Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Taicang People's Park

Our last park on the Shanghai leg was Taicang People's Park which we sped past as our driver was taking us to another entrance. Clearly a city park, this one was found by me in 2012 (go me!).

The foreboding entrance led to a really nice park, with odd western looking kid statues.

The mouse coaster was obviously easy to get to, just enter the park from the south-west side, turn left and it's in the back-left corner. A couple of ride ops were close by to open the ride and let us ride. Now this mouse was the first on the trip where the cars weren't in the back-to-back arrangement. In the west this style are made by a company called Reverchon. I was unable to tell whether this was the case here, I suspect this is a copy.

Having left the coaster behind we found a sign with "roller coaster" written on it that pointed away from the ride we'd just done? Did this park have an unknown second ride?

No, when we reached the destination this was the ride that was being referred to.

So we'd finished with another nice find (by me heh heh) and once again we'd been the first to ride it. It's little moments like this where the research pays off that makes the OCD element to my hobby worthwhile.

From here our driver took us to the train station from where we caught a first class bullet train to Beijing, changing at Tianjin South. The journey took 5 hours and covered around 1200km. A similar train journey in the UK would cost hundreds of pounds. In china it was around £60. One piece of advice is to not order the tickets from the UK. They have to be delivered to the mainland and having provided my hotel details, they failed to get there. Instead use your hotel concierge to order them for you and have them delivered to the hotel by courier. This failure by a reputable company brought some unwanted stress to the trip. You can't have the longest train journey fall through.It was such a massive relief to see the old courier drop the tickets in.

The second mistake we made was at the other end where we got into a taxi only for him to not understand where we wanted to go and we'd not printed the address details in Chinese. We were staying at an Ibis hotel but he couldn't understand what we were saying either. In the end I rang the hotel who couldn't speak English either so I handed the driver the phone and let them discuss it. Confirmation that the driver knew where he was going came in the form of him shouting out "eebis" and laughing, despite me saying that. So lesson, if you're staying at the ibis in Tianjin don't ask for "eye-bis" ask for "ee-bis", or take chinese address details, or just hand the phone to him like I did.


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