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Hi from Shanghai

CHINA | Sunday, 7 April 2013 | Views [313]

Executive summary: Shanghai came and went in a blur, but left us with positive memories.  The architecture around the Bund, and the presevation of older parts of the city make this an interesting modern city.

I prepared this on the high speed train "Harmony" from Shanghai to Beijing - 300km/hr as I typing this up. - Thats fairly fast typing!  I didn't get around to  uploading it then because I  feeling "poorly" with the flu and couldn't make the effort.  I very rarely get sick at home, but this is now the second sickness in as many weeks.  I am still getting over the flu now, but feel much better than before. 

Back to the story..

We arrived 14 hours late (as per my previous blog), which threw out our sleeping plans a bit. After a short nap at our Marvel-ous hotel (The Marvel), we donned our walking gear and hit the streets.

We decided to buy a mobile phone sim. For the benefit of other China travellers, we bought a SIM from China Mobile for RMB80 (A$13) with 500Mb of data for the month. We needed to show them our passports.

The Bund was a great spot to admire the architecture - both past and present. There are a lot of creative building designs on the east bank in particular. The two popular hawker activities are to take your photo with the buildings in the background, or else to buy a laser with which one can point to the buildings. Must be a great city in which to be an architect.

We avoided contributing to the Chinese economy in that way, but did take one or two photos on our own camera. We walked from the Bund, through some gardens to a preserved part of old city. The weather was quite mild, and we even had blue sky on the second day which was great to see.  Nearly  .every day since leaving Brisbane has been very smoggy, so the blue sky was fantastic.

We wandered through the old streets and buildings and came to a Confuscius Temple. Beautiful gardens, rocks, trees, water features etc. We also got to taste different teas including a jasmine "flower" tea where the flower opened up as it was brewing to create a "party tea". Not many people in the temple. In fact, not too many temples at all in China compared with Vietnam and Thailand.

We caught the subway (I think we saw more of Shanghai from underneath than on top!). The subway was very efficient but packed. We rarely got a seat on the subway. But it was fast and inexpensive (<$1/trip). Last night at 10pm we just missed a train and had to wait 10 mins. Apart from that I think about 4 mins was our longest wait. Our current intercity train is a bit more expensive - A$100 each for the 5 hour, 1500km trip. The train is packed, but everyone has allocated seats and it is comfortable and quiet. Takes about 3 mins to get to 300km/hour, and it is a very smooth ride.

We caught the subway to the new building area and wandered through the open walkways between the buildings and down to the riverbank to see the sunset over the western bank. That really is our favourite part of Shanghai though we did only get to see such a small fraction of the city.  That was brought to us when we visited the Urban Design Museum (I am making up the name as I forgot it and my memory (Sue) is asleep.)  Anyway the museum had a model of the whole of Shanghai aned it was huge!

Anyway - I've carried on long enough. Suffice to say we loved Shanghai and would be happy to revisit it sometime.


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