Ni-hao Shanghai!

We’ve arrived in a misty morning and very excited, we went straight to the Maglev station. This is a must try if you’re going to Shanghai.

This is the world’s fastest train in commercial service and I’ve tested it 4 times 🙂 and each time it reached 430 km/h….awesome

As the next day we had a flight booked to fly to Beijing, we’ve chosen a hotel quite close to the airport, but not too far away from the city centre: Dorsett Hotel. The location was great, just above the metro station and 3 stations away from the centre.

I like having a plan when I visit a new place (as I want to maximize every minute) but also I like to keep it flexible so that I can enjoy as much as I can. Initially, we’ve planned to take a hop-on hop-off bus but as it was quite rainy, we went to the Shanghai Museum. After Maglev, this is the second must see in Shanghai.

This is a large museum of ancient Chinese art and it is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. The eleven Galleries cover most of the major categories of Chinese art: Calligraphy, Ancient Sculpture, Ancient Jade, Coins, Ming and Qing Furniture, Seals, and Minority Nationalities Ancient Bronze and the best of all Paintings and Ancient Ceramics.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the amazing ceramics that looked impeccable and I couldn’t believe some of them were 800-700 years BC. I’ve spend most time at the ceramics section and then paintings. You can only remain speechless at such perfection. Highly recommend it.

In the afternoon we went to Xin Tian Di as we’ve been told this is where we can find the modern life of Shanghai. Not that this city is not all modern and very developed, but here you can find what is called the France Connection area with nice bars and restaurants (and shopping centres of course). Not to miss: chocolate cake at Lindt Café and a meal at TMSK.

After we’ve finished the most amazing trek ever, we came back from Beijing to Shanghai with an overnight train. What can I say? When we got to the train station in Beijing we were all gobsmacked by this station. It looked better than an airport. The train was spotless clean, we all had our own TV screen, even slippers.

This time we booked a hotel next to the central railways Shanghai station: Grand Mercure which was just great. If I’d go back to Shanghai I’d definitely stay in this hotel again. As it would take ages and it would be too much for my fingers to write in detail what we’ve seen in Shanghai, I will just enumerate what I enjoyed visiting:

Yuyuan Garden: this is the only surviving garden built in the Ming Dynasty. The original garden was severely damaged so the garden today is a restored one. It is so peaceful and serene…stunning.

The Bund is a famous waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai. I’ve read in my guide book that Bund has been called a ‘museum of international architecture’: various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. And I completely agree, it’s like an architectural show with high buildings on one side of the main river and classic buildings on the other one.

As I wanted to contemplate the scenery along the river, we took a cruise in the evening on Huangpu River. We went in the evening and it was quite busy. The cruise took about 40 minutes and to be honest, it isn’t something spectacular. A walk along the Bund is quite enough.

Nanjing Road is China’s premier shopping street, 3.4-mile-long. Full of shops and way too busy for my taste.

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The hop-on hop-off bus is a great way to visit the main attractions plus the ticket is valid for a whole day. This is how we found the Super Brand Mall (which is opposite the TV Tower). This mall was my favourite because it has a whole floor with food, and to be more specific, loads of cakes. They looked amazing and I felt I was in Heaven. So we bought a few cakes that looked and tasted gorgeous (and they were cheap too, around £1.50). We’ve stayed around the cakes for around 3 hours…dream.

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