My big Asia Trip – part one

So if you have been anywhere near my facebook feed in the past month, it’s pretty obvious that I had ben on a little journey to China and Japan. Our friend Kristen who lives there now ( for business) was gracious enough to invite us over and gave us the Grand Tour of Shanghai, Beijing and then Tokyo. I really tried to make an effort to edit these images down, rather than wait a year or more (I have yet to REALLY finish going through my photographs from this summers trip to Arizona!) It’s a bad habit to show a few here and there and never really present ‘everything’. So today on this rather nasty weather day, i’m tucked inside editing and organizing (I even ordered myself a book from Artifact Uprising, who I discovered at the PhotoPlus Expo this Fall. You should really check them out if you’re looking for an interesting alternative to your standard ‘printed book’)

Anyway after going through everything, I thought i’d break it down into smaller chance. Not only will it avoid visual overload, but will let me tell you a little more about what you’re looking at.

This was one of the first snaps I took ( with my phone ) shortly after we arrived. That 15.5 hour flight is pretty rough, and you arrive 12 hours AHEAD (3:00 pm here is 3am there the next day) This little plastic/schoolboy/thing was something I spotted in a billboard.

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My back was killing me, so we went for massages. So I had my first foot massage, which was simultaneously painful, tickly and relaxing.

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The next night we had a great dinner along The Bund, and while I didn’t lug my camera with me I – once again- grand a few iPhone shots

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Now there is an ENTIRE blog post here which we shall avoid at the moment–but let’s just say we ended up at a nightclub with a sort of creepy ‘Circus’ theme. There was a guy around 7 feet tall, bearded ladies a topless chick–and yes: little people in makeup to forever haunt you dreams.

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I’m going backwards here in time a little- but our first stop the day after we landed was the fabric market where I as told you can get all sorts of CUSTOM clothes made for pretty cheap. They weren’t kidding. Here is the damage: 4 dress shirts. A vest. 2 suits. A velvet blazer ( with a sassy lining ). A cashmere P-coat. How much? About $675.00 (!!!)


Next we stopped for Soup Dumplings which I was told are “like Crack”. Here they are making them with Science Lab precision, with each dumplings top twisted in a specific and methodical fashion. They were indeed, a fantastic way to start off the trip as far as food!!


Now I spotted these contraptions nearly everywhere with groups of trees. At first, I thought the spot I saw them contained new or weak plantings, but later saw them everywhere–almost as if they’re a decorative accent. I referred to them as ‘Ewok Villages’ for the remainder of the trip.


You will see an emerging pattern here: but I was rather fascinated by the phone/electric wires of which there seemed to be triple the amount we have here. Maybe it’s because there are triple the amount of people!


A not so welcoming tooth.


One of my favorites…



I really wanted to get back down to The Bund with my ‘real’ camera to get some night shots across the water to Pudong , home of- among other giant structures – the Oriental Pearl Tower. We actually never made it up into it, but I was far more fascinated by the scale and colors of it from afar!

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A little further down the road were this grouping of 3 pretty incredible buildings. The greenish ‘bottle opener’ one has a Park Hyatt hotel and bar at the top ( naturally we popped in for some Sake)

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The Art Deco aspects of the Jin Mao Tower was pretty amazing.

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This mind-bending twisted building is the Shanghai Tower, and right now is the tallest in all of China and 2nd tallest in the world. I simply could not wrap my head around not only it’s height, but the way it’s built to look so askew. Standing under it it honestly felt like it was going to spin and all over on us. I got so dizzy I had to kneel down to take these images,



The next day we did some wandering and exploring

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There is a LOT of laundry in Shanghai–I mean like, everywhere. Outside apartments, inside windows. EVERYWHERE.

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These guys are furiously breaking off tiny pieces of the long candy sticks into small, edible chunks.

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I guess no matter WHERE you go, there’s a ‘New York’ something or other!

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These shops in these super-cramped alleyways really fascinated me

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Not I cannot say for certain, but i THINK the image below on the lower left shows a ‘toilet’ restaurant-where you eat out of small toilet ‘bowls’ and I THINK sit on toilet seats as well. Sadly we didn’t make it…but i’ll bet it was shitty. 🙂

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Obama Mao

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back to The Bund and a few more night shots


The blog reduces its size, but this Panorama is really cool full size! You can see the Full-size image HERE


We all thought this boat looked like a weird turtle!


SO there’s part one–next time i’ll show you Yu Gardens and then some stuff rom Tokyo. Later we’ll cover the Forbidden City , Great Wall and other goodies too – including Robots…for real!

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