#16 Exploring Shanghai and surroundings


Wow already my sixteenth article, I just realise how quick the time is going. About seven weeks of travelling and it’s slowly getting exhausting for me to hop from one place to another every three days. Especially in China where it is so hard to talk to the people or get directions because Google doesn’t work and actually internet is not as good as I am used to (read more in my article about cultural contrasts in China).

3 days  Shanghai and surroundings – First we went by overnight train to Hangzhou, a city 200 km south of Shanghai with a long history and a beautiful lake. Unfortunately the weather was quite bad and the lake was foggy but walking along was still nice. We stayed at some couchsurfers place of a Chinese man who was just in Japan for business so his nephew welcomed us. , This time it was nicer (not like in Xi’an) and although he couldn’t speak English we had a good time together and he even cooked dinner for us with his friend which was delicious! In the evening mum and me went to the light water show on the lake. The whole scenery was fantastic.

The next morning we had to catch our train to Shanghai. The big city was waiting for us! It is the most important industrial city in China and one of the biggest in the world with 25 million inhabitants. The name means “city upon the sea” We booked a hostel in the centre for two nights and although our room had no window it was nice and value for money. In the evening we met with a Chinese guy from Couchsurfing in Nanjing Road, one of the most famous shopping streets in Shanghai and great to see at night time because of all the blinking advertisements. Eric was a very friendly guy who studied English and Chinese and already worked as a translator in Dubai. We continued to the “BUND” – the promenade on the river and the best place to see the skyline. Amaaazing!

Great Skyline of Shanghai by night

Then we took the metro to cross the river underground. In some stations we saw homeless people sleeping on the stairs – I didn’t expect this in China especially not in a communism country. But last time I spoke to a Spanish guy and he said actually China is one of the most capitalism countries because they are making business with everything. You can see this on the markets where they try to sell you everything, sometimes even with a very provoking manner. On the other side of the river we saw the city from another perspective because Shanghai is like separated in an older more western-looking part on the one side and the skyscraper city in the Pudong area. Also we could see the Shanghai tower better on this side – with 632 meters it is the second highest building, after the Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, of the world.

The next day we met a German guy from Couchsurfing as well who wrote me to explore something together. We went in the Century park, the biggest park in Shanghai and afterwards to the Fake market nearby which is famous for the not-originally handbags and clothes. But you need to bargain a lot! Because that was underground it was a good thing to do while it was rainy and stormy outside – the worst weather you can expect in Shanghai I think. In the afternoon we took the ferry back to the other side (only 2 Yuan, 30ct!). From the river we had a great view on skyline and the Shanghai tower again.

From the BUND we walked to the old city next to Yuyuan garden (same name for metro station) and discovered beautiful temple houses with shops inside and the real life in many small streets. Later on mum and I went to the sky bar in the Radisson Hotel to celebrate our last evening a bit. There was a band playing and we had a great view over the city with good drinks. So, the best way to say goodbye to each other and to China as well. Because the next day I was off to Hong Kong – actually it belongs to China nowadays but how I experienced it it is like another country for Chinese 😉


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