Shanghai

Shanghai Travel Blog

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Yuyuan
We slept in late because there is no window in our room, by the time we were ready to explore the city, it is time for our lunch.  We walked around QuXi road, which is the area around our hostel.  We past by a small food stall selling breakfast so we grabbed one each.  We walked around and came across a cat shop that specialise in breeding cats for competition.  As we just adopted a cat a month ago, anything that mews attracts us and looking at the cats play reminded me of my kitten in Singapore.  We played around with the cat and bought some stuff for my kitten.  Then we saw a pet shop that sell a 3 storey cat tree at RMB 200.  I thought it was super cheap and wanted to buy it.  But as we still have to go to Hangzhou, it seemed like a bad idea to carry a bulky cat tree on our train journey the next day.
  So we left the shops and head towards Yuyuan.

It was midday by the time we reached Yuyuan.  The weather was hotter than hot.  We ordered bubble tea, but somehow they dont put ICE in the drink.  For all the matter, we just go into shops that are air-conditioned.  Yuyuan shopping area reminded me of Chinatown in Singapore.  We bought our first gift at a pushcart stall that sells watches.  I think I have mentioned it before, to me, the pleasure of shopping is not buying the things we wanted, it is the process that makes shopping enjoyable.  It is even more so when my youngest sister is with me.  We haggled with the stall keeper for a toilet paper dispenser that was marked at RMB 30 each.  The haggling took about 15 minutes and it even attracted the stall keeper of the next stall to come over for a look.
Xiao Long Bao
   In the end, we bought 10 such dispenser for about 250RMB.  Not sure if it is a good bargain, but during the haggling process, we wished the keepers good business etc, and it was all in all a very happy process from the stall owner and us. 

After a good haggling session, we went on to other shops and bought a local specialty called some beans.  We thought it would be sweet tidbits, and since it was everywhere there, we bought one to try.  My sister swallowed the whole bean full without chewing and as for me, I tried my best to keep the beans down my throat.  It doesnt suit our tastebuds but we managed to buy other stuff.

One of our principle of shopping is that we tend to patronise shops that dont "bug" us or "push" us.  Even if the products are more expensive or inferior, we would still buy from them, because we dont like being "watched" or "guided" when we buy stuff.
  Unfortunately, this principle tends to lead to wastage of either the product or money, as we just buy for the "service" that we like.

We went to Nan Xiang Xiao Long, as recommended by the taxi-driver, to try out Xiao Long Bao.  It is a must-try in Shanghai, and we ordered 2 baskets of dumplings, a meat flavoured one and a crab meat flavoured one.  The taste was heavenly.  I have eaten Xiao Long Bao in Singapore's Dim Sum restaurant but perhaps it is the notion that I have paid plane tickets to come to Shanghai, I find that the Long Bao in Shanghai has more taste.  It tend to be more salty, but the crab meat Long Bao is real good.  The sweetness of the crabmeat is distinguishable the moment the soup flows out.
Colours
  Apart from the fact that we were slightly full from all the drinks and bubble tea, it was a good place to have the Xiao Long Bao.

After Yuyuan, we made a last minute decision to go to the Oriental Pearl Tower.  It is not the tallest building in Shanghai but the structure of the building itself made it prominent.  Somehow, I have associated that building with Shanghai too.

There are many different types of tickets to enter the tower so you have to be sure where your ticket can bring you to.  We bought the A tickets, which allow us to go to all levels of the tower.  Unfortunately, we were not assisted, in the manner that we wanted to,  correctly to put all our bulky shopping items in the lockers.  Some staff say we have to enter the tower to use the locker facilities, some staff simply tell us there are none.
  That dampened our spirit as we took the elevator up the tower.  Personally, I was even more upset when people pushed and squeezed their way just to get closer to the start of the queue.  There was a girl who just cut infront of me and my sister when the elevator reached and they were behind us all the while!  I really cannot decide which is worse, the girl not looking back and apologise for her action, or her father cutting our queue to join her and tell us that they are a family.  I mean, what is a queuing post for if you decide it is alright to jump queue?  When the elevator reached the 300+ storey, people outside blocked the way for us to go out.  That is the last straw for me (I am the last one to exit from the elevator) and I just refused to move out and told them to make a way for me to exit.
Huang Pu River
 

I rolled my eyes when I see people not allowing others to come out from the lifts or MRT when I am at home.  I even queue up when I have to get ketchup or servette in Mcdonalds or KFC.  I cannot imagine that being a touristy area such as Oriental Pearl Tower, people just cut queue blindly.  Coupled with the hot weather, I thought the whole trip is going to be miserable.  But as they say "When in Rome, do as Romans do", so I changed my thinking and got on to Hangzhou pretty well, which I will elaborate in the next entry.
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Yuyuan
Yuyuan
Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao
Colours
Colours
Huang Pu River
Huang Pu River
Shanghai
photo by: Chokk