This was my second visit to Qibao (my first visit back in July 2010). Located right off metro line 9, the ancient water town of Qibao is a great (and easy) visit from downtown Shanghai.
Besides the iconic views, the next most appealing thing to me are the 2元 (0.25€) and 10元 (1.24€) shops, where everything inside is that price. Second would easily have to be the food stalls, carrying everything from freshly-made banana bread and steamed dumplings to fried crickets and other things I couldn’t quite recognize.
Since this was my second visit to Holland Village, I don’t think I captured as many [interesting] pictures. Nothing much has changed from this strange area since my first visit almost two years ago. It’s a long metro ride to the far reaches of northern Pudong to Gao Qiao then walking the final stretch to Holland Village (see my previous posts for more info: Gao Qiao | Holland Village).
And yes, I still think they should change the name to Shangsterdam and open a frituur.
Final night on the wonderful island of Koh Phangan… in the little village of Thong Nai Pan… another spot that will surely be missed (but I’ll be back!).
YO! Sorry for the hiatus, but I just got back from the Philippines. Chillin’ hard.
Back to business…. these are some shots from the ancient watertown of Suzhou, China. From my last post you can see I had to follow a Russian delegation around for a week and half… well, their trip ended in Suzhou, so I got some much needed free time to go out and shoot my own thang. Holla!
After temple patrol and the Cam Nam Island adventure, we came back to the Hoi An old town for dinner, drinks and some more vespertine action…
We flew from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Da Nang, and then a short 30min drive to the town of Hoi An…… a slightly touristy, but extrememly beauitful town. The center of the village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and thus historically preserved… the first night we took some bicycles into the town center, which is where I captured these.
Afterwards, we had some beers at Treat’s Bar for 10,000 VND a bottle… and if that isn’t a reason to come back, I don’t know what is.
On my bike ride into Rotterdam city center to meet some friends I stopped off at Delfshaven (map) for a quick shoot. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been here, but had never taken any pictures. Which is partly to blame on the fact that this is less than a 10min bike ride from where I grew up.
Delfshaven (“Port of Delft“) was a harbor built in 1389 some 10km away from the town Delft as to surpass the high tax that merchants had to pay for mooring in the city of Rotterdam. In 1886, Delfshaven became part of the city of Rotterdam, and was extremely lucky to have been left intact after the mass bombings (1150 x 50kg & 158 x 250kg) that levelled the entire city center of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940. The Dutch surrendered to the Nazi forces shortly after only to endure 128 more known air raids by Allied forces, the second largest of which carried out by the US Air Force on March 31, 1943. It is fair to say that Rotterdam was completely demolished by the fighting of World War II (more info here). My great-grandfather, a captain himself, was moored in Rotterdam during one of these bombings, and was forced to flee back to our family in Antwerp, some 120km to the south, partly by bike, but mostly on foot.
I still prefer my name for Holland Village… SHANGSTERDAM.
Holland Village [map], another housing project part of the “1 City – 9 Towns” initiative the Shanghai Planning Commission set up in 2001. Designed by Dutch architects, this project, like Thames Town (see my posts of Thames Town here and here), is not quite a success, partly because it is located too far away from the city (20min walk to metro, then over an hour to Peoples Square), and partly because Chinese tastes do not suit with Dutch architecture, nevermind the price tag of 35,000RMB per square meter. Hardly as intricate as the “British” Thames Town (not even a single bike stall!), but definitely worth a visit and walk around. Just about as much as a ghost town as the “British” Town, but a few more locals walking around, as Holland Village (aka Shangsterdam!) is better integrated with the surrounding town of Gao Qiao, whereas Thames Town was a seriously locked-down housing complex (with only 2 entrances/exits).
To visit Shangsterdam, you can easily walk from the North Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone station, the second to last stop on line 5. Then an easy, and picturesque (see previous post) 20min walk following the river through traditional Chinese streets and you’ll eventually see the windmill located on an island in the middle of the river you’ve been following.