Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 5 of 16 › view all entries
So arrived in Shanghai where Id arranged to meet up with a bunch of people id known from the school in Beijing (Enav, Grace, Venita, and Venita's boyfriend Nick). We all seemed a bit determined not to like Shanghai as much as Beijing. Not really sure why, I guess because these two cities are VERY competitive with each other and we'd had time to build up a bit of loyalty. But otherwise Shanghai was pretty cool. Very modern and with a fair bit of European influence in the buildings though still very polluted and to me it felt a bit more rundown than Beijing off the main shopping stretch (which admittedly was pretty good...it couldve easily been Tokyo or HongKong). The first few days (while the others were still there) seemed to just consist of walking round while stopping to eat as often as possible (western food - hooray!) and just general social stuff (went one of the highest bars in China, saw a bit of live music, that kinda thing). Really there arent many touristy things to do in Shanghai and the only ones we did were to walk up and down the Bund and take a ferry trip up the river and back.
I managed to stay in 4 different places in Shanghai, the first hostel was too far out of town so I moved to the centre, the second one was pretty much still being built so I found another hostel. This one was great location and great facilities and all that...perfect! Except for the Chinese police. What happened was two Italian ladies staying in the hostel got lost somewhere in Shanghai (just lost, not kidnapped or anything. They just couldnt figure out where on the map they were...this in the most westernised city in the country!). So they phoned the police to try and get help, the police agreed to try and find them and sent out 40 odd men who searched for around 10 hours, finally found them and took them back to the hostel. So there was a note in the hostel reception explaining this and saying how the police blamed the hostel (no-one was really sure why) and as a punishement they werent allowed any foreigners to stay for 2 weeks! So I had to move out first thing the next morning and moved a few doors down to a hotel. To be honest it was quite funny just because it didnt make any sense at all.
Incidentally we're in a similar situation right now. Its about 2 weeks after I left Shanghai, Ive been on this overland trip from Xi'an to Kathmandu and about a week ago news filtered through that the Chinese government has closed the area between Lhasa and the the Nepalese border to foreigners for some reason (theres been no official statement or anything). Itd mean having to fly to Kathmandu (where the tour company has another truck which isnt being used right now) and doing the nepalese half from there, but also we'd miss half of Tibet (including everest!). We're due to find out more today because the people who have the information have been on holiday the last week or so due to the Tibetan yoghurt festival (not a bad idea for a festival I reckon). The festival finished yesterday so any minute now we'll know whats going on!
EDIT: I wrote this entry a few weeks ago but ive just realised I never actually made it public. Im in Kathmandu and we DID make it to Everest no problems. It was awesome! Ill get to that later...