Thoughts of Shanghai
I remember telling my students at Shaoxing, that the population of Australia and the population of Shanghai was the same - around 23 million I recall. Shanghai is one of my favourite cities - and I have many favourite cities, but every time I go there I have an adventure of some sort.
In 2008, and 2010 I was an English teacher at a university in Shaoxing, which is south of Shanghai. Shanghai was a relatively short distance from Shaoxing - I think the bus was about 3 hours and the train shorter. I preferred the bus as it was a less complicated mode of travel, but I did both. I had friends in Shanghai, though often went with other teachers.
I have stayed there alone too. I can find my way around easily around the city centre, so my lack of Chinese language is not a major problem, though on occasions I have found myself in an awkward situation!!!
Just spending time around the city centre - Nanjing Road, the People's Square, Pudong, is amazing. There is so much to see and do. I wouldn't want to live there, but a regular visit I could do with ease.
I could spend hours with my camera just taking photos of strange (to me) things. Every day I learn!!
One of my favourite photos was taken in 2008 - with a little ageing digital camera which died soon after. It was in the back streets of Shanghai where some men had set up a duck roasting business - illegally. They were there for a couple of days before the authorities intervened and they disappeared. But I loved the photo and wish I had my more recently purchased Canon SLR at the time!!!
Duck in Shanghai
One of my favourite places is Xintiandi - which is described as New Heaven and Earth - an old part of Shanghai which is a modern tourist attraction with a range of restaurants and great shops. There is so much to see and do there - one could visit often and still not get to all the restaurants!
In the People's Park Shanghai
In the Park
Nanjing Road is awesome and so is the People's Park. There is so much to see IN and AROUND the park. The underground supermarket and shopping mall, the museum, the gardens, lakes, and the other buildings within this huge area which is at the end of Nanjing Road - the opposite end to The Bund. The list goes on and on. On the side of the Park is where the Hop On Hop Off buses go from too. And how I have enjoyed travelling on them as well.
If you don't speak Chinese - you will still find it easy to get around this part of the city. Many people speak English and are keen not only to help a traveller, but keen to talk and practice their English.
Walking is probably the best way to get around, and do not be afraid to try some of the back streets, but take a map or learn how to recognise places of interest so that you don't get lost.
Nanjing Road at Night
Where to Stay in Shanghai?
There are many wonderful hotels around Nanjing Road (on Nanjing road or nearby) that are worth staying at. I'd recommend to research at Hotels.com or any other of the many accommodation websites. I'd love to stay at the Peace Hotel on the corner of Nanjing Road and The Bund, but it is out of my price range, and I stay at one of the smaller hotels a street or three back from Nanjing Road. Read the reviews too!!