Month: June 2020

teamLab Borderless

teamLab Borderless

Thursday was Dragon Boat Festival in China, which meant a 3-day weekend (and that Sunday is a working day but I’m trying not to think about that today). We took advantage of the day off to use the tickets for teamLab Borderless I got for my birthday.

teamLab Borderless is a museum or digital art exhibition with lots of lights, projections, sounds and smells. They have it in different places and Shanghai is one of them. It was really fun exploring the different rooms and of course taking lots and lots of pictures. The first few areas we wandered through worked mostly with moving projections and had a lot of flowers and colors.

Next was a room full of blinking lights. It had long strips with LEDs hanging from the ceiling with some paths to walk through. Inside, it simulated rain storms and they lit them in lots of different colors.

To take a little break, we went to En Tea House. Your drink becomes part of the art work and has projections on it which change when you drink from your cup or move it. Technology is so cool.

The next areas we saw worked with shapes: One room had mushroom like statues on the ground and you had to walk through them. The one after that was full of glass spheres which move around on a mini roller coaster.

The last room we explored was one of my favorites. It was a full of lamps changing colors and mirrors. I may have hit my head on one of the lamps taking pictures – worth it.

It was a really cool, immersive and very pretty exhibition. An excellent birthday present and great first day of the long weekend 🙂

Thirty

Thirty

So, last month I turned thirty. The big 3-0. I think I’m still not ready but I am ready to share some pictures 🙂 My birthday wasn’t as I had planned, but nonetheless, it was a really good one. I’m very glad that despite this whole COVID-19 mess I could still do some fun things and celebrate with amazing people. I know many people aren’t that lucky this year.

The celebration encompassed 3 parts: A night at the W hotel, a small birthday dinner on the actual day and a big birthday party the weekend after.

A little Staycation

We came back from our week-long China trip the day before my birthday and went straight to the W. They still had the same package going on that we enjoyed in March: Happy hour, massages and breakfast, so this is where I turned 30. Our room overlooked the Bund and the Pearl tower – and that view never gets old. At midnight, we had cake and champagne with my family over WeChat video. Definitely the coolest cake I’ve had so far 🙂

The next day, I got a special birthday pancake and we spent a bit of time by the pool. Pretty good start to the day, I’d say.

Birthday Dinner

In the evening, we had dinner at our place. Thorben cooked and I made appetizers and cocktails. The pineapple-tini might just be my new favorite drink! It was a really fun and yummy night with friends. And yes, one should always wear a tiara on their birthday 🙂

Thankfully, I had the next day off – both to recover and to have lunch with Tim, who had archery duties the night before.

Birthday Party

The weekend after, I celebrated again with the whole gang at Tacolicious, my favorite taco place in Shanghai. Fitting to the occasion, I think we were exactly 30 people. My VIPs from Germany and Singapore were definitely missed, so I was happy to have almost all of my Shanghai VIPs there 🙂 We had loads of good food and margaritas and a lot fun with a polaroid camera.

The night went on at a salsa party, another club and ended with 3 am pizza – none of it documented thankfully 😉 I think I just might have to have another big party next year!

China Travels: Sanya

China Travels: Sanya

The last stop of our trip was Sanya, the southernmost point of China. Sanya is a city on the tropical island Hainan. It is sometimes called “China’s Hawaii” due to the year round nice weather and beaches. So while we couldn’t make it to the real Hawaii due to travel restrictions, we still got to enjoy some time at the beach 🙂

We stayed at the Sanya Edition for 3 nights and didn’t leave the hotel except to go to the beach. The complex is huge with palm trees, 5 pools, several restaurants and all sorts of entertainment. We were pretty lazy and mostly laid in the shade (Thorben may have also gone to the gym but whatever). I think I read 3 books throughout our vacation, it was great 🙂

Even with wearing sunscreen and staying under a tree, I somehow managed to get a pretty bad sunburn on the first day. So the second day, I spent mostly on our balcony. It wasn’t really a burden with a view like that:

Once the sun went down, I dared to leave the shade again for some more beach time. The temperature is pretty much the same night and day and the water is really warm. I didn’t really expect the beach to be so nice and it was really good to have a few relaxed days after a lot of sightseeing and hiking.

The food was also really good at the Edition! We spent 2 hours each morning having breakfast. The buffet had a lot of choices and the restaurants were also great. This was our dinner the last night we were there:

Sanya is definitely a great getaway and made for the perfect end to our South China trip. It’s a 3 hour flight from Shanghai, so in case we ever have an emergency need for sunshine and the ocean, we may just have to go back.

China Travels: Longji Rice Terraces

China Travels: Longji Rice Terraces

The second stop of our week long vacation in Southern China was the Longji Rice Terraces Scenic Area. From Yangshuo, it is a 2.5 hour drive to the foot of Ping’An village and then we had to hike up the hill a bit to get to our hotel.

Ping’An Village

The whole area surrounding Ping’An village is beautiful and very peaceful. When we were there, we barely saw any other tourists. In the beginning of May, the rice terraces are getting flooded and prepared for planting the rice. That means we couldn’t see lush green fields but some reflection in the water and people working in the fields. We did an evening hike through the village and up to some view points to enjoy the scenery.

Nine Dragons and Five Tigers

Our last stop of the hike was a viewpoint called Nine Dragons and Five Tigers. I’m not sure exactly which shapes are the dragons and tigers but it was really pretty. 🙂 We stayed a while to watch the sun set behind the hills and see the reflections changing, before heading back down the hill.

More hiking through the rice fields

The next day was cloudy, but still a good day for more exploring. I don’t know the names of the places we saw, but we hiked mostly downhill, passing more villages and rice terraces and other fields.

It was really worth the trip and I’d love to go back once the rice is planted and has grown. It probably won’t be as quiet then, so I think we picked a good time to go!