Exploring Shanghai

The view from my hotel room on the 28th floor

The view from my hotel room on the 28th floor

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

It has peaches on the can, so maybe it's peach flavour? Whatever - highly recommended.

It has peaches on the can, so maybe it’s peach flavour? Whatever – highly recommended.

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!

The edge of People's Park - it's actually huge!

The edge of People’s Park – it’s actually huge!

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:


Of course he does.

Of course he does.

Obligatory Hello Kitty merch shot

Obligatory Hello Kitty merch shot

I also checked out a huge toy shop, which had possibly the most Gachapon machines I’ve ever seen in one place:

Gachapon machines, as far as the eye can see...

Gachapon machines, as far as the eye can see…

Crispy Mock Duck with Pancakes, and a glass of Jasmine Tea

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!




  1. Natalie Tamara

    Ah amazing! Happy to see you tracked down the restaurant and enjoyed it!

    If you have chance, head out to Qibao. It’s an ancient water town with canals running through but really easily reached from central Shanghai – it’s not too big so you’d only need a morning or afternoon there 🙂 Have fun!

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