Day 1

Shanghai Travel Blog

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Finally, a trip that is not planned last minute.

I wanted to go China since Oct last year. But somehow it was changed to a UK trip instead.  So I decided that it is time for me to go back China this year, especially after the Olympics 2008.

My last trip to China was in 2000, when I went to Beijing with my parents after my O levels.  It was a very standard trip, Great Wall, Forbidden City etc.  I have heard how China has developed over the last 10 years and it made me felt that I should be going back to China again. 

The only last-minute thing for this trip was the company of my sister.  But, we managed to fly into Shanghai alright.  We took Cathay Pacific there (Our first time flying Cathay), and I love Cathay.  There really is nothing much to comment or complain about the airline, but I really liked the food.  The portion is not huge, but that is how I like it.  The only thing that turned me off is that I wore a mask on the airplane.  It is essential and important for me to wear that (not the airline regulation but my own principle to protect myself and others, H1N1 thing), but I dont like the feeling of a blocked breathing passage way.  So, the moment I reached Pudong, I threw the mask away.

We took the Maglev to Shanghai City and a cab to Blue Mountain Hostel.  Because my sister is with me, and she has specifically told me that she doesnt like sharing toilets, we got ourselves a private room with ensuite toilet.  It was like a second-class hotel, The bed was clean and big, we have a tv set, hot bath, shampoo, mugs and tea bag and even a boiler.  It was comfort on a budget, so we settled in quite fast.

We went to Ren min Guang Chang, something like City Hall, Raffles Place in Singapore, and went into a shopping mall to have dinner.  We were soo hungry but hunger aside, we were perspiring like mad.  Singapore is hot and humid, but Shanghai during summer is like an oven, ready to bake me alive!  My tshirt was wet and sweat was dripping down my foreheard as if it just rained.  I can understand the discomfort of humidity because the sweat just cant vapourise but at least my body dont sweat to keep me cool.  In Shanghai, my body just sweat and sweat because it is just too hot.  It was a blessing when I entered the shopping mall  but of course it is very uncomfortable also.  I really wont dare to think that Singapore is hot anymore.  At most, I will grumble about her humidity.

We went to Zhen Gong Fu, which is familiar to my sister because she spent more than 1 month in Guangzhou surviving on Zhen Gong Fu.  Apparently, it is a Chinese fast food restaurant that serve hot meal with rice.  It was the best meal because it's cheap, hot and filling.  Of course, I was very hungry then and declared that as the best meal I ever had. 

After our dinner, we went to the Nanjng Pedestrain Shopping street, which resembles Orchard Road.  We havent count on the hot weather, even though it is nighttime and walked the whole stretch of road.  Along the way, we were surprised to see many peddlers and garang guni's picking plastic bottles from the rubbish bins.  These garang gunis were young healthy men who are capable of getting better and more meaningful jobs.  But somehow that sight made me felt that I have went back to a Singapore that is 20-30 years younger.  Perhaps development is too fast for some Shanghai residents.  I dont blame them, honestly, but the summer heat (34degC!) has driven them out of my mind, as I quicken my pace so that I can return back to the comfort of my air-conditioned room.

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photo by: Chokk