Published: October 5th 2010August 24th 2010
We travelled to Shanghai via a 19 hr train journey. We had a deluxue
soft sleeper, as it was the only one we could get and we had already
delayed our trip by a day and our time was very limited in china,
which looking back we should of stayed a month as we wanted. Damm sta
travel guide. The ppl we met raved about the countryside and I wish I
did more exploring in china. It was a lovely and an experience worth
extended if we had the chance. The deluxe train offered movies, food,
air con and style, we however did not receive any. The air con was on a
cold heat 24/7 and we couldn't switch it up or off so we were very cold
during the night, tv didn't work and no free food. We ventured out to the
food cart and had a cold mess of Chinese food not good and unknown to
us we turned up when they were just about to close so we were served
by grumpy chinese staff. The only good thing was that you can smoke on the
Arrived at shanghai about 10am and got a taxi,
our hostel was 15 mins away....
guess how much the taxi was......£1.50!!!!!could not believe it....I
kept thinking that we had the exchange rate wrong. The food,
beer and taxis are all well cheap in China. What more can a girl ask for. We settled into the
hostel and headed straight to the Shanghai's two main attractions the
Shanghai museum and the Bund. The Shanghai museum was interesting but
after seeing loads of chinese coins, pots, jewellery and paper it gets
a bit boring. The bund was nice but I don't think it was a patch on the
Hong Kong skyline.
Ohhh I must mention our metro experience. To get tickets you would
think of waiting in a queue and waiting for your turn. On getting on
to trains you wait untill everyone gets off and then alight the
train....not in china.... We were waiting in quite a longish queue
when a young women barged her way in front and the ticket man let her,
we were mortified as typical paitent English folk, then two seconds later a
women with a small child sent her child to the front on the queue to
get her tickets once again the ticket
man let it happen. On the Train
it's pretty much everyman for themselves pushing, shoving and cutting
queues lucky for us it wasn't peak time.
We went for food where the chief (using that word lightly) shouted
chicken. Chicken sounds good, I like chicken. We picked out
the noodles and sat down. We ended up with just noodles and a layer of vegetables. Nice. James was very disappointed.
Went back to the hostel and played ping pong in which I ended up
losing every game. We then found out that the hostel had a secret roof
garden where we decided to have a few beer and met Dave from Leeds definitely not a raver. Nice
fellow who we decided to meet up for breakfast and go out with him on
the next evening.
As the lazy people we are, we got up late the next day and failed to
met up with Dave. Breakfast was quite good in the hostel and we even
managed to get scrambled eggs. We finally managed to get out the
hostel and spent the afternoon in the yuguan gardens which was a very
pleasant way to spend an afternoon. I liked the
rockery the way they
englulfed the small temples like a mountain. We then went for tea in
the huxinting tea house. Expensive but a really good tea
treat, fi would of loved it. A pot of tea for yourself which you have
unlimited hot water to keep filling it up. Quail eggs, tofu, random
rice cakes and loads of different small crackers and sweets to go with
the tea . The tea wad good too even though mine did smell of fish,
James had a better tea which was aced when stewed.
The streets around the gardens were small, narrow and packed full of
people, the atmosphere was what you would imagine of an old part of
Shanghai, a bit too touristy but you can't get away from it in the
major cities, but it was busy and bursting with Chinese life and
culture. We then headed back to the hostel to meet Dave. We didnt end
up going out but stayed in the hostel drinking and playing cards with
a block called roo who was 19 , travelling on his own, looked like a chav but was a dancer
with an apprentice job in a film company, a
very interesting lad and
his only 19! some french dudes, a proud manc and a Egyptian. A very
good night. The beer was £2 for a large bottle which I thought was a
brilliant price until we found out that in the supermarket they were
30p. Unbelievable prices!!!!! Some good drunken times.
Third day in Shanghai we explored the boho quarter which was a number
of small narrow streets full of art, little trinkets, bars, coffee and
shops. Full of young artists. It was nice to wonder through these
streets. Then we headed to the orginial place that the boho place was
based on and it was just like the bull ring. Trendy shops, Starbucks
etc not really a tourist place to go but I suppose for people that live
there it shows improvement and an culture of accepting capitalism. People who live
In Shanghai love that place to go out here.
we then ventured north to see the bund at night. Which did look
better at night, stopped off for someting to eat where it took ages to
get rice and we were served cold duck after the staff couldn't
persaude us to have the expensive hot duck.getting
no rice was a common
occurance in china for us and if we did get it we were charged for it.
nick mentioned that locals get rice for free and hardly ever pay. We
decided that it was too late to head to the sex museum so we heading
to the bund sightseeing tunnel. All I'm saying is what a cheesy
We then headed back to the hostel, James went for a couple of drinks
and I feeling sorry for myself, due to the ridiculous amount of mozie
bites decided bed was the best option.
Next day .... Legs are still itiching like mad....we ended up getting
up late and thinking we still could do a day trip to zhujiajiao(the
venice of china) last bus left at 10:30am we arrived at 11am despite
the advise from the lonely planet book which suggested they ran all
day. We were then hasseled by a taxi man wanting to take us for
400yuan, too much even in China's standards. We had not got over the dilemma of trying
to deciper if locals are trying to help us or scam us. so we decided
to ask every bus company to see
if they can take us, none would take us
we just got up too late.... lucky for us a Spanish dude overheard us and
help us out. Him and his two Spanish friends wanted to go aswell so
we went back to the taxi driver and neogiated a price, the Spanish
dude managed to speak to the taxi driver in chinese, and then his
friends in spanish and then us in English to explain the neogiations.
Bernie would love this guy!!!!! It was so impressive. He worked in
Shanghai, born in USA and lives in Spain. The taxi driver showed us the
way into the city without paying the city fees, he also showed our new
Spanish friends a local place to est at local prices , but as we had a
large breakfast we decided to head off exploring. Zhujiajiao is a
pretty place, China's version of Venice, but it's nowhere as pretty or as lovely as the Venice I have experienced. Zhujiajio has Lots of locals trying to sell you
tack and food, the place is famous for it's traditional buildings etc
but the atmosphere was not traditional at all and was spoilt by the tourist element.
had a good look round, we went to a post museum. Quite strange as the chinese pride themselves on a good postal service but we struggled to
find postcards in china, a small chinese garden which reminded me that
these garden are meant to be seen on your own quietly without loads of
People like the one we saw a few days ago. We also went to a medicine
museum which was rubbish and we couldn't tell if it was supposed to be open ohh yeah and
of course a few shrines. See we're having loads of fun doing REALLY COOL stuff. I bet that bit has made everyone glad they are back home. After seeing the towns highlights we had a
hour and half spare to relax in the bum cafe..... Yes that's right the
bum cafe. Chilled until we relaised that the Spanish guys were in the
same cafe we exchange stories and James ended up paying their bill by
mistake after that was sorted we woke our driver up to take us back.
The driver, the spainish dudes were all really nice and traveling
really does restore your faith in human beings. We managed to get
home safely, surviving Chinese driving.
Met up with Dave to try and find the nightlife in Shanghai.... I'll
keep it short... There isn't any. Just trendy bars for westerns to
drink and the drinks come with western price tags, which is a rip off
when you know you can get it for30p in a supermarket. We so should of
gone to I love shanghai. A all you can drink bar for 800yuan.
We had some good food though in a noodle place near the hostel. The
noodles were lovely 3 meals and 3 drinks cost us £5.
Ended up back at the hostel to end the nights, met up with roo who had his 1st day at work playing on the xbox. Met another manc and some
german guys on a strict budget of 30$ a day.
This hostel was great for meeting people they did not mind you bringing
your own beer in, good bar,ok food, a non chinese breakfast and loads
of nice travelers mainly English.
Next day lazed about the hostel waiting to get our longawaited train
to Beijing. Booking trains have been really difficult we really did
not think we would need to book
well in advance, it has really limited our trip
quite a bit. A little of it was to do with the expo but they still
said a week before travelling was a good idea to get the trains you
wanted, which is strange when there is about 6 trains daily from
Shanghai to Beijing. We watched 3/4 of the hangover which was really
annoying as I was actually was enjoying the movie and then headed out for
our second overnight train but this time only a basic soft sleeper.
Next stop beijing
There are more photos below