We arrived in Shanghai on Friday after a 5 hour flight from Lhasa (inc. an hour or so stop over in Xian).  The flight was OK, although trains are better!  It was a little bumpy coming out of Lhasa, I guess due to the altitude the plane didn’t seem to go as high as usual and we were flying in what seemed like the valleys with the mountain peaks alongside  – very scenic but a little scary!

Shanghai is a massive contrast to Lhasa, modern and busy with massive skyscrappers dominating the skyline – shiny by day, neon lit by night.  We arrived late and took a bus about an hour across the city to our nice hostel (Koala Garden) and went straight to bed.  Next morning we started our sightseeing on ‘The Bund’, which lies on west bank of the Hang Pu river that divides the city.  It is the colonial heart of the city with architecture influence from British and French design – some of the buildings look like those of Liverpool or Manchester.  In contrast the opposite bank of Pudong is home to some of the worlds most modern and tallest buildings.  We took the ferry over the river and visited the Shanghai World Financial Centre, completed in 2009 it has the highest man built observatory in the world at 424m – vertigo inducing enough but they put in a glass floor to make it even scarier!  The views weren’t too great though due to the smog/dust that seems to hang over the city.

Later we walked past the Pearl Tower, which looks a bit like Thunderbird 1, before taking the taccy tourist sightseeing tunnel (no sights just lots of neon lights!) back to ‘The Bund’. After dinner we walked along ‘The Bund’ and the view of Pudong is arguably better by night.

Today we escaped the crowds for a while in the YuYuan Gardens, which has traditional Chinese architecture dating back 400 years, it was nice to sit in the cool shade and relax.  For lunch we headed to Jia Jia Tang Bao (90 Huanghe Lu), a very simple resturant, for what the Lonely Planet describes as the best steamed dumplings in town – I can’t compare them to the other resturants but they were indeed very nice (and cheap!).  Later we strolled through the former Frrench district, a nice leafy area with some very grand old buildings – it felt like we had left China for a while.

Tomorrow we are up early as we are flying to Tokyo, somewhere I have always wanted to visit, we were thinking of changing our flights due to the recent catastrophe but after much reading we gave decided that Tokyo is cautiously safe to visit so have left our plans unchanged.

China has been very interesting, having only visited Beijing on my last visit I now have a different perception of it (I do not include Tibet in China as to us it was to us another country/culture regardless of the red flags flying there). Shanghai has been the most enjoyable city for me with it’s mix of East meets West styling an almost European China – and the steamed dumplings are good too 😉

1 thought on “Shanghai

  1. pratty

    Shep -your just eating you way round the world – every blog entry makes me feel hungry!

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