Sanqing Shan

A taste of Sanqing Shan, in eastern Jiangxi, China. There’s a definite similarity with Huang Shan, although there are far fewer visitors (especially considering that I was there over the weekend), and it has a Taoist legacy. It’s not in the previous Lonely Planet China guide, but I can assure you it will be in the next one!

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Lost: The Original Station

The Secret Lushan Station

Did the Dharma Initiative have a station that no one knew about in China? That Taoist logo had to have come from somewhere! I passed by this place today while hiking around Lushan…thought I felt some funny electromagnetic activity in the air. Or maybe I’ve just had too much tree-ear fungus in the past couple days.

Lonely Planet Shanghai Updates (June 2010)

New

Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆 (20 Huqiu Rd; 虎丘路20号; admission Y15; open 10-6, Tue-Sun) New contemporary art museum in the Bund Origin area, housed in the former Royal Asiatic Society building (1932).

Minsheng Art Museum 民生现代美术馆 (570 West Huaihai Rd, Bldg F, Red Town; 淮海西路570号红坊F座; admission Y20; open 10am-9pm, Tue-Sun) New French Concession museum in the Red Town complex, with acclaimed 30-year retrospective of contemporary Chinese art.

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Lonely Planet Shanghai Updates (May 2010)

Opening Night at the Expo

The World Expo officially kicked off on May 1st, and with its opening comes even more changes to the city that can’t sit still. In addition to the official website, you can also check out a few other sites. For an interactive map that includes a pavilion browser, go to http://expo.shanghaidaily.com. The blog Shanghai Expo Insights has regular updates, pictures and videos and is easy to navigate.

Bund Origin Area More of the Bund has reemerged from renovation – the latest area to be unveiled is what is being referred to as the “Bund Origin Area,” at the confluence of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River. Yuanming Rd, one street back from the Bund, has been pedestrianized. The notable building here is the former British Consulate (the first colonial building built on the Bund), though it is not currently open to the public.

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Lonely Planet Shanghai Updates (April 2010)

Photo courtesy of the Oriental Morning Post 东方早报

New

Of course the big news this month is the reopening of the Bund after some three years of construction dust and jackhammering. Most traffic has been diverted underground, though there are still five lanes in use.

Also new is Hongqiao Airport’s Terminal 2 (where most carriers are now based – primarily domestic flights), and with it the western extension of metro line 2 to Hongqiao, which opened on the same day.  The Pudong extension has not yet opened.

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Voyage dans le noir

Today I got stuck in an elevator. And not just any elevator, but a Louis Vuitton elevator on the Champs Elysées. An LVMH elevator that was entirely black inside, without any lights or buttons. At first I thought it was some sort of art thing. But after thirty seconds, I noticed that the elevator had not yet done anything, except trap me inside.

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Makoto Aoki: Deceptively classy French bistro, hai!

Makoto Aoki, photo courtesy of Paris Bistro Editions

When I told my mom that I went to Aoki for dinner over the weekend, she was not impressed. In fact, her exact words were, “French food cooked by a Japanese guy? I think I’ll skip that one the next time I come to visit.”

Little does she know that Japanese chefs are all the rage in Paris. To anyone who has lived here long enough, the France-Japan lovefest will not seem that surprising (Monet and Kenzo, to name but two culture-crossers), but on the surface there is little resemblance. In one corner you have highly emotive and decadent, in the other you have extreme restraint and minimalism. Perhaps this is a case of opposites attract. Or maybe it is that they both tend to be exigeant. Seriously exigeant. An appreciation for perfection and detail that pulls together the two poles.

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Lonely Planet Shanghai Updates (February 2010)

The new Shanghai city guide is due out in a few days, which makes it a good time to initiate a “Shanghai Updates” category – if ever there was a guidebook that needed an online updates page somewhere, this would be the one. Feel free to post your own discoveries (good or bad) here. To kick things off, I’ll start with the closures – yes, some listings have already closed before the book was even published, but hey, that’s what this page is for.
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