Full of Eastern promise

Shanghai Travel Blog

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The bright lights of Shanghai's Nanjing Road as seen from the Seventh Heaven hotel's room window
Cities grow in size, shape, stature and renown, some at a snail's pace, and others at such breakneck speed that you wonder exactly what kind of money and work ethic is behind all the speedy urbanization. Shanghai is a case in question, since although there are palpable vestiges of the city's traditional roots, this is one megalopolis with its finger on the pulse, poised to take on any like-minded technologically advanced city also prepared to throw down the gauntlet. Getting to Pudong international airport via Dubai with Emirates airline was a simple two-step process, and even for a seasoned traveller, it really is hard to grasp the enormity and sheer scale of the distance covered from what is essentially an A to B long-haul flight.
Images of Pudong district as seen from the Oriental Pearl Tower - dynamic!
The first piece of technology to manifest itself came in the shape of the Maglev high-speed train which whizzes passengers from the airport to Longyang station on the edge of Shanghai, and needless to say, the scenery outside is as blurry as you could imagine. Staying in the very heart of the city, at a delightful low-cost hotel's suite halfway down Nanjing Road provided just about the best hotel room city view to date, and by night, the neon-infested urbanscape dazzled like none other this side of Tokyo. Everything was on a grand and dynamic scale, from the multitude of shopping options, to the delights of the Oriental Pearl Tower, the activity alongside the Bund river, the trippy Bund tourist tunnel (like the interior of a huge kaleidoscope) and the sheer striking beauty of old Shanghai, and the quintessentially Chinese atmosphere contained therein.
Zhouzhuang, China's take on Venice, replete with singing Chinese gondolier lady - way cool!
A recent magazine front cover proclaiming Shanghai as the 'World's most thrilling city' really did not seem too far off the mark, and even those with an aversion to city settings would possibly concede that there have to be some exceptions to their overall preference for rural settings. A 2-centre day trip from Shanghai, taking in the gardens of Suzhou, and the canal town of Zhouzhuang (the Venice of China, replete with Chinese gondoliers!) made it seemed like excursion options are part of any trip's crowning glory, and the five nights spent in China's premiermost urban area felt like they pertained to just about the most vital piece of the travel jigsaw which should be rightfully termed the 'standard-setter'. The greatest part about this ongoing quest for beauty and fulfilment though, is the knowledge that there are no doubt other experiences and places to rival it for its sheer wow factor.
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The bright lights of Shanghais Na…
The bright lights of Shanghai's N…
Images of Pudong district as seen …
Images of Pudong district as seen…
Zhouzhuang, Chinas take on Venice…
Zhouzhuang, China's take on Venic…
Early-morning ritual along Nanjing…
Early-morning ritual along Nanjin…
View of the Pudong district from t…
View of the Pudong district from …
Shanghai
photo by: Chokk