August 3, 2004 - August 10, 2004
Said to be the next Hong Kong, this rapidly growing city is the focus of China, and bound to get more attention from the rest of the world within the decade. Yang Jia and I spent a week here and met up with the same friends from the Netherlands that we went out with in Beijing.
There are a lot of different neighborhoods in Shanghai. Some better, some worse. Frenchtown is a colonial area with a fair number of restaurants and bars catering to expats and those with money in their pockets. The Bund is the waterfront boardwalk with great views of the new Pudong side of the Huangpu river. Nanjing Donglu (street) is the neon-filled street running west of the Bund. The Pudong is the rapidly developing side of the river that is already famous for its skyscrapers, but is still mostly dirt and cranes. And Yufo Si is the area around the Jade Buddha Temple and Wusong river. Each neighborhood is distinct in it's characteristics and offerings.
We spent a fair amount of time walking along the Bund (if only to get somewhere), and there are many pictures of the view across the river. It's especially captivating at night. During the day the Bund side is the point of interest with it's imposing colonial buildings housing expensive hotels and innumerous banks.
We stayed in 2 places. At first we checked into a famous old hotel that happened to have dorms available. Well, there's really only 1 Hostel in town, called Captains Hostel, which is really nice. But since it's so nice, and there's only 1, we were stuck with this old hotel that stuck us up in the stifling servants quarters. The showers were on a completely different floor, and the front desk was infuriating. Yang Jia's Dutch friends had found a great new place that was just as cheap as 2 dorms, though, so we switched as soon as we could.
Our first hotel (first colonial hotel in Shanghai) looked great...
until we were shown our rooms...
...in the attic. I found mouse droppings on my bag.
Around the city of Shanghai
Views of the Pudong side from the Bund side
Around the Bund
Around the Pudong
This is the 6-star Hyatt. Amazing hotel!
The subway system
The choice of cuisine in Shanghai is great, but the prices aren't as cheap as the rest of China
Yes, the Chinese have a serious problem. Everyone spits all the time. It causes a lot of illness (and consequently,
death, with their feeble healthcare system) in the winter and is just offensive the rest of the time.