Shang...aaiiiii

Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
1
5
13
Trip End May 18, 2010


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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's official, Bear Grylls is needed to show us how to survive in this weather. We have landed in Shanghai and it is 4C not including the wind chill factor. I had to stop Liz going to the Qantas counter and booking a one way ticket to Sydney, as she wants to sit on the beach for 2 months instead. To get her back out into the arctic conditions I had to trick her by telling her there was a Starbucks by the bus station, to get her onto the bus. An hour later and a bus driver with a case of the Tourettes Syndrome using the break and accelerator, mixed with some angry shouting back and forth between the driver and some passengers, we arrived at Shanghai South Bus Station. Welcome to Shanghai.

You can tell Shanghai is the New York of China, everything looks western here. The buildings are modern, the streets are clean and spacious, there are a lot of western clothing and food chains and everything is double the price of the rest of China. Nothing represents Shanghai better than wandering down the famous Bund, admiring the futuristic skyline of Pudong across the Huangpu River whilst meandering through neoclassical buildings of the Puxi district.

The Metro was the transportation of choice, since with over 17 million people in the city, rush hour is every hour, and the metro is fairly simple to navigate.

 Two things stood out when using the metro in China.

1.       We are always the only blondes and/or caucasians  

2.       No one reads books or newspapers, everyone is glued to their phones or playing Play Station Portables.

Some helpful tips:

When you are in a queue in China make sure you spoon the person in front of you, as if there is a gap of 10cm this is big enough for someone to come from the side and stand in front of you.

When you sit down at a restaurant make sure you know what to order immediately as the waiter will not go away until you order immediately, even if you ask them to, which makes for an awkward couple of minutes until you do.

Just because this is the New York of China doesn’t mean old traditions are ignored. Our taxi driver didn’t bat an eyelid hocking up some fluid and opening his door to spit it out on the road at a red traffic light, still better than the man on the bus onto the bus floor but that’s another day.

Look no further than taking the Maglev train to the airport. It travels at 431kmph, and it is a magnetic levitating train, how cool is that!

As far as cities go this is the nicest city we have seen so far in China, but with the least amount of tourist attractions to see. Three nights in Shanghai is more than enough for this westernised city. If you are looking for traditional China rather spend your time in Beijing or Guilin.

Highlights:

Cocktails at the Glamour Bar overlooking the Bund.

Taking the super fast Maglev Train to the airport.

Lowlights:

The freezing weather.

Interesting Fact:

25% of California’s air pollution comes from China.

Budget:

Not much to spend your money on except eating and drinking in restaurants which are far more expensive in the tourist areas than Beijing or Xi’an.
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Comments

Bundy on

At least you dont have an Ash cloud above you....hmmmmm or do you....

betterpeter
betterpeter on

Good to know that you visited Shanghai, but sorry to know that it leaves you some bad memories, and I believe we are trying to make it better:) Have a better trip next time!!

Leila on

Thank you for including me on your news update - Aidan, you are ever the gypsy! You have missed your calling my dear, forget whatever education, work experience you have done - go into writing - you have a gift! fabulous tales and such humour......Enjoy your travels - I look forward to more news - with envy.... lucky bugger - love to you both

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