Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nanjing to Shanghai on High Speed Rail

These trains are beautiful and plentiful.  Here in the station you see three ready to go.  Compared to the traditional train, this takes about 90 minutes from Nanjing to Shanghai.  The traditional train can take around 4 hours.  It's quite heavily used.  That said, the passenger levels are climbing as we get closer to Chinese New Year.  I've heard it's the largest migration of people on the planet as Chinese head home to be with family.  It's been described as like our Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas.

We are on the causeway headed to our train on the far left.  This is over the standard train.  Tickets are less expensive for this, although the fast train is not that expensive.  In the $30-40.00 range I think.  Even first class was only an additional $15.00, or 100 RMB.

One more of the train station.  In the foreground is the typical train, and the white trains in the back are the high speed, running at 300 km/hr.

The blurry picture is because I am carrying my overweight briefcase, coat, ticket, passport in hand, and rushing to catch my colleagues.  In a way, the blurry captures the essence of the minute.

This is the typical lunch for us.  So much food, so many different flavors, I don't know where to begin.  First, the Chinese aren't afraid to dive in.  In just about everything.  Yes, in the middle are the green beans, a favorite of mine, ordered for me.  The lazy susan center table is on every table.  Also typical is a huge number of private rooms where we sat here.  The common area is small, relative to the number of these private rooms.  It's helpful to tune out the sound of the restaurant, although I have to say, it's a little closed in for me.  That said, I ate well.  So well.  Way way well.  :-)

Another huge skyline, here in Nanjing.  We didn't have much time in town here, but saw many common themes here.  That huge building is the Intercontinental hotel where Tony stayed, viewed from my hotel, the Sofitel.  It was said the Intercontinental is the tallest building in Nanjing.  Tony said he had breakfast on floor 75.  I think the Intercon as they call it, was nicer.  That said, Sofitel was nice!

 This is the Sofitel pool in Nanjing on the 9th floor I think.  Pretty pool.  I would guess it's 25 meters.  One strange and unique thing about it was the tempurature, at 30 deg C, which I'm not doing the math, but I would guess it's in the 90's Fahrenheit.  So warm, darn near hot tub.  There was a sign stating the room temp and the pool temp, and next to it, compared to China pool averages, and then compared to international pools.  I thought this sign was a little strange,

1)  strange to have a flyer stating the pool room air temp and the pool water temp
2)  turn pool and room temp into a competition in the country
3)  turn the temperature competition into an international race

But that's what I saw.  The Chinese are going places.

He's riding an electric enhanced bike.  I think they get up to about 20 mph.  The mittens are built onto the handle bars.  In this part of town, the high tech area, you can not use gas powered.  It's a glimmer of including mother nature in decisions.  Not a moment too soon!

Jib Jab
This is a good point to mention a couple of thoughts from the trip.  The first is, WOW.  China is stunning, if not shocking in their acceleration to modernization.  In many respects, it's a government working for the people, and getting so much done.  Entire 20 million people high tech, pristine modern cities created in 20 years, if not 10.  Can you imagine the USA moving that fast?  We have a couple cities of that size that have grown over 100's of years.  It's just stunning.  The pace of economic growth is also absolutely jaw dropping, at about 10% per year growth every year over the last decade or more.  Rather than cities providing utility services, and business building, here, the government builds the roads, utilities, transportation and even huge beautiful office and manufacturing buildings, and leases or then sells to business.  It's so efficient and fast!

As good as this all sounds, there are challenges.  Pollution.  The massive growth does cost, and what I've seen, it has been charged to Mother Nature.  The smog wasn't as visible in Shanghai, thankfully, but I think everywhere else.  It's oppressive.  I constantly felt a burning in my lungs.  It's like a scary movie, surreal.  The model also lends itself to corruption, which apparently is typical here.

No comments:

Post a Comment