It is so amazing to be blessed with the opportunity to see something new every week and I just can't get enough of exploring this fascinating and diverse country. This weekend my destination was Chongming island.
The purpose of this weekend-get-away was to celebrate Leon's birthday and I had planned it as a surprise for him with Jeff and Nancy - a friend couple of ours. Jeff grew up on Chongming - one of China's biggest islands which is located only 2 hours driving from Shanghai.
This weekend all four of us went on this little road-trip we talk a lot about doing every time we meet up in the city for dinner or drinks: driving to and around on Chongming island to see Jeff's childhood places and to explore Chongming island's local secrets. I planned and coordinated the surprise for Leon and Jeff & Nancy did all the island planning.
With the fresh beautiful weekend weather and the island's flat countryside, windmills, massive green parks, bikes, animals and empty streets being in Chongming reminded me a little bit of being back home in Denmark. I almost got a little home-sick which is not too bad as I am going back home in less than three weeks!!!
We had such a good green weekend and it is incredible to travel with some locals and get all the inside information and a feel of the culture in an areas, thus not just being tourists exploring Lonely Planet's must-sees. I had the same experience last weekend in Chengdu, where my Chinese friend Carlos showed my not only Chengdu city's must-sees but also his Chengdu.
My best advise to anyone who wish to see, explore and do something beyond the "normal" sightseeing: get tips, learn from or even travel with you local friends and acquaintances.