Introduction and Flight on AA
Google Maps in China
Sheraton Changzhou Xinbei Review
Intro to China High Speed Rail (CSR)
Cantonese Food and Ramen in Shanghai
Intercontinental Shanghai Puxi Review
Nanjing (City Wall, Nanjing Massacre Memorial, Purple Mountain)
Suzhou (Tiger Hill, Humble Administrator’s Garden)
Changzhou Tianning Temple
Hangzhou (West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda, Longjing tea)
Flight Home and After Thoughts
So there are a few parts of Changzhou I visited: Downtown, Xinbei, and Olympic Park.
There is Dinosaur Park in Changzhou, which i thought was some kind of zoo or Dinosaur exhibit. On my last day on my last trip, i found out it was an amusement park with dinosaur exhibits. Some people complained about waiting on long lines, which is a given in China, and the rides seems to be very modest compared to the monster coasters here in the US.
Xinbei is a new portion of the city and has a few malls and many restaurants scattered around. The main road has three malls, one of them being Wanda Plaza, which was right next to the Sheraton. Wanda Plaza is a large chain mall here in China, like Simon’s mall in the US. They have a lot of shops inside the mall and outside of the mall. Some of the main storefronts of the surrounding shops are still under construction as of 2013 but they seem to be close to opening before the summer. Inside the mall are mostly Chinese restaurants, a buffet, Chinese Pizza Hut, and a Walmart.
There is a coffee shop on the 3rd floor diagonally across from the Sheraton. It can be seen from the hotel entrance. It is open till 1:30am and has a good menu. The menu is limited since it is a coffee, tea, dessert and drinks restaurant, but has booths for ample seating and has a limited food menu that was pretty good. This might be the best place to eat outside of the Sheraton.
The downtown area is where the main railway station is with slower trains and the high speed trains. This is the easiest way to get to Changzhou due to schedules and frequency of trains, both slow and high speed. There’s not much adjacent to the station but a quick drive away. There is a small flower garden, cultural center and the famous Tianming Temple nearby.
The Olympic Park has the main Olympic Stadium used for track and field during the Olympics and now used for soccer matches. Adjacent to the stadium is an indoor gym facility. Unfortunately, entry is limited to members and there were no day passes available. There were some ping pong tables in the lobby. Nearby is an Olympic hotel that is now a regular hotel and a few restaurants.
Adjacent to the Olympic park is the Changzhou Theatre that holds concerts and other large performances. Across the park from the theatre is the Changzhou Museum. I worked 9-5 and didn’t stay there on the weekends to go to the Museum. Just to the north of the Theatre and Museum is the Changzhou Government building, which is actually guarded by a moat on all sides. Most of the bridges into the building are guarded and locked.
I have been to Olympic Park and the Changzhou Theatre area but only at night when I was running so I don’t have any pictures of that area.
There is a second high speed train station in Changzhou (called Changzhou North) and its a few miles north of Xinbei in a very new part of town. This line has a maximum speed of 300kmh after being lowered from 350khm after the incidents of 2011. Nearby are some new housing complexes and industrial parks. Relatively speaking, its in the middle of nowhere. I generally use it to go to Shanghai but not coming from Shanghai as there are few taxi’s that pick up passengers there. It is also much closer to our engineering office and there’s not much traffic in that area. I tried looking around for a taxi stand but there weren’t any. You can call for a Taxi to come pick you up, but I don’t think my mandarin would be good enough to do that.