Saturday, 12 July 2008

New theme parks in Asia

New theme parks in Asia


- Joy Valley Theme Park in Shanghai will be the biggest amusement park in China. The 87-hectare Joy Valley Theme Park, expected to open in 2010, includes a hotel, a conference center, and theatre, and is expected to receive five to seven million visitors every year.

- Shanghai’s Chongming Island will build the country’s first theme park for bicycles that will include bike paths, competitions, and entertainment. Three cycling stadiums are planned, including one for motocross. The park will also include a training school, a gallery, and a bicycle museum.

- Overseas Chinese Town, a new park in Sheshan, will add the country’s first wooden coaster, “Fireball,” in 2009. The coaster will stand 108.25 feet tall with a first drop of 103 feet. It will feature 3,819 feet of twisted track and reach a top speed of 56 mph.

- Kids City in Hangzhou allows children ages 5 to 10 to experience adult professions. The indoor entertainment and education park offers more than 50 professions, including pilot, doctor, police officer, and lawyer.

- Outside of Shanghai in the neighboring city of Zhouzhuang, a $40 million park will open to celebrate the theme “5,000 Years of Chinese Culture.”

Well, with the plans of Disneyland on the way there will be no shortage of things for tourists to do when they come to Shanghai. The fast rate of development of China and the whole northern Asia region is kinda scary thing!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The transient nature of the expat life

In Beijing expat Alan's blog he talks about this topic and he brings up a lot of points I agree with such as:

My expat experience has largely liberated me from an attachment to specific places and things. I thought it would be difficult to leave our house in New Jersey, but I've rarely thought about it. I have no idea what's in the container of belongings we have in storage, and probably wouldn't miss much if it all vanished. Walking into Nathan and Kristi's empty house was a reminder of why stuff doesn't really matter: We make the inanimate objects come to life, and not vice versa. Similarly, it reminded me that the fond feelings I have for this place are all wrapped up in the people. There was certainly no charm to those bare walls, studded with hooks where pictures once hung.

As I've noted before, expat friendships tend to form quickly and develop intensely. I haven't made this many close friends since college. All of us are in the same boat, thousands of miles away from home and generally without our extended families and old friends. Cutting loose from your past can be liberating but also a bit freaky, and the combination fuels the close friendships. We are one another's families, marking holidays, birthdays, graduations and other milestones together. And that's why it's easy to lapse into melodrama when talking about the annual departures of friends; it feels like a family's splitting up, albeit on amicable terms.

I'm sure every expat has experienced this at one time or another. It's sad but unfortunately a part of life...

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Vote for your favorite Shanghai restaurants with Urbanatomy

Vote here for your favorite Shanghai eateries.

I have to admit I'd only been to one or two of the places on each list (and sometimes added my own suggestions) and skipped the second half of the survey since I don't goto bars/pubs/clubs...