The New York of China

Shanghai Travel Blog

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The oh-so modern skyline of Shanghai

We took the overnight train to Shanghai on Thursday after the 2nd exam -- it was pretty stressful getting there as we took the Subway to the train station and then when we got to Shanghai we took the Subway to the hotel.  However, the hotel we stayed at was really centrally located and it was the same place that the GT Students on the Shanghai Study Abroad program were staying at.  There were malls, tons of restaurants and easily accessible taxis and transportation all about 5 minutes from the hotel.

The overnight train got in pretty early on Friday (7 a.m.) and so we could only get into one of our hotel rooms.  We all switched off taking showers and tried to nap a little before heading to the nearby mall and shopping strip to have lunch and start the shopping madness.

FAB Advisors in China!
  We had some pretty good kabobs at a Greek place and looked to see if any American movies were playing before walking around.  The shops in the nearby strip were pretty good -- very boutiquey, Beijing doesn't have any boutique type stores that we have seen.  Carlanna was on the Shanghai program last year and so she knew her way around pretty well which made everything even easier.  She took us to some DVD stores near campus where you could get American movies for about 8 rmb (1 USD).  Most of them were pretty good quality but Lane bought a copy of the DaVinci Code that was in Chinese for the first 10 minutes before switching over to English.  They would let you check them before you bought them which apparently makes the whole operation more valid.
Gambe! (Cheers)
  We were still wiped out from the train so naps seemed like the logical thing to do -- we all rested for a couple hours before going out that evening.

Ting -- one of the girls in my sorority -- was on the Shanghai program and had been awesome and went through the trouble of making a tentative itinerary for us.  However, she had a program sponsored dinner to attend so we went to find food on our on at a traditional Chinese place close to the school that was fairly good.  We went to a bar close to campus - Kiwi Bar - that was fairly cheap before heading down to the Bund and Pudong to go to Bar Rouge or Cloud 9 -- bars with much higher covers in a nice part of town.

When we got to Bar Rouge the cover was 100 RMB, kinda pricey.  So we headed over to Cloud 9.

AGD's at the Club
  Basically Cloud 9 is a bar on the 87th floor of the Hyatt hotel with no cover -- however, you do have to buy 120 RMB of drinks, not bad at all!  The bar was really nice and modern -- lots of metal sculpture type things and furniture.  We had some great drinks and enjoyed what you could see of the view.  The windows were cloudy (thus the name of the bar -- Cloud 9) which seemed kinda like a waste of the view to me.  I guess it was more of like a "cool" thing though.

We stayed at the bar till pretty late and then headed back to the hotel  It was easy to get places in Shanghai -- it doesn't take 45 minutes to get anywhere like Beijing.  They call Shanghai the New York of China and now I can see why.  There are so many different bars and clubs and restaurants.

Teahouse at the Yu Gardens
  And that is pretty much all Shanghai is.  There were some great views of the skyline that we checked out on the Bund as well.  There is a lot of French and European architecture on one side and a Jetson's looking skyline on the other.  The pearl tower looks like it would be in a Space City.

When we woke up Sunday, we all went to a great brunch at some place that Ting knew of.  It was amazing.  Easily the best meal I have had on the trip.  I had some chocolate banana bread that was kind of like dying.  We definitely ate well this weekend.

After brunch, we went on the black market hunt for purses, watches and sunglasses.  Shanghai apparently used to have this huge fake market that was shut down by the government recently and now all of the fake stuff is sold out of the back of people's homes.

Rock Formation at the Garden
  We picked up a "guide", someone to take us from house to house.  It felt super-sketchy at first climbing up old staircases to these hidden showrooms but it was actually really cool.  Nothing I would ever do when travelling in a small group without a Chinese speaker but overall very entertaining.  We shopped for a REALLY long time and everyone got what they were looking for.  We then said goodbye to a couple members of our group who took the night train back on Saturday instead of Sunday so they could get more rest.

Saturday night we went to this great Japanese sushi place that was all you could eat and drink for about 20 USD a person.  The food was great and the sake and beer was even better!  Then we went to the biggest dance club in Shanghai - Bon-Bon.  It was probably the best club we have been to the whole trip -- they had hired breakdancers and played a lot of American rap music.  Carlanna and Marianna ended up dancing on stage on both sides of the DJ's and they got asked in the bathroom later if they were hired by the club.

Sunday was pretty leisurely.  We went to another brunch near a park in downtown and then we went to the Bund and Pudong to see what it looked like during the day before going to another big attraction in Shanghai - the Lu Gardens.  The Gardens were pretty touristy - very Chinese architecture with Starbucks and Dairy Queen.  There were all kinds of things being sold on the streets -- art made completely of old soda cans, bugs on chains and lots of overpriced pearls.

The gardens were OK.  The teahouse with the zig-zaggy walkway that is in all of the tour books was kinda interesting.  Apparently it is zig-zaggy because evil spirits can't turn corners.  There were also a lot of really big fish.  It probably would have been serene if there weren't throngs of tourists everywhere.

We went to have an early dinner before coming back on the overnight train again.  We made it back a little late for class and exhausted.  I really liked Shanghai though.  I would go back again in an instant!

Long week ahead.  Project, Presentation, Final and then starting a new class on Thursday.  I think I am staying in Beijing for a few weeks which should be a good rest from running around and traveling everywhere.  I'll add more later.

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The oh-so modern skyline of Shangh…
The oh-so modern skyline of Shang…
FAB Advisors in China!
FAB Advisors in China!
Gambe! (Cheers)
Gambe! (Cheers)
AGDs at the Club
AGD's at the Club
Teahouse at the Yu Gardens
Teahouse at the Yu Gardens
Rock Formation at the Garden
Rock Formation at the Garden
Shanghai
photo by: Chokk