After a twelve hour flight (ew) from Amsterdam I made it here! Also I got to watch Cuban Fury on the flight which was cool.
I rode the Maglev train from Pudong Airport into the city – this is literally a levitating train, so it goes super fast! It got up to 430km/h when I was on it. I then got a taxi to the hotel, and after some card troubles (sorted now) I got shown up to my room – on the 28th floor! It’s so high up that getting the lift from the ground floor makes my ears pop. Pretty worth it for the view though.
I was mega tired from all the travelling, so I went to bed pretty soon after arriving. This morning, though, I was up and ready to explore; the U21 Conference doesn’t start until Monday, which means I have a whole weekend to myself here.
First I went to the supermarket to fill up the fridge in my room. I mostly bought bottled drinks – it’s
really warm and sticky here, and you can’t drink the tap water. I also got some blueberry icelollies, which are excellent, and a can of some sort of alcoholic beverage which has Hello Kitty on it. I thought Hello Kitty was kind of for kids so I found this a bit confusing, but having tasted it I can confirm it is definitely alcoholic and actually really nice! I haven’t had anything like it before, and I presume it’s a kind of alcopop – nothing like what we have in Britain though. It’s quite dry and refreshing, and also sweet – almost like a white wine spritzer maybe? I don’t know, but it has made me want to pick up the other flavour to try!
In the afternoon, I headed over to People’s Square – braving the subway on my own! Luckily it was really easy and much less horrifying that the London Underground. I got into town and had a walk through People’s Park; I had no idea how big it was, or that it had fairground rides!
I then wandered round Raffles, a huge shopping mall opposite People’s Square – it had about seven floors, and was fully air conditioned. I needed that! A lot of the shops are the same as you would find over in the UK, which was a bit disappointing. I did, however, find some gems:
I also checked out a huge toy shop, which had possibly the most Gachapon machines I’ve ever seen in one place:
Obviously all this was hungry work, so I hunted down Gong De Lin, Shanghai’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. I had this place recommended to me by my veggie travel guru Natalie of The Tofu Diaries, and I can’t thank her enough! I was greeted by a sign outside the door proclaiming that the chefs had “GODLY vegetarian production skills”, so you can imagine my excitement.
The meal I had was fantastic – although you’ll have to excuse my terrible food photography – I was in too much of a rush to get stuck in. I had some yummy green vegetable rolls with this, but they were long gone by the time I thought to take a photo!
So, that’s how my first 24 hours in Shanghai has been! Is there anything I should be trying to fit into my visit? Let me know below!