Shanghai’d Adventures


It’s been a couple weeks since my last post and I’ve found a couple hours to myself while waiting for my flight back to Bangkok from Chiang Mai. After South Korea, I decided to head to Shanghai – China’s largest city! I spent a week there where I explored a variety of sights, tasted incredible food, and met some great people. Oh, and I turned 41. The Shanghai cityscape is highly recognizable along the Bund with the Oriental Pearl Tower as the center piece of the largest global financial centers of East Asia. It is easily seen the difference between mainland China’s two major cities, the other one of course being the capital Beijing. Overall, I enjoyed Shanghai much more with it’s cosmopolitan personality and world class attitude.

My adventures revolved around temples, gardens, museums, and other sights. This is how my itinerary played out:

  • October 6th: Arrived in Shanghai. Took the world’s only commercial high speed maglev (430km/h during rush hours, 300km/h other times) to the city and checked in to the hostel I was staying in for the week. Had enough time to cut across the city to Longhua Temple. On the way, was approached by a slightly older gentleman who liked to practice English. Turns out he used to be from the neighbourhood around Longhua and gave me a tour of the place as well showing me his old stomping grounds before treating me to dinner.
  • October 7th: Visited the Jade Buddha temple after a simple noodle soup breakfast. Afterwards, headed to the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum but stopped for a bit first at the Shanghai Camera History Museum which I so happened to walk by. Did a bit of a street food adventure on South Yunnan road around the neighbourhood of where I was staying.
  • October 8th: Canadian Thanksgiving so I found a Canadian restaurant that specialized in Montreal Smoked Meat (Tock’s) – get the sandwich but not the poutine. Toured the Bund and various parks. Happened upon the Shanghai Brush & Ink Museum. Finished off the day making dumplings back at the hostel.
  • October 9th: Officially 41 years old. Spent the day sleeping in, being lazy, and only going out in the evening to check out the 100th floor observatory of the Shanghai World Financial Center (looks like a giant bottle opener from the outside). Got to do it for free as it was my birthday. Went to Din Tai Fung for dinner with a couple friends I met at the hostel.
  • October 10th: After a breakfast of braised beef noodle soup, walked 10 minutes to the Shanghai Museum and spent the morning there. Surprisingly, the special exhibition of American Art was quite interesting with the famous Nighthawks painting on display. The afternoon was spent at the China Art Museum.
  • October 11th: Visited the Shanghai Confucian Temple and partook of a tea tasting. Next stop was the Buddhist City God Temple before being swallowed up by the throngs of tourists at Yu Yuan Old Street and the garden that holds that same name.
  • October 12th: Early morning to catch the maglev back to the airport and to head to Macau and Hong Kong.

While in Shanghai, I stayed at The Phoenix Hostel for the entire time and enjoyed it there. The rooms were pretty basic bunk beds with no privacy curtains but the lockers where large enough to store my bags. I also spent quite a bit of time on the rooftop patio bar in the evenings talking to people.

Accessibility wise, Shanghai was decently easy to get around although, for the ones that find climbing stairs a challenge, some of the metro stations would require planning ahead to see which entrances/exits would be best to take. Also, taxis are plentiful and relatively affordable. Just make sure they turn on the meter.

Overall, I’d definitely look to visit Shanghai once again some day as part of another trip through east and southeast Asia.

Of course, what would this post be without random photos from Shanghai!

Categories: Travel

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