2019 Year End Trip Day 8

Local Time: 10/27/2019 Shanghai and Beijing

Today is our first day in China. After a wonderful evening in Westin Shanghai. The day started off really early with me working alone in our full dining room. It is just too bad that we had to leave early this morning.

Once Vicky woke up, I took a break and went to take advantage of Westin’s gym. It is the first time we are working our here on our trip.

After our 25 minutes workout, we had to hurry and tried out the Westin’s breakfast. Since I was Super Duper status, I get a choice to go to the Westin club from last night for breakfast for the main dining hall on 1st floor for breakfast. Of course we tried the first floor. And it is just amazing!!

Since we have an early 9:00 am train ride, We left the hotel around 7:30 am. It is too bad that we could not stay in Shanghai to much longer. It’s looks like a pretty amazing city and the weather today also looked amazing. I will likely try to join Vicky on her next business trip here to make up for this time. But before we left the hotel we had to say good bye to our robot attendant.

The ride and traffic from the Bund to Hongqaio train station was smoother than expected. In China, DiDi and WeChat pay are so easy everywhere, all the taxi and ride share drivers accept it. No cash ever exchange hand and more.

Once at the train station, we had to get our tickets and headed to our train.

This was the first time for me to ride the high speed rail between Shanghai and Beijing. For some reason, the train security will not let me take a picture from front front of the train. But I was so excited to ride on this train!!

It would take us around 13 hours to drive the distance between Shanghai and Beijing and over 2 hours of flying. However, the high speed rail took us only around 4 hours including 3 quick stops. That was pretty amazing time!!! So to put this in perspective, The distance between Beijing and Shanghai is around 1215 miles. It is similar to the distance between Seattle to San Diego which is around 1255 miles. The famous Japan’s Shinkansen tops out around 320 km/h (200mph). The China’s FuXing Train (High Speed Rail) max out around 347 km/h (215mph)!!! And it is FAST!!! Just imagine if we can take a train and be in San Diego in 4 hours!!! WoW!!!

We got the first class ticket seat. Which were very spacious and comfortable. So for trains, there are 2nd class, 1st class, premium class seats. So 1st class are the middle of the pack.

The train ride was pretty smooth, the best part of course was the large window and seeing the sceneries changes from Southern China to the colder Northern China environment.

The second best part of riding a long train ride if of course their bento box!!! Since my experience in Kyushu, I have much lower expectation. Especially, thinking that this is China, it can’t be better lunch box than Japan. And Boy was I wrong!!! The lunch box was amazing!!! First of all, I did not have to wait in line, they came right to the seat. Second of all, the bento box was HOT! Actually service hot food verse, cold bento boxes in Japan. And finally, the entire transaction was done with WeChat pay, completely cashless!!! AMAZING!!!

From the box and the wrapping, I was expecting a fried pork chop, every though the box says onion ribs and salmon.

What we got inside was ribs, corn, curry (which was a surprise) veggies, and salmon. Oh and some hot sauce in the middle. Of course the entire meal was temperature hot and it came with a big serving of rice!!! How does it taste? it tasted great! Much better than expected and we were full for both of use just with one meal. All in all, I rate this meal better than my Japanese train bento meal earlier this week!!!

Once we arrived at Beijing, it took use a while to find our DiDi ride, but one found our ride, we began our family duties. First heading home and than to visit our relatives one after another.

It was a long day, but it ended with a night of chatting with one of Vicky’s Uncle over home made dumplings. Such a classic Chinese reunion meal!!

After dinner we drove home and was stuck in Beijing traffic. When we were finally home I was tired and exhausted.

Tomorrow is another full day, of visiting family and then we will be heading back to Japan. Our amazing race tour continues….