Can you stomach it?

Pudong Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 15 › view all entries

Pudong's not all that bad. It was built in the 1990's as a future epicenter of business in China. It is across the river from where the "original" Shanghai is. It's just a rolling expanse of massive buildings, repetative apartment high rises and yellow sky.

The original city is called Puxi. Dong means east in Chinese and Xi means west. So West Pu and East Pu.

I've been writing about short stories, but not so much about what I've actually seen and done, so let me give you a short list to sample from:

The Bund: This is the old colonial area of Shanghai. It is where the British set up their trade community and there's some really awesome architecture. It is the #1 tourist destination in Shanghai, so it's not exactly a hidden treasure.

But it is worth seeing nonetheless. The insides of these buildings are unreal. Solid marble with beautiful paintings reminiscent of something in Rome, or a capital building dome's paintings. Unfortunately there are strict restrictions on taking pictures inside, so I can't provide you with primary evidence.

Vue Bar: This bar is great. It offers - hands down - some of the best views I've ever seen from a bar. It looks down on both Puxi and Pudong. Although it is insanely expensive, it is well worth it to go up for a drink or two. I met a great group of people here and hung out with them the rest of the night at ...

Mint: Again, not cheap. A conglomeration of expats for every corner of the world, and nouveau riche Shanghaiese.

For $10 a drink, I was allowed to dance like an idiot. It was pretty fun. After this we went to a restaurant that was I was too drunk to remember the name of. But I do remember 5 of us eating and the bill totalling $35.

Dong Tai Rd: This place I love. It's an "antique" market that has all kinds of crap. A lot of it was made last week and made to look old (they are surprisingly convincing replicates). But there definitely is hidden jems hidden under piles of paper and junk. It's looks less like a typical market, and more like a bunch of people carted everything they had collected in their basements out on to the street. Bartering is king here, and I had to work a guy down from 500RMB ($80) to 100RMB ($15) for an "old" scroll painting. It's clearly a fake, and I clearly still overpaid.

But it is really awesome looking, and would easily fetch twice that amount back home, so I indulged. He celebrated by graciously giving me a cigarette and telling me that I was chopping his head off at that price - all with a sly smile betraying the fact that we both knew he was robbing me.

I also bought a Violin with an old beat up case for 90RMB ($13.50).  It's beautiful and plays pretty well.

The French Concession: Beautiful tree-lined streets. This place is a European enclave in Shanghai. The streets are organized, wide, clean. Shops and cafes line the roads. Lots of Euro expats live in this area.

The Irishman's Bar & The American Cafe: After a week of eating chinese food and drinking watery beer, these places are a god send.

They are in Pudong, 100 feet away from my hotel. It'd be easy for me to be a travel snob and say "how dare I step into an Irish pub like a typical tourist when I should be experience Shanghai". But all that flies out the door when I sit down to the first meal in a week that will offer me a chance of an unscathed digestive tract. And a solid, full-bodied beer has never tasted so good. I met a kid from Florida in there who is apparently very good friends with a kid I lived with for two months in Boston. Small world.

[Chinese name] Hot Pot Place: I went to Hot Pot for lunch today, and it was great. I ate cow stomach for the first time. It didn't taste like anything, it was just chewy. But now I can say I've eaten cow stomach.

That's what I'll leave you with for now.



Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: sweettangerine