I was happy to be back in Shanghai due to the dramatic change of plans. I already wrote about the ferry journey from Japan, and the day in the Magical Kingdom, so now I can just wax eloquent about Shanghai.
But first about the hostel. For some reason I cannot fathom, I chose to stay in a dorm room. It must have been a combination of fairly last minute booking, wanting to stay near the Bund and what was cheap. And the hostel had good reviews. Well no, it wasn’t bad, but compared with the Japanese hostels, it was a step down. The biggest complaint I had was that the toilets had no toilet paper, and the wash stations no soap or something to dry your hands with. And the other guests! I was in a women’s only room which was nice, but I had to do constant battle to make the girls close the door behind them. I will have more to say about this in an upcoming blog post about dorms. But, hell, ladies! The ladies only room is meant to be a safe space. Leaving the door open kinda eliminates that.
Given that, the location was great, about 50 meters from the Bund. There was a great view of Pudong on the other side of the river from the roof top bar, and even through a few windows along the corridors. I never got up early enough to see the sun rise behind Pudong, except one morning when I had a peak of it through the window and the scaffolding outside the window for some outside wall maintenance. It was just too bloody early. But I traipsed around the Bund and Pudong at most other times during the days I spent there.
As I was going to be in Shanghai for five nights and had already explored my top destinations of the Bund, Pudong and the Old Town, I could take my time with the rest. The first full day I just walked around, trying to buy bits and bobs for the journey and resting. The following day I discovered the sightseeing tunnel that goes below the river separating the Bund from the Pudong. That was fun! For the price of 70 yuan return, you could hop on something like a cable car that went horizontally across, far below the water. And you got a light show on the way! On the other side, I went for a closer look at the Pearl Tower, but the price to get to the top, 220 yuan or 25 GBP, was too steep and I never went up. I popped into the Disney store there, for a fun sneak peak at my later excursion to the Disney Resort. And that day ended with a glorious view of sunset on the river.
I had happened on a movie theatre in one of the malls in Pudong and went to see King Arthur to while away the time. I had already seen Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 a few days earlier. That made a total of 30 movies I have seen on my Grand Adventure, so far!
There was another lovely old town quarter in Shanghai that I went to see a few days later, Xin Tian Di, or Xintiandi. It was located south of the People’s Square park, which I had walked through a few days earlier. On the way there, I headed to Marks’ and Spencer, only to find to my dismay that it had closed a few months earlier. As per internet, they would have had some international food stuffs and I had a craving for some familiar snacks to bring for my long journey home. I was devastated.
But Xintiandi made up for it, it was a compact area with gorgeous grey stone buildings and no cars! It was completely pedestrian, which made it perfect for strolling. The area was mostly restaurants and bars, and I had a great Italian meal there. I was there in the early afternoon, but I’m sure the area is just hopping after dark. I had found a grand mall at a metro station there, which had a supermarket stocked with imported goods and I finally found a good bottle of Scots single malt for my ship voyage. Slàinte!
On my way back to my hotel, with my precious cargo safely tucked in my front-carried backpack, I happened on a corner of the Old Town. As I had spent time there on my first stay in Shanghai, I opted for an early night back at the hostel. These blog posts don’t write themselves, you know! It was the last night of my stay in Shanghai, and it was topped with a glorious golden dusk and a view of Pudong.
I loved Shanghai but I was glad to head to Ningbo, to wait for my ship to arrive!