Goodbye to China
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 8 of 8 › view all entries
Our last full day in China was set aside for more touristy activity. Weheaded off to the Shanghai Museum which all the guidebokks had given glowing recommendations to. They were right. The impressive building housing the museum spreads the various exhibits over four floors. To see everything properly would take most of the day, as it was we spent three and a half hours wandering the amazing bronze exhibits, sculptures, Qin and Ming furniture, currency, painting and calligraphy. We still didn't see it all. The shop as you are leaving is very reasonably priced and had some of the best mementos we'd seen in Shanghai. As we left the building we were stopped by a group of young Chinese english students and we thought at first that we were going to be offered the old painting exhibition scam but these guys were different and genuinely just wanted to grill us on our lives. They were amazed that we would give up our jobs and come travelling for eight months!! If you have a job in China you just don't give it up no matter how crappy it is or how badly you are treated by the management. Our bellies were rumbling by this time so we set off for the fabled Gongdelin Veggie restaurant. Once again is wasn't where the Rough Guide had mapped it but we found it anyway. Wow, what a beautiful restaurant and equally fantastic food. Full from our late lunch we headed back to our room for a leisurely evening of packing and getting ready for a long day of travelling.
We were up at 5:30 which was a bit of a shock to the system. It was also quite a shock to the girl at the reception who we had to wake up from her cot behind the desk to check out!! The journey to the airport was awesome on the Maglev train, 301 kph and the smoothest ride imaginable. Total contrast to the airport where we had a long wait to check in at the most disorganised check in yet. Come on Dragon Air sort it out. In fairness the main problem seemed to be the number of selfish idiots who turn up to check in at the last minute and expect to get jumped to the front of the queue. Personally the way we see it is if you can't be bothered getting to the airport on time then you deserve to miss your flight.
We arrived in Hong Kong with plenty of time to collect our bags go through immigration check in to our Vietnam Airlines flight immediately on the other side then exit immigration and board our plane. Only problem was you have never seen so many people trying to check into a flight with excess baggage. There were people with three trolley loads of baggage (mostly packed in the ubiquitous cardboard boxes of landry bags). By the time we got to the front of the queue there was less than an hour to take off! Most unlike us. The queue behind us was still huge which kind of gave us the idea that the flight was going to be delayed. At first we didn't get seats together but Adam played the nervous flyer act and managed to get us seats together. Only problem was there were immediately in front of the exit so didn't recline. Better than sitting apart and it was only an hour and fifty flight. We eventually took off about 30 minutes late, which is actually quite impressive considering.
Vietnam here we come.