Day 154: Chengdu to Shanghai, China.

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April 30th 2010
Published: May 6th 2010
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Day 154: Friday, April 30th, 2010.
Chengdu to(plane)(train)(metro) Shanghai, China.

Per Intrepid notes, "On day 12 we take a private transfer to Chengdu Airport (approx. 1 hr) for our flight to Shanghai (approx. 2.5 hrs). Upon arrival at Shanghai Pudong airport, we take the Maglev - the world's fastest train - and then the subway to our hotel (approx. 1 hr).

Blending 21st-century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai is the vibrant pulse of new China. In our time here we go on a walking tour of historical areas of the city, such as the Bund with its spectacular array of art-deco style buildings. Choose where you would like to explore next, perhaps go across the river to take in the sights of Pudong - the modern financial centre - with its amazing skyscrapers such as the iconic Pearl Tower, visit the busy Yuyuan Bazaar, the French Concession, or shop until you drop in China's hippest stores! The impressive Shanghai Museum houses one of the best collections of Chinese bronze and artwork - you could easily spend the whole day here discovering the various exhibitions. In the evening, we can catch a performance by the famous Shanghai Acrobats or hang out in the trendy caf district of Xitiandi."

So we didn't leave for the airport until that afternoon so that morning, myself, Amavalise, Damon, Sue and Paul went to the Wuhou Shrine. Interesting buildings/temples and since they wouldn't let me buy just one candle, I lit one for Mom and one for Dad while there. Outside the shrine were some "Ancient Streets" which were reconstructed, but kept the old look, and are a bunch of shops and restaurants. The others hit up Starbucks and Dairy Queen and got their Western fix (I would have joined them if it wasn't a big travel day) and we then headed over to Kuanxiangzi Alley and continued our Western streak by eating at the Western Restaurant.

I had spaghetti, and while it was great and nothing was wrong with it, I should have stuck with my "no food before traveling" policy because it quickly disagreed with me. The others were going to walk back to the hotel but a leisurely walk wasn't in the cards for me so I said goodbye to them and went to find a taxi. Amavalise joined me and we headed to the first big corner we could find. Unfortunately, there are 10 million people in Chengdu and only 5 taxi's. Ridiculous. Every taxi we saw had someone in it. So, this got me panicking more and I had to go into a nearby hotel where they were kind enough to let me use their restroom. I came back out and Amavalise was still trying to flag a taxi down, and now he was in a panicky state. Great- stick two people together who are prone to panic attacks and sit back and watch the meltdown. We started walking down the street in the direction we thought the hotel was (two different locals kept pointing down that road when we showed them the map so we were hoping we were right.) We round a corner and found ourselves back by the restaurant. Son of a... At this point I needed a restroom again so as I quickly walked back into the alley to find one, Amavalise got a taxi and flagged me down to get in. I hopped in the front passenger side, showed the driver the hotel card, showed him a 20 Yuan and said "Fast- vroom vroom!!!" He plugged the address into his GPS and soon we were going thru red lights with him laying on the horn- yea!! Unfortunately, Amavalise and I were still worked up into a lovely state of panic so I was passing my immodium and lorazepam between the back seat and my seat. Ugh- a brain can be a horrible thing. We get to our hotel (fare was only 8 Yuan but I told him to keep the change) and found the lovely bathrooms of our hotel. Once again, I present my IBS for your viewing pleasure. Damon, Paul and Sue actually arrived at the hotel before us- they walked faster than we could find a taxi. Sigh.

So, about 30 minutes later we're on our way to the airport. Can't think of anything thrilling to report on that- I was doped up nicely and feeling no pain. We got into Shanghai and while waiting for the Maglev train (according to Intrepid notes, the worlds fastest train), we were able to watch TV and catch some of the fireworks for the opening ceremonies of the World Expo which is being held in Shanghai. How's that for timing? Didn't even realize this until about a week ago. And, I still am not really sure what the World Expo is, but I hope to find out.

We get to our stop on the train line and then hop on the metro to Nanjing Road where our hotel was located. Sooooo many people. Shanghai has a population of around 20 million and they are expecting 70 million visitors over the next 6 months of the Expo. Insane. So, needless to say, there were many many people on the metro as well as in the station we got off at. For some reason, the metro police had shut down the gate we were supposed to exit out of right as we got to the 2nd flight of stairs. So it was kind of a scary atmosphere to suddenly have a bunch of people turn around and come back down the stairs at you while others were at the top of the stairs yelling. We found another exit, and got out of there- don't think anything escalated though. Our hotel was right around the corner, the Nanjing Hotel, and we tossed our bags into our rooms and went off to find food. We found a place that reminded Damon and myself of a diner, the Cafe Mojo, and we settled in, very happily so. Had a great sandwich- can't remember the last time I had a sandwich, and we hung out there and watched the massive crowds walk by until about 11pm when most of us called it a night.

Additional photos below
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7th May 2010

Gotta love those Pandas.
7th May 2010

World Expo
When I had heard that you were going to be in Shanghai during the Expo I was so excited for you. I didn't know that you didn't know or I would have mentioned it to you.
8th May 2010

You were a step ahead of me Ms. Edna! ;) xoxo

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