Published: April 17th 2012April 17th 2012
Me and the Bull
'Poor lad needs a release'
I spent a couple of days in Shanghai at the start of the month for my birthday and I had a great time. Before I left Changzhou I made this ridiculously long plan of all the things I was going to do, and it would have taken at least a week to do all the things on the list. But hey, it’s better to be overly prepared than under prepared. I even had directions to all the places I was planning on going to just so I didn’t get lost. I would have hated it if I had gotten on the wrong subway and ended up trapped in some wee village.
I stayed in the Phoenix hostel and it is really is a great place for expats to stay at. The dorm rooms are a decent size, the food is good, and there is a roof top bar that overlooks the centre of the city. If I’m being honest, the roof top bar was the main selling point for me. The first thing I did was have a look around People’s Square as it was less than two minutes walk from the hostel. Out of all the things
Jin Mao Tower
'I thought the tower would be bigger'
I did in Shanghai, this was the only aspect that underwhelmed me. I’m not too sure what I expected, maybe some of the Chinese army marching up and down the square, or maybe even tons of people practicing Tai Chi. But all it is really is a big park! The museum is in the park too, and that was one of the main things on my list. But the queue was ridiculous; it actually went around the building a little so I decided to give the museum a miss. Shanghai isn’t that far from Changzhou so I can always go another time.
After I filled my stomach at the park, I had a walk along East Nanjing Road towards the bund. Nanjing road is perhaps the most famous road in all of China, and I could see why just walking along it. There are amazing food stalls everywhere, beer gardens, countless shopping malls, and people trying to sell you anything and everything. One woman approached me and just stared listing all the things she had for sale and there was no connection whatsoever between the items: she said ‘buy a watch, DVD, shoes, hat, sunglasses, bag’. These
Behind the Hostel
'What a beautiful view LOL'
touts approach you every 20 steps or so. Another guy approached me with an actual catalogue of the fake items he was selling. After walking the length of the road, which is about 5km, I reached the bund.
On one side of the river are the old colonial buildings that were housed by the British and Americans during the settlement. And on the other side is the Luijiazui area, the modern part of the city, which houses the oriental pearl tower, the financial centre and Jin Mao tower. From the bund, you get the best views available in the city. I had another walk along at night to see the skyline lit up and it is pretty amazing to see.
Right what else did I do? I got the subway across the river and went up to the observation deck of Jin Mao tower, which I think is like the 5th
tallest building in the world. I went to the Shanghai Acrobatics Show later in the evening, which was really impressive. The show lasted for around an hour and a half, and it was one of them shows where you can’t help
'The Hustle and Bustle of Shanghai'
but think to yourself ‘is that even possible’. It was quite strange in that the room was filled with around 200 people and pretty much every single one of them was foreign. It is highly unusual, well in Changzhou anyway, to see two or three expats walking along the road together; never mind 200 in the same room. After the show I went back to the hostel with the intention of getting proper steaming. I ended up drinking with two lads from Laos and a lad from Australia. I know I was drunk because when I’ve had a few too many I really start to crave cigarettes. Luckily one of the guys from Laos had a couple of packs on him, so I ended up smoking like 20 fags in the space of a few hours. My throat and chest felt like a chimney in the morning.
The three guys were proper serial travelers and hearing them talk about all the places they have been made me really excited for when I’m finished my job in China so I can properly travel. They especially got me really excited about Indonesia, Thailand, and Fiji. I can’t wait now!
Jin Mao Tower 2
'OYF it is some size'
Right back to Shanghai! Like I said earlier I had a massive list of all the things I wanted to do and I didn’t even get through half of it. So I definitely plan on going back maybe next month and finishing my list. I have still go to go to the museum, climb Lupu Bridge, visit the French Concession and Jing An Temple. And I look forward to doing those things sometime soon.
There are more photos below