Exploring new places!
I wanted to give myself a treat after a week of work, so I asked a friend to take me to Moganshan to ride mountain bikes. Technically, this was research as I wanted to experience how challenging it was to get out of Shanghai to ride dirt trails. For any expat that lives in Shanghai, this post will most likely make you yawn, but for me, it was a really neat adventure. I speak painfully basic Mandarin (babies have bigger vocabularies than I) and only slightly better Cantonese, so I mix up words all the time. Caveat aside, I was lucky enough to travel with a native Chinese gal. Since we didn’t have other riders with us, we sought trails she’d never explored and stayed at a hotel her business associate would never choose. It was a new trip for both of us!
As most trips start off, when not competely wasting money on private car hires or taxi, you get on a train. This is the train station next to from Shanghai-Pudong airport. You may not be able to tell, but the little square gray box with the 4 round holes is actually an entrance to your train line. You can see there are 2 equally shaped boxes of shop space between that and another terminal entrance. Beyond the sliding doors is an escalator that takes you to your line.
Here is the dining train where we decided to sit rather than go to our seats. The night before, we tried to buy tickets together, but unfortunately, there were no actual ticket sellers, only automated machines. In China, you need your passport / ID to make all transportation purchases. Since I am a US citizen, I was unable to purchase a ticket at one station. We had to go to another major city to try to get a ticket, or chance waking up early to get one.
We ended up getting tickets, but wouldn’t sit next to one another. So the dining cart was the next best thing.
After hour and a half train ride, we got into a hired car for another hour drive..
One thing I noticed was that every home was being renovated, built, or bulldozed in the little town. Most of these buildings are vacation rentals or hotels for people to get away from the city. We ended up getting off at a European style hostel where we rented bikes. The driver would take our backpacks and gear to the other side of the mountain where we decided would be a better nights accommodation. It isn’t cheap in Mogansgan. Most places charge 90USD per night, like this bed with a shared shower / toilet, and basic Wi-Fi.
Nice place, though, and chill vibe. We borrowed hard tails for the 2 days here. They didn’t have a business card, so I don’t recall the name of the place..
We opted to ride up road, over to the other side of the mountain. A stop for lunch at the top with nice veggies awaited us!
Don’t mind the gap in the mapping! Tracking yourself in China is not easy. :)
The Moganshan area is famous for its spectacular views, picturesque Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon shots, Foxtail bamboo, and young tender baby bamboo. This lunch was so tasty and light. Cilantro lovers can delight in raw chopped salad of cilantro and firm tofu!
To be continued..