina seem palatable.
• I don't believe the population of China is 1.2 billion. There were more people than that on one street in Shanghai.
• Chinese proverb: "Chinese will only eat those animals whose backs face the sun."
• The Manhattan bar in Shanghai rocks. Most others suck.
• Shanghai's dodgy bars have been all-but eliminated by the government because of the Expo.
• The Chinese really know how to make a cup of coffee.
• Did I already mention health & safety?
• My ADCB cash card worked easily.
• If there's anyone in Shanghai not on the make or take, I'd like to meet him or her.
• I used to think that Korean food was all about "its not that they eat parts of animals you didn't know you could eat, its that they eat parts of animals you didn't know animals had", but I'm beginning to think they learned it from the Chinese.
• Propoganda is alive and well.
• Most Chinese can't discriminate between luxury and kitsch.
• Shanghai is ****ing HUGE.
• If you stay in Shanghai, stay at the Astor House Hotel. Brilliant. http://www.astorhousehotel.com/en/jzfg/jzfg.php



General
• Upstains in an EK A380 is a nice place to be.
• EK7008 (aka the EK Abu Dhabi – DXB bus) is efficient, but I wouldn't take it again.
• I like Nautica watches.
• The Canon PowerShot G12 has got to be the best travel camera, although the new Fuji FinePix X100 looks to be tremendous.
I enjoyed reading that.

China is on my list of places to visit.

Good Stuff.
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Old Jul 10th 2011, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
• Upstains in an EK A380 is a nice place to be.
Front or back?

Did you get upgraded? Cos if travelling business, no way I'd do the bus if they were willing to send a car...
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Old Jul 10th 2011, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by typical View Post
Front or back?

Did you get upgraded? Cos if travelling business, no way I'd do the bus if they were willing to send a car...
Damn, found me out...
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Old Jul 10th 2011, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Damn, found me out...
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 6:30 am
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Note and observations on Shanghai & Suzhou

• Suzhou is dubbed by westerners living there as China Lite. Totally agree.
• Nearly all scooters in Suzhou are electric—so quiet you can't hear them coming.
• The Suzhou natives are friendly. Some particularly so.
• Health and safety?
• Taxi drivers don't know their way around.
• Suzhou bars are good fun. The Blackjack Bar (opposite the Sheraton) doesn't get the trade it deserves.
• Jen, the co-owner of The Blackjack Bar, didn't get beaten at pool all night. And man we tried.
• Indian Poker played for drinks is a good way to get customers to drink more.
• It gets light in Suzhou at about 4:45.
• The Kempinski Hotel in Suzhou is luxurious, reasonably-priced but dull.
• I heard the worst band ever in the German beer hall in the Kempinski in Suzhou. They were flip and unbelievable shit—tuneless and far too loud.
• I could live in Suzhou.
• Breakfast from 6.30 to 10.00 means all the food is cleared away at 10.00 sharp.
• The Americans are still the only ones who know how to starch shirts.
• And us Brits the only ones who know how to cook bacon for breakfast.
• Tsing Tao beer is tasteless.
• Great Wall red wine makes Retsina seem palatable.
• I don't believe the population of China is 1.2 billion. There were more people than that on one street in Shanghai.
• Chinese proverb: "Chinese will only eat those animals whose backs face the sun."
• The Manhattan bar in Shanghai rocks. Most others suck.
• Shanghai's dodgy bars have been all-but eliminated by the government because of the Expo.
• The Chinese really know how to make a cup of coffee.
• Did I already mention health & safety?
• My ADCB cash card worked easily.
• If there's anyone in Shanghai not on the make or take, I'd like to meet him or her.
• I used to think that Korean food was all about "its not that they eat parts of animals you didn't know you could eat, its that they eat parts of animals you didn't know animals had", but I'm beginning to think they learned it from the Chinese.
• Propoganda is alive and well.
• Most Chinese can't discriminate between luxury and kitsch.
• Shanghai is ****ing HUGE.
• If you stay in Shanghai, stay at the Astor House Hotel. Brilliant. http://www.astorhousehotel.com/en/jzfg/jzfg.php



General
• Upstains in an EK A380 is a nice place to be.
• EK7008 (aka the EK Abu Dhabi – DXB bus) is efficient, but I wouldn't take it again.
• I like Nautica watches.
• The Canon PowerShot G12 has got to be the best travel camera, although the new Fuji FinePix X100 looks to be tremendous.
Nice and to the point relay of your experiences. I have been to China but not to either of those places...they are on the list. Fortunately I have a local guide wherever I go so my experiences of China have been smooth and happy thus far. I've found there's far more social freedom than the UAE (or rather, as long as you are reasonably quiet and well behaved you don't need to think about being arrested for snogging or having a drink outside of a hotel). If I ever learn Mandarin properly I'd seriously consider moving there.

N.
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Did you find hooters?

What is the air quaity like?
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 8:34 am
  #8  
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Did you find hooters?

What is the air quaity like?
Not sure its still open, word on the street was that the only place still open worth visiting was Manhattan, which was a hoot. Decent hooters abounded. The rest were just rip-off central.

Air quality didn't seem to bad; it was hot and muggy when I was there, but didn't notice the pollution.

Been waiting 20-odd years to get to Shanghai--wish I stayed in Suzhou.
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 8:39 am
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Note and observations on Shanghai & Suzhou

• Suzhou is dubbed by westerners living there as China Lite. Totally agree.
• Nearly all scooters in Suzhou are electric—so quiet you can't hear them coming.
• The Suzhou natives are friendly. Some particularly so.
• Health and safety?
• Taxi drivers don't know their way around.
• Suzhou bars are good fun. The Blackjack Bar (opposite the Sheraton) doesn't get the trade it deserves.
• Jen, the co-owner of The Blackjack Bar, didn't get beaten at pool all night. And man we tried.
• Indian Poker played for drinks is a good way to get customers to drink more.
• It gets light in Suzhou at about 4:45.
• The Kempinski Hotel in Suzhou is luxurious, reasonably-priced but dull.
• I heard the worst band ever in the German beer hall in the Kempinski in Suzhou. They were flip and unbelievable shit—tuneless and far too loud.
• I could live in Suzhou.
• Breakfast from 6.30 to 10.00 means all the food is cleared away at 10.00 sharp.
• The Americans are still the only ones who know how to starch shirts.
• And us Brits the only ones who know how to cook bacon for breakfast.
• Tsing Tao beer is tasteless.
• Great Wall red wine makes Retsina seem palatable.
• I don't believe the population of China is 1.2 billion. There were more people than that on one street in Shanghai.
• Chinese proverb: "Chinese will only eat those animals whose backs face the sun."
• The Manhattan bar in Shanghai rocks. Most others suck.
• Shanghai's dodgy bars have been all-but eliminated by the government because of the Expo.
• The Chinese really know how to make a cup of coffee.
• Did I already mention health & safety?
• My ADCB cash card worked easily.
• If there's anyone in Shanghai not on the make or take, I'd like to meet him or her.
• I used to think that Korean food was all about "its not that they eat parts of animals you didn't know you could eat, its that they eat parts of animals you didn't know animals had", but I'm beginning to think they learned it from the Chinese.
• Propoganda is alive and well.
• Most Chinese can't discriminate between luxury and kitsch.
• Shanghai is ****ing HUGE.
• If you stay in Shanghai, stay at the Astor House Hotel. Brilliant. http://www.astorhousehotel.com/en/jzfg/jzfg.php



General
• Upstains in an EK A380 is a nice place to be.
• EK7008 (aka the EK Abu Dhabi – DXB bus) is efficient, but I wouldn't take it again.
• I like Nautica watches.
• The Canon PowerShot G12 has got to be the best travel camera, although the new Fuji FinePix X100 looks to be tremendous.
Thanks for the info Baht, looks like I shall be travelling there next month for business
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Not sure its still open, word on the street was that the only place still open worth visiting was Manhattan, which was a hoot. Decent hooters abounded. The rest were just rip-off central.

Air quality didn't seem to bad; it was hot and muggy when I was there, but didn't notice the pollution.

Been waiting 20-odd years to get to Shanghai--wish I stayed in Suzhou.
It would appear it is still there!!

http://www.hooterschina.com/eng/info/shopinfo.aspx
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

[QUOTE=Bahtatboy;9486402]Note and observations on Shanghai & Suzhou

• Nearly all scooters in Suzhou are electric—so quiet you can't hear them coming.
• Tsing Tao beer is tasteless.
• Great Wall red wine makes Retsina seem palatable.



1. Yes Suzhou does seem to be the home of the electric bike, but catching on quickly in many places. I don't recall seeing a bike with a fuelled engine there at all and wondered if they were in fact outlawed. Lovely things environmentally, but as you say you don't hear the damned things roaring up the pavement behind you! Someone stole my father-in-law's Turbo model from the 12th floor in his apartment block, without battery!

2. Should have tried Harbin, China's oldest brewer or Snow. Better IMHO.

3. Agree Gt. Wall Red is still a bit rough but it is improving and hoping in 4-5 years it will be good!!
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

[QUOTE=Jim Smith;9488322]
Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Note and observations on Shanghai & Suzhou

• Nearly all scooters in Suzhou are electric—so quiet you can't hear them coming.
• Tsing Tao beer is tasteless.
• Great Wall red wine makes Retsina seem palatable.



1. Yes Suzhou does seem to be the home of the electric bike, but catching on quickly in many places. I don't recall seeing a bike with a fuelled engine there at all and wondered if they were in fact outlawed. Lovely things environmentally, but as you say you don't hear the damned things roaring up the pavement behind you! Someone stole my father-in-law's Turbo model from the 12th floor in his apartment block, without battery!

2. Should have tried Harbin, China's oldest brewer or Snow. Better IMHO.

3. Agree Gt. Wall Red is still a bit rough but it is improving and hoping in 4-5 years it will be good!!
Hi Jim

Shame we couldn't meet up. Next time.

I'm sure Suzhou must have outlawed petrol scooters--all part of Singapore's influence, no doubt. A definite improvement for the (at least local) noise and air pollution, but some did seem awfully slow (especially those with the entire family loaded on board).

Yeah, I love Harbin beer, especially their dark one. Only local beer I could find in both Suzhou and Shanghai was Tsing Tao or Snow: I was advised the latter was a "ladies' beer", so of course I avoided it.

I first tried Great Wall in Guangzhou a couple of years back, and thought if foul. A local restaurant in Suzhou had run out of imported wine, so we were offered Great Wall. I was a guest so kept shtumm (I also wondered if I'd had a duff bottle before): so out it came with a bit of ceremony, resplendent in a gaudy cardboard tube with metal lid. But same old shite in the bottle. As far as I'm concerned, its one for laying down and avoiding.

I was surprised by the number of foreign wine stores, even in rural Suzhou. Didn't look at the prices.

Cheers
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by petrolhead13 View Post
Thanks for the info Baht, looks like I shall be travelling there next month for business
Let me know if you want some more detailed (albeit limited) info.
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Old Jul 11th 2011, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

[QUOTE=Bahtatboy;9488409]
Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post

Hi Jim

Shame we couldn't meet up. Next time.

I'm sure Suzhou must have outlawed petrol scooters--all part of Singapore's influence, no doubt. A definite improvement for the (at least local) noise and air pollution, but some did seem awfully slow (especially those with the entire family loaded on board).

Yeah, I love Harbin beer, especially their dark one. Only local beer I could find in both Suzhou and Shanghai was Tsing Tao or Snow: I was advised the latter was a "ladies' beer", so of course I avoided it.

I first tried Great Wall in Guangzhou a couple of years back, and thought if foul. A local restaurant in Suzhou had run out of imported wine, so we were offered Great Wall. I was a guest so kept shtumm (I also wondered if I'd had a duff bottle before): so out it came with a bit of ceremony, resplendent in a gaudy cardboard tube with metal lid. But same old shite in the bottle. As far as I'm concerned, its one for laying down and avoiding.

I was surprised by the number of foreign wine stores, even in rural Suzhou. Didn't look at the prices.

Cheers
I am not quite that far from home, actually I live in Dubai, but we seem to visit our home in the TEDA area of Tianjin yearly!

About 10 or more western styled pubs within walking distance, including one called The Crossroads Pub!! I have yet to visit that particular one!
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Old Jul 12th 2011, 3:52 am
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Default Re: Shanghai & Suzhou

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
Let me know if you want some more detailed (albeit limited) info.
Nice one, looks like I'm only going for about 5 days but once confirmed will give you a nod. Thanks again
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