In that week I was anticipating my first trip to Shanghai. I should be meeting an old friend of mine there who I used to know from uni. He studies chinese and was just doing his study abroad in Beijing. For his last few days he would be staying in Shanghai together with his girlfriend who came to visit him in China.
I was really excited since it would be my first time in such a big city, to be exact, one of the biggest and the most populated city in the world as I found out.
Friday, July 24th:
After I left work at 4pm, I quickly left for the train station. Since it was still new to me to travel by train in China, I was a bit nervous that I would miss the train, but I didn’t.
I finally arrived in Shanghai when it was already evening, so the streets were all lit up, and crowded. I can’t describe how positively overwhelmed I felt when I first had a glance at this bright, colourful street of Nanjing Lu. I was nervous and a bit anxious, but at the same time I was so excited to spend time in that gorgeous metropolis.
After appreciating the view, I started to look for my hostel called Captain Hostel. It wasn’t hard to find since it was close to the shopping street and to the Bund. I had to share a dorm with other people of course, but it was really comfortable and the people kept to themselves.
My friend texted me already and told me that they were at KTV and I should take a taxi and join them. I actually wanted to, but I was really exhausted and wanted to take a shower (which I had to give up in the end, because they didn’t have slippers at the hostel and I forgot mine). So instead, I checked out the hostel’s rooftop bar which was supposed have a great view over Pudong and the Shanghai Skyline and I can assure you that it didn’t disappoint. I took my camera and got upstairs. And it really was breathtaking. Look at that:
I have seen many pictures of different skylines around the world, but I never imagined that they could all look so boring and dull compared to the colorful, bright skyline of this city called Shanghai. I immediately fell in love with the view and couldn’t wait for the next day already.
After lingering there for about 15 minutes and just enjoying the sight, I went to my room again and fell asleep immediately.
Saturday, July 25th:
I woke up early that morning to go and find slippers for the shower. I was feeling so disgusted. You have to know that it was in the middle of summer, and travelling always ended up to be a sweaty activity. I was optimistic that I would find a pair of slippers right away, but I was wrong. When I left the hostel, it was about 8am, but the shops were all closed, and there weren’t any street vendors either which I saw the last night when I arrived. I was desperately walking around Nanjing Lu, the main shopping street with all the malls and stores. Although I was feeling a little bit stupid, I managed to discover Shanghai a little bit more. When I realized that most shops would open at 9.30 the earliest, I decided to get breakfast at Starbucks. There was one with a rooftop sitting space where I could enjoy another view of Shanghai:
In the end, I did manage to buy slippers and take a shower in the end. Finally, I was ready for the day so the first thing on my list was to see the Bund. It was quite a nice day, sunny, but a little bit foggy, though. Still I was able to take some really nice pictures:
It was also insane how many chinese tourists wanted to take a picture with me. I thought it wouldn’t be that extreme in Shanghai because there are also many foreigners living there, but it seems like the amount of chinese tourists in Shanghai is bigger than the amount of foreign tourists :’D
After my little tour alone on the Bund, I prepared to meet my friend at about 3pm at the People’s Square. He described me the place and I went there. Because I still had some time, I stopped at the Korean cosmetic shop Etude House which was close to the Metro Station in Nanjing Lu. I bought a Mascara there (which is pretty amazing) and some face masks.
It felt really funny to meet an old friend from back home in that huge metropolis after some years. It also felt really weird to be speaking german again.
We walked around the People’s Square a little bit which is a little park famous for its old-fashioned dating platform run by single people’s parents attempting to find a good match for their children. It was fun observing the people and “reading” the signs :D
After that small entertainment, we went to Nanjing Lu and ate Sushi in a quite luxurious mall. But they gave us a red bean dessert for free so the high prices were acceptable.
When we came out the mall, we realized that it was raining cats and dogs and none of us had umbrellas. We bought some cheap ones and walked around the street a bit more. We decided to buy some alcohol for our little night out later in a club called Mint which had a shark tank. But I still haven’t been at the Bund during the evening, so we went there, took some pictures and headed to my hostel to get ready and have some drinks on the rooftop.
Soon, another friend joined us as well and we headed to the club.
When we finally entered the club, we had a first look at the shark tank. My friend was a bit disappointed because the sharks were quite small, but I liked it.
f you go to Mint, you have to make sure that you look nice. Plus, you should probably turn down your thirst a little bit, since the drinks are not the cheapest. There are 2 floors there, one main floor which usually plays electronic music, and one lounge which is more relaxed with hip hop and r’n’b tunes. I really enjoyed the latter one, but only towards the end of the night, when there were not many people.
At past 3 am the club was getting emptier already. Don’t expect to have a crazy night out in this club. You probably won’t find alcohol corpses, but chinese new riches and bored-looking foreigners. It is a good club if you want to have a relaxed night.
When we left the club, I was already feeling sad that I had to leave the next day. I realized that I really enjoyed Shanghai.
Sunday, July 26th:
I woke up a bit earlier that day, considering that I had a night out the day before. Before I checked out from the hostel, I realized that they were sending out future postcards if you bought one. So I did it. I wrote a postcard to my future self and put my card on the shelf of may 7th. That is such a cool idea, that I had to do it, and it was quite cheap as well. Now, I can’t wait for my postcard to arrive in Germany this year :)
Anyway, I headed out to the Metro Station and went to Liujaizuo, the financial district which has all the famous skyscrapers there. I though I could walk around the Oriental Pearl Tower and maybe find the Disney Store. I found both. The Orient Pearl Tower was too expensive to get up to, and too crowded. You would have to stand in line for 5 hours probably. Since I didn’t have the time, I first visited the Disney Shop which turned out to be a bit expensive as well.
The elevator was pretty fast, too. Actually, that was an interesting fact about that tower as well. When we arrived at the top, it was pretty narrow to walk around. There were many people taking photos, so it wasn’t hard to ask someone for pictures, plus, look at the view:
I didn’t have a lot of time left in Shanghai anymore, so I met my friend for the last time and we walked around the Greenbelt – a park in the middle of the financial district. It was nice to have such a beautiful green oasis in the middle of some of the world’s highest towers. If you go to Shanghai, make sure to visit this place full of contrasts:
Although it was only 2 days, I was happy to be able to spend some time with an old friend and meet some new awesome people on the way. The trip was way too short but that was not the last time in Shanghai for sure.
Sightseeing: 3/5 – Offers interesting places, but Shanghai is more famous for its city life.
Food: 4/5 – You can find anything you want, but you have to consider the high price, too.
Shopping: 5/5 – All the shops you know from home, and more.
Clubbing: 4/5 – There is yet a lot to explore in this city’s nightlife, but be sure to bring money.
Transportation: 5/5 – The best metro system I have seen.