Category: China


Shanghai in 20 hours

I rode on the back of a bike without a helmet! It doesn’t sound that scary when compared to what other people do when traveling but it was pretty scary to me–the rules of the road are nonexistent in China.

We then went to the market I mentioned before and I bought a Tom Brady jersey for $20, Ray Ban sunglasses for $5 and a few other things. These later disappeared and we think we know where they went but the person claims to not have them….

Next we went to old Shanghai where things got really ‘Chinese-e’ and walked around a bit. I ate the greasy-ist  scallion pancake in the world.

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After a break from the busy world we went to dinner at Bali Laguna, an Indonesian Restaurant. The non-alcoholic drinks are just as expensive as the food! The food was amazing though, maybe I should have gotten a drink just to see how good those would have been. Oh well, I have plans to go to Indonesia so hopefully I’ll be able to have just as nice food and drinks for cheaper.

We then went for a walk and looked at some DVDs. I really didn’t understand the ordering…

Shanghai 2 045When I’m looking for Motorcycle Diaries, I might as well get The Game Plan too.

Shanghai 2 046This I like. If I’m going to buy one De Niro movie, why not buy more?

Shanghai 2 047Or buy some Kubrick with my Tarantino

After that was home to drink Chinese wine and leave at 5am with the worst hangover ever.

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Shanghai in 8 hours

On my way to India, I had a layover from 12:55pm to 8:30pm–taking the time to get out of the airport and to where my friend wanted to meet plus the time to get back to the airport and the 2 hours to check in….it was really from 2:50pm to 6:30pm, and 3 hours and 40 minutes in Shanghai.

You CAN leave the airport in Shanghai if you are from certain countries if you have a layover that is less than 48/72 hours–if it’s longer I’d imagine you went there on purpose…really after 12 I think you’re there on purpose but on my way back it was 22 hours to make the flights super cheap. You can’t be coming from Hong Kong, stay in Shanghai for 48 hours and then go back to Hong Kong, have to go somewhere else so its really a layover and not a short trip. I don’t understand why the government doesn’t promote this more, since it really is just a great way for the country to make some tourism money. I’m not sure why else it exists.

Anyway, after you leave the airport, you can get on the metro easily and go anywhere! Both airports are on the green line and I went to Jing’an Temple to meet my friend (another English teacher) as she lives near there.  This took about an hour. At the airport stop (at least at mine, Pudong International) there are some weird decorations to let you know you’re in China. They were all in bad lighting, so my flash always popped up.

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Once getting off I could see that China was still all decked out for the Lunar New Year

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We went to lunch at Din Tai Fung which is famous from dumplings so we got the Mushroom ones and the Vegetable ones. My friend is a meat eater and said she liked the Mushroom ones because they were more ‘meat like’. We also got the most popular side dish which was sauteed greens in garlic. So good. There is a reason it’s the most popular. Service was a bit odd as we got everything separate, but it was busy. They have soy sauce and vinegar on the table for you to mix, and deliver very pretty ginger for you to use in your mix as well. You can watch the dumplings being made, but I’m not sure how anyone would know which are theirs.

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After that we walked though new Shanghai which is filled with sky scrapers. There was also a knock off market. I was quite surprised at how people just yelled what they were selling at you. We didn’t buy anything, but we went back on my return layover.

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We ended up at Peoples Square where parents advertise their unmarried ‘old’ children for wed. I put old in quotes because by American/Western standards they are not old, only about 25. The signs will list their age, height, likes and dislikes and other parents will make notes of things to show their children. I don’t think I saw any of the kids actually there. There is a separate area for people who are willing to accept non-Chinese nationalities.

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There is also an amusement park with some really unsafe looking rides…

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And of course Cherry Blossoms!

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Next we decided to walk to the waterfront to see the skyline. While we were walking it started to rain, but hardly enough to need an umbrella, but of course everyone pulled them out. I have a horrible fear of getting hit in the ey by an umbrella.

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When we got to the waterfront I remembered being there when I was 16 and we did a boat cruise. I was hoping my mom could go though those old pictures (not on my computer) and find one of me in Shanghai but she couldn’t. I guess I didn’t take many pictures of myself on the trip and relied on others, but if we had shared them, they would have sent them and we would have saved them, right?

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Realistically, the photos below was the only reminder that I was in fact, in China which is a ‘communist’ country.

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Next was the subway back to the airport, where my friend told me that I had, realistically, seen all of new Shanghai in one day–less than that!