The last part of my last year’s Asian journey was the China’s biggest city: Shanghai. Actually, this was the place I really wanted to visit; Tokyo and Taipei were just added to my itinerary. Looking up the skyscrapers and feeling the dynamic city vibes, this is what I always dream to experience – as close enough as greater cities like New York and London.
November 3, Shanghai: I arrived at Pudong International Airport at around 5 in the morning. I stayed there until the bus to the city was available, which was the cheapest option I know. The fare was 20CNY. I checked in to the hostel which is near the centre. I went to the bank to exchange money and walked around my neighbourhood. I fell in love with the city immediately with the different buildings with creative designs.
I went to the famous Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and saw the different concepts that make the city today. The Chinese are really strategic when it comes to developing new cities, and that’s why this city is really a successful one. There was a scale model of the entire Shanghai in the sixth floor and I could see it like from a high vantage point.
After the museum visit, I went to People’s Park to have time to relax after a tiring flight from Tokyo. One of the entertainment in this park is watching the elderly people play Mahjong with each other. In each table, men dominates women in number, but the ladies always won! Cool huh.
With enough time to replenish my energy, I went then to see the view that attracted me the most – Shanghai’s skyline. From the park, I just walked to the riverside, passing through the busy streets of East Nanjing Road. The Bund was truly an open air museum! It showcases the elegance of the various classic architectural designs. It contrasts the opposite side of the river, which is the rising high skyscrapers of the modern day China. As the city’s most well known landmark, I was happy to finally see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. What a beautiful masterpiece! There were a lot of people on the area and asking someone to take a photo for you is so common!
For some time, I stayed there until the sunset and spent my evening in the colourful, neon lit East Nanjing Road, hopping from shop-to-shop, mall from mall, and enjoyed the city’s centre for retail and shopping, before I went back to hostel and took a rest.
November 4, Shanghai: I started my day two by visiting the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, just right at the time it was opened. It was a fantastic sight to see the classic Chinese garden design and the place was really relaxing. Every corner was picture-worthy, especially with the blue skies and sunny weather! There was also a performance of Chinese instruments on a stage and I appreciated it.
After that, I took my lunch at the Cheng Huang Temple Snack Square and I didn’t expect to order too much that made me very full. The food is delicious and very affordable. There are a lot of choices, as this building is full of food stalls. After lunch I went to the temple and watched how people paid respect to the gods.
I spent my afternoon in the central business district, Lujiazui. This is the home of the soaring skyscrapers of Shanghai. I walked on the pathway above the main road while I acclimatize myself to the advanced atmosphere of a developed city. I was astonished to see the three main buildings closely, as I approach the Shanghai World Financial Centre to buy a ticket to go up its observatory.
There is not much to do upstairs other than to take picture, but the view itself is a beautiful sight to behold. I could spend some time above just to adore the busy city below, because I always have been entertained just by watching a city living their life.
I went back to The Bund in the evening, and I even thought of going back to the observation deck just to see the city lights but perhaps I also thought that I could see it again sometime in the future. I shopped then at East Nanjing Road for foods before going back to the hostel to sleep.
Itinerary – Day 1
- Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
- People’s Park
- The Bund
- East Nanjing Road
- Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar
- Chenghung Miao
- Shanghai World Financial Centre Observatory
- The Bund