We arrived at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport a little past midnight. While we could’ve taken the airport shuttle or a bus rightaway, we wanted to take the MagLev train (there just seemed to be something magical about riding a super fast train that levitates) so we chose to wait until 7 AM. We had breakfast at the airport KFC. In China, Colonel Sanders serves congee, hehe.
The MagLev can go up to speeds of 350 km/hour. It took us to downtown Shanghai in seven minutes.
We transferred trains on our way to our hostel. Tired and sleepy, we were already feeling the heat of Shanghai at this point. At the hostel, we were too early for check-in time but tried to freshen up at the receiving area, ignoring a caucasian-looking guest who kept glancing at us with disdain, humph! We left our luggage with the hostel and walked to the financial center.
Shanghai will immediately wow you with its newness. Almost all buildings are less than five years old, each one seeming to outdo the next architecturally. Everywhere I looked, it was glass and chrome, glass and chrome. At some point, everything started to look the same.
We went back to our hostel, freshened up and, as Corcor put it, ”felt human again”. Late afternoon saw us trudging back downtown, but this time to an older area of Pudong.
A friend treated the rest of us to dinner at Din Tai Fung at the Super Brand Mall. DTF was at one time listed in the New York Times as one of the world’s Ten Best Restaurants. Ok, but the thing I remember most was that I went in there with zero skills at using chopsticks. I’m sure my friends were so embarrassed at having to ask the waiter for a fork and spoon, haha. (Call the police, an alien is on the loose!)
We walked to the promenade beside the Huangpu River after dinner. This is the river that divides Shanghai into the Pudong area (where we were) and Puxi.
We caught the last train back to our hostel. At the subway station, we got a kick out of an ad for an in-clinic slimming treatment called extracorporeal shock wave lipolysis. Hah!
At the Shanghai World Expo
We were at the gates before they opened. I had a full-blown headache and was cranky, hungry and tired. Man, I must have been very good company.
Anyway, it was hot, humid, and there were people everywhere — more people walking about per square foot than I’ve ever seen. The sun was so bright
I had to wear shades most of my photos were overexposed.
Some of the other more interesting pavilions:
Spain’s was obviously a fire hazard and they put up No Smoking signs all around it. But we saw some security personnel lighting up just an arm’s length away from those walls.
On the way back to the hostel, we saw vendors everywhere hawking fake Haibao (the Expo mascot) plush toys. They would panic and run every 30 minutes or so at the sight of the police, haha.
Later that night we went to the shopping district in Nanjing Road. Dinner was at the South Memory restaurant. My memory is of the receptionist who made me jump everytime she summoned waiting customers. South Memory serves Hunan cuisine which I believe is code for you’ll be munching on chili peppers all night with no relief or drinking water in sight. The Bikolana in me went to town.
We shopped for pasalubong in Nanjing Road. There was a store there that dates back to the 1800s. I found some stuff that took me back to my childhood (which was not in the 1800s): White Rabbit candies.
… was uneventful. I could no longer walk and decided against going out for last-minute shopping with the girls. We took the MagLev again back to Pudong airport, where I bought miniatures of the terracotta warriors at the duty-free shop.
At the airport departure lounge, there was this on exhibit.