On our first weekend in Shanghai, we started off with a guided tour in the morning through the district we now live in: Longbai. You can see its’ Korean influence especially in the Korean characters displayed above the various Korean restaurants. We’ve discovered yet another small market where you can buy all sorts of fish, meat and vegetables and then went to a beautiful flower market which offers a huge variety of plants, flowers and orchids in all colours. They also sell small ceramics for the plants and there is a very posh shop with expensive ceramic (mini) tea pots and cups. Even though they looked stunning, I’m unsure what to do with a tea pot that is smaller than the usual tea cup from Europe.
We also got to know the closest mall with some affordable pop-up shops and a fake market inside and got a metro card for the train – it’s just about 40p to go into town! Something I’ve never seen before: when you want to go into the metro, the security guards can ask you to open your bag so they can have a look inside, or they can ask you to put your bag into a scanner (like at the airport). I guess extra security never hurts, especially looking at what is happening in the world at the moment! As we are still struggling with the heat of at least 35°C in the shadow, we were pretty exhausted after the 3 hours walk through Longbai. I even started using my umbrella to create a shadow for my head, like the Chinese, and it was actually quite effective. But luckily (I’m still so impressed with this) our flat is air-conditioned so that we went “home” (doesn’t feel quite right yet) to cool down and then made our way downtown. Having arrived straight on Nanjing Road (Shanghai’s Oxford Street), it was impressive to see the huge buildings, vibrant shopping malls and luxury shops. However, with the Chinese sizes and the European brands being overly expensive, we didn’t really feel like shopping (will we ever?).
From Nanjing Road, it’s not very far from the Bund. We’ve walked up the viewpoint way and weren’t disappointed: it felt surreal to see the famous skyline of Shanghai with our own eyes, that we have seen in so many films and travel guides before!
We’ve been asked by a few Chinese to take a picture with them and lots of others just took some photos of us, while we were actually photographing each other… pretty weird, but it felt like a compliment. To end our Saturday evening well, we went to a bar with an amazing view on Shanghai’s skyline to enjoy the sunset.
When we made our way back to the metro station on Nanjing Road we saw something incredible: sooooooooooo many people all coming from/going to Nanjing Road and The Bund! Even at New Year’s Eve in big cities in Germany, I’ve never seen this many people in one place before. There was a lot of police to regulate the “human traffic” and it all seemed well-organised. The question we’re asking ourselves now: is this normal for a Saturday night at the Bund?! I guess we’ll soon find out, as there is still so much to explore and so much to see!
P.S.: It took me more than an hour to upload this on wordpress. Having to use VPN sucks.