Asia 2005 Journey Day Thirteen
                                    Xi'an, China to Huangshan, China
                                            May 16, 2005:  Partly sunny and very warm.  Since all flights from Xi'an to Huangshan required a long layover
                                            at a hub airport, we changed our plans to allow for a full day in Shanghai.
                                            We arrived early at Shanghai's new Pudong airport.  It is connected to the new subway system via yet another
                                            new item - an actual Maglev (Magnetic levitation) based train.  For years, many countries have planned or 
                                            attempted to install; however, China has the real thing and is extremely functional.  The normal 30 minute
                                            taxi drive to the nearest subway stop is trimmed to 7 minutes.  At 431 kph (250 mph), it adds new meaning
                                            to term "rapid" transit.  However, it does close early - 5:30 p.m.  The Transit office was very nice to provide
                                            a refund since we arrived too late to use the return portion of our ticket.  Our replacement was a taxi and 
                                            we believe our driver was attempting to match the speed of the Maglev train.
                                            Shanghai is the epitome of China architectural engineering.  From the backdrop of old English and French
                                            colony buildings rise the skyscrapers that are quite distinguishable.  The World's highest hotel along with
                                            the city's new icon Pearl Tower is located in the highly charged Pudong area next to the main Huangpu 
                                            River.  Similar to other China cities, there is a proliferation of sky cranes used for high rise construction.
                                            A walk along the riverside Bund promenade allows for viewing of all the different styles.  And yes, one
                                            can purchase a new $5 Rolex here also.  Pride in the architecture is evident in the new Urban Planning
                                            Exhibition building - a showcase in itself.
                                            The upper class boutiques in the French Concession area differ from the homemade housing located a 
                                            few blocks away.  New apartment buildings are on an accelerated pace to provide replacement housing.
                                            A person can purchase Tiffany jewelry and then take a 10 minute walk in another direction where fresh 
                                            eels can be purchased and cooked on site.  Class diversity would be an understatement.
                                            Like all China cities, the cars, buses, bikes, motorcycles, and hand carts all vie for space on the roads.  Seems
                                            to be an unwritten law as to merging with no stops and the horn is used for pending passing acknowledgement.
                                            Even though pedestrians have the right-away, it's not a given that it is recognized.
                                                Maglev Station    Maglev Train   
                                                                                   Top Maglev Speed: 431 kph
                                                     Shanghai City Center    Shanghai City Center    Shanghai City Center
                                        Shanghai Opera House  Shanghai City Center    Bund Buildings
                                        Shanghai City Center    Pudong Area    Pudong Area
                          Chinese Market Area  Chinese Market Area  Chinese Market Area  Chinese Market Area
                                                    Shanghai Streets    Shanghai Streets


                                           Travel specs:  China Eastern Air Bus 320, Maglev Train, Double decker public bus, and an old VW Santanna Taxi
                                            Return to Asia 2005