The Shanghai High Life

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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Friday, September 24, 2010

My last 3 days in Shanghai were undoubtedly the best as I finally got the chance to chill out, relax and see the modern city as a local would. One of my Aunts who actually lives Los Angeles was in Shanghai for her brother's wedding and had some free time so she spent my last Friday and Saturday in Shanghai with me. It was great having someone that was young, hip and fun to be with since I had pretty much been with older relatives during my entire stay in Shanghai. Elaine on the other-hand loved to shop and spend money. On Friday she took me to Tianzhi Fung and Xin Tian Di for a little bit of shopping. Sadly my non-existent budget prevented me from buying anything at the luxurious shops at Xin Tian Di or artistic trinkets at Tianzhi Fung. After a long day of shopping we headed back to Qibao to meet up with our extended family for a grand dinner to celebrate the moon festival.

On Saturday she took me to Pudong, the newly developed East side of Shanghai which has turned into its financial hub over the last 10 years. We dined at the Grand Hyatt for lunch which was on the 54th floor of the Jinmao Tower and offered spectacular views of all of Shanghai. After lunch we pampered ourselves with facials and Massages before going home to get ready for the night.

At dusk we set out for a stroll along the Bund which was magnificently lit because of the World Expo that was in town. The views at night were magnificent as you had the modern Pudong lit buildings contrasted by European Architecture on the opposite side of the river. Later on, we took a taxi to the French Concession, an area of Shanghai known for its brick buildings and tree lined streets which would make you believe you were somewhere in Europe. Elaine took me to one of her favorite venues called JZ Bar, a restaurant/bar/music venue known for its eclectic choice of musical acts and big band performances. Of course she booked the best table in the house, dead front center row, which had a 500RMB minimum so it was basically all the food, drinks and dessert we could fit in our stomachs.

So for a short moment I got to experience the high life if Shanghai which was amazing because traveling on a budget doesn’t really get you past average restaurants and window shopping. Truth be told that it was just as expensive as living in New York or LA though so I don’t think I’ll be moving to Shanghai anytime soon. Really, it was just the perfect send off for my trip to Nepal as I knew I’d be spending the next 6 weeks in a completely different atmosphere.
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