BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for April, 2008

« Home

Shanghai Majestic Theater – get some night entertainments

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Majestic Theater (美琪大戏院)is one of the oldes theaters in Shanghai. It offers a diverse range of regular performances such as opera, ballet, concerts, local/regional dance performances and gala. Sit in downtown Jing An district, a block away from Plaza 66 and Citic Plaza, it is on a very good location where you don’t need to worry about transportation after a performance ends late at night. Why does it matter? A friend told me that she hasn’t been to a concert for a long time because it is too hard to get a taxi after the show. The closest metro station for Majestic Theater is West Nanjing Rd. Station of Line 2 (Nanjing Xi Rd. 南京西路).

I went to see a Chinese opera “Madame Bovary, IS ME” directed by Edward Lam (Hong Kong) and performed by students from Taipei National University of Art (台北国立艺术大学) last week.

Here is my photo tour:

Shanghai Metro Line 2

I live around Jiangsu Rd. (江苏路) Station, Nanjing Xi Rd (南京西路) station is 2 stops towards west direction. Once you are off the metro, take Exit 1 and walk towards east on Nanjing Xi Rd. and then turn north on Jiangning Rd. (江宁路).

Shanghai Majestic Theater

When you see this sign, you know you will be there. (max. 10 minutes walk from the Metro station.)

Shanghai Majestic Theater

If you pass this sign, you are walking too far away. Turn back to the corner where the entrance is.


We headed to the theater directly from work and this was my dinner. It is called Guilin Rice Noodle Soup with Soured Cowpea (酸豆角桂林米粉). Not bad for 7RMB.

in the hall

Very nice!

from 2nd floor

The theater is well kept: clean and spacy. There are around 700 seats on ground and 300+ on the second floor.

Meeting the director and the performers!

Ok. here are some detailed information about how to get there:

  • Address: Jiangning Rd. 66, Shanghai (上海江宁路66号)
  • Phone: 021/6217-4409 (call before you go)
  • Online schedule: check the schedule here
  • Ticket:Buy in advanced, or just show up the theather before the show, “dealers” will gather around you. 30% off is a possible deal.

upcoming: The Best ABBA Show by Waterloo May 20, 2008

The Land of “The Lord of the Rings” – New Zealand

Monday, April 28th, 2008

My knowledge about New Zealand was very limited:dairy products and kiwi. But after I watched the movie “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, it became one of my most desired travel spost of the planet: who won’t want to see the mountain, the snow, the water and the land of hobbit, wizard and King? Even though I know quite large percetage of the specular scenery in the move is created by special effect experts.

In New Zealand offical tourism website about the “Home of Middle Earth“, you can see the the journey start from Waikato to Wellington (Wellington accomodations), Queenstown, Nelson, Canterbury Plains to Mt Ruapehu. However, this is not practical and detailed enough for a foreign traveler like me. The travel guidebook <Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook> by Ian Brodie is said to be the “Lonely Planet” of New Zealand. According to the book review on Amazon, you will need a GPS to leverage the guide on this book, and keep in mind “If you’re going to this fantastic country simply to see LOTR filming locations, I promise that you are missing out on what could be one of the greatest experiences of your life. Yes, go to see ‘Middle-Earth’ but do not forget the rest of New Zealand!” (by A. R. Snyder “Pluperfect”)

Planning your trip as I am?

1. Flights: there are 3 international airports in this island country: Auckland and Wellington in North Island, and Christchurch in South Island; you can land on other 4 cities if you depart from Australia. (see map for details)

2. Hotels: I found this website has very competitive and comprehensive New Zealand accommodation choices. For example, I am very happy to find that I can book a hostel for backpackers for NZD $ 25/night in Auckland downtown. Other good option for me is the four-star service apartment started at $85/night in Christchurch.

3. Tours: Since most of the LOTR locations are in South Island, it is said that the concentration of professional Lord of the Rings film tour operators is in Queenstown. Most tour you can find on Google is a 4WD tour, the other option is helicopter/airplane which is pricer but provides unrivalled scenery.

Check out photos of New Zealand here.

Hangzhou Off Beaten Vacation

Monday, April 7th, 2008

As my Hangzhou vacation plan, we spent three days in this beautiful city. We didn’t go through a typical tour-guided trip in which you will be shown around many attractions, of course including many factories visits, within one or two days, but randomly walked around and saw things as we planned.

Day 1: Longjing Tea Leaf Shopping

We had a pleasant train riding experience from Shanghai to Hangzhou. Check  Shanghai South Railway Station: the start of a most environmental friendly travel option   for tips on how to take trains from Shanghai to Hangzhou.


The weather wasn’t perfect, so we went to Long Jin Village to shop LongJin green tea leaf.  Spring tea season usually lasts for 5 to 6 weeks: 3 weeks before Qing Ming (April. 5) and 3 weeks after Qing Ming. Qing Ming is a traditional holiday for Chinese to “sweep” the tombs of their ancestors to show the respect ion and worship of the passed family members. Because of the snow storm disaster happened early this year in South China, the season started about 2 weeks later than usual and we were very lucky to buy the 3-day old fresh tea leafs from the farmers at very good price – more than 50 % less than the prices  in the tea stores in the cities. 

Longjing Tea and Tea trees

Day 2: West Lake (Xihu, 西湖)

Hangzhou is famous for its West Lake, and West Lake is famous for a lot of Chinese historical events and people, of course also its scenery. I was surprised at myself that I don’t know how the West Lake came from even though I know its big name when I was little. In this trip, I found some description on the attractions implying that West Lake is a volcanic lake, but when i researched on line later resources  say that there are two explanations on the cause of West Lake: 1. volcano eruption, 2. it was a bayHangzhou Xihu  West Lake connecting with Qiantang River and East Sea in about 12,000 years’ ago and was blocked and separated by sediment later and became a lake.  I don’t know  which to trust.

Anyway, because West Lake is a “money making” lake, the government of Hangzhou City obviously invests a lot in maintaining its surrounding environments  so that it is very beautiful around the lake — a lot of greens and flowers. The roads are clean and the air condition is much better than that in Shanghai.

But if you are not familiar with / interested in the Chinese classical literature and histories, you probably don’t want to spend more than half day around the lake, and I also won’t recommend you to take any paid tour around the lake.

Day 3: Silk Museum

There are two kinds of gifts you want to buy when you visit Hangzhou: 1. green tea leaf, 2. silk.  I didn’t buy any silk as I am not confident enough that I can tell the high quality silk products from the bad. Instead, we decided to visit the silk museum to get some education. The museum is free and I didn’t see more than 10 people during our visits. It is very nice and quiet. But if you go with your family, your kids and/or husband might find it a little boring. But I enjoyed a lot especially watching skilled workers to make the complicated patterned silk fabric from the threads.

China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou Zhejiang province

China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou Zhejiang province