Back to China
I’m going back to China for quite a while. This will be a fun trip, and I’m getting access to all kinds of incredible places. I’m not totally sure about the details of my adventure, but I’ll be sure to share them with you here.
I’ve also recently gone through the trouble of getting another Chinese Visa. These things are not terribly easy or cheap to get! The first thing that is horribly unnerving is the requirement to send my actual passport through the mail. It’s a major worry to do this! Furthermore, it’s not cheap — in order to get everything back and forth to me as quickly as possible, fees + Fedex costs over $300.
I like the “softcore Visas”, where you stand in line after arrival and then pay some shifty-eyed Indonesian customs worker $20 US cash and he stamps you through right away.
Daily Photo – The Wormhole
Shanghai has this incredible tunnel that goes under the river to the Bund. It’s just wild inside!
They have a series of robotic trains that shuttle people back and forth. Robotic doors whir open then shut again. The front of the capsule has a bubble-window that allows for a stunning view as you dip below the river and back up again. Colored lights in every lighting configuration fly by in beautiful colors. This is an amazing experience that I recommend if you ever get to Shanghai!
Look at this crazy place I found in Shanghai!
This was inside one of the many government buildings. It was a multi-story complex dedicated to the past, present, and future of Shanghai. It was filled with multimedia presentations on the water systems, photo exhibits of the Bund under British control, and video extrapolations of what the city would become in 2020.
Of all these cool things, the best was this gigantic model of Shanghai. I walked around it about five times, trying to get some kind of sense of how to photograph the dang thing. Then, finally, I decided to grab a shot that included a few tourists to show the scale of this monstrosity.
By the way, thanks so much for all the interest in the Newsletter yesterday! I put a map on that page showing where all the early subscribers are coming from. I was, frankly, surprised how many people signed up! Now the pressure is on to deliver something that is worthwhile!
I crossed under the river one night from the Bund to get a closer look at the Oriental Pearl Tower. There was a cool fountain at the bottom and no tourists around.
This is a good thing, since it is always hard to make tourists look “cool” in photos. No matter what, everyone ends up looking like a gawking Rick Steves. Speaking of which, his travel series on PBS called “Europe through the Back Door” always gave me cause for concern.
It was well after sundown when I finished some meetings, so I went down to the Bund to take some shots across the river of Shanghai. Even in the middle of the night, the river was full of boats coming and going, all lit up with various festive colors. Everything had an electric feel and I very much enjoyed walking up and down the river as the lights changed and new boats came and went…
Shanghai looks huge and amazing no matter what side of the river you are visiting! I think I went back and forth 8 times to see it from one angle then the next as the sun was setting. There is this electric train that goes in a tube under the water that is surrounded with enough flashing neon to send the average Japanese kid into seizures. It’s all fantastic and electric — and both banks were covered every night with people admiring the view… Normally I don’t like tourists in my shots, but this one was kind of about the viewers of the city viewing the city.
Shanghai! What a crazy cool place… It has 200% the energy and activity of New York… Very fun and exciting. It was good to have a local group of friends to show me the best haunts… of course I was a bit of a drain since I had to carry my camera around… but… comon of course!