Monday, April 15, 2013

The Charms of Old Shanghai (1)


We just came back from our 7 days of exciting & fruitful trip visiting Shanghai, Nanking, Mount Jiuhua in Anhui and Suzhou. The weather was unexpectedly cold for Spring season and the coldest experience was 1 degrees C in Anhui. Most days it was around 10 degrees which was perfectly cool and nice to wear my Winter clothes again.


It was our first visit to Shanghai and I noticed the Chinese guys & gals were mostly milky fair & very tall. It was a common sight to see many ladies towering above 5 ft 8 in and they all looked glamorous wearing fashionable clothes making "Shanghai Fashion" a trend being observed even in Paris & Milan.



Our arrival on the 4th April was the 2 days Public Holiday in China for the Qing Ming  - Tomb Sweeping Day. There were hundreds of thousands visitors walking all over the Shanghai city, jamming the subways, malls and streets. The weather was cold, so it was bearable to jostle and push your way around in the crowded places.



I would conclude that this trip was an eye opener for me to appreciate the scenic mountains and latest technologies besides getting shocked by the toilet cultures in China. I hope to upload more posts of the whole trip fast.



We arrived Shanghai at 7:00am and took the world's first Maglev Train that runs on Magnetic Levitation lines from Pudong Airport to the outskirts of the city.






This Bullet Train runs up to maximum 431 kph during peak hours and 301 kph during normal hours. It was very fast and smooth making my head dizzy! We got off halfway and jumped into the subway train that took us to our Dorsett Hotel. This hotel is highly recommended as it has a subway station right beneath the hotel - So Convenient!

We headed to the city right away with plans to visit the City God's Temple, Yu Yuan Gardens, Ancient Tea House and the old shopping streets of Shnghai.





 It was quite cold that morning at 8 degrees C and the streets were so packed with Chinese visitors from all over China. It was so difficult to take photographs and I often had to wait for them to walk away.




 The ancient architecture of the old buildings were all well preserved and everyone was busy clicking their cameras!


 We had to take turns to take our photos like tourists. It was always fun and happier to travel in a pair as a bigger group could mean more headaches sometimes.


 This big landmark is a Goldsmith's Jewellery Shop which started its business since a long time ago.






 The narrow lanes are lined with many cute and interesting shops selling souvenirs, antique curious and traditional food stuffs.







 The lake outside the Yu Yuan Gardens were connected by several bridges. It was packed with tourists like human sardines!







 It was so crowded that I got molested so many times. The policemen on duty had to blow their whistles and shouted at the unruly crowd who were pushing each other.


 We sat down at a big food court that occupied 3 floors with hungry gluttons. My order of plain Fried Bihun with 2 Desserts cost 50 Yuan (RM25)!!!!! It was my first daylight robbery.

81 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You would have freaked out here!!!!

      I heard that Shanghai is most crowded during Qing Ming's public holidays than their CNY holidays.

      Delete
  2. Heard all the horror stories of people being cheated left, right and centre...no, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was damn careful with my wallet & passports while jostling with the crowd. Their crooks multiply very fast. Even Europe is not so safe these days. You better stay at home STP as that is the safest place.

      Delete
    2. Yalah... don't generalise lah...

      Europe has cheaters too. Pickpockets too.

      WHen you decide to close your eyes on one place, you are restricting your knowledge and experience.

      Delete
    3. my PIL have one of those pouch that can be tuck inside the pants. they biaa travell already so they know

      Delete
    4. Ah Hua better starts sewing a pouch that can be tuck inside the bra when Ah Hua plans to travel oversea!

      Delete
    5. cannot Ah Hua, you are the member of BBWS!! you sew a pouch inside your bra then stuff your money in the pouch?? that will make your bra tighter and then your already popping boobs will even want to pop out more!! LOL :D

      Delete
    6. Wakakaka... Thambee seems to know the ladies packages more than the ladies!

      I was also worried that someone would cut off my waist pouch!!! It had a huge stack of China currency inside on my first day. So scary!

      Delete
    7. Tucked inside pants? Inside bra? With the likes of you people, I wonder how safe that would be... Muahahahahahahaha!!!!

      Well, Lina...I've never been to Europe and I do not intend to go there either. Ya. east-west...home is best! Ask those who have migrated overseas to tell the truth - either it's their goddamn pride that makes them lie through their teeth or those that I know don;t like where they have moved to and think things are farrrrr better at home - never mind what people say.

      Delete
    8. But how would you know which one is better if you don't experience it firsthand, STP?

      Bias, close mindedness, prejudice... It all stems from ignorance.

      People has every right to think what they want. Can't force people to lie about their feeling. Who are we to judge them, anyway?

      Delete
  3. Title of post reminds me of a John Denver song... But charming would be the last word I would use to describe all those crowded streets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have woken me up. I should change the title to "The Horrors of Old Shanghai".

      Delete
    2. No lah Anay.

      Don't dwell on negativity and instead celebrate its charms. Right? :)

      Delete
    3. why has to make everything so negative?? crowded streets is one of the characteristics, and so can be a kind of charm too right?? we don't stereotype things or people, but accept things around us with an open heart.. right anay?? :)

      Delete
    4. Oh yes, points taken. I should just look on the beautiful side of Shanghai. i enjoyed the trip very much, never mind the rude people.

      Delete
  4. wow, the buildings are awesome! Shanghai is so beautiful! Must go there one day..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bring your hubby there and he will love all the rare furnitures displayed at the Shanghai Museum.

      Delete
  5. The crowds.... hin. I wonder if there are tourists who get pushed into the lake. This is your 3rd attempt at posting hor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The crowds were nuts. So noisy and rude, yelling at the top of their voices everywhere.

      I was trying to upload my post using the slides template but failed. I think my lap top should be thrown into the lake.

      Delete
    2. got jinx la...got say something negative about shanghai is it earlier :p

      Delete
    3. Yo! This Pussy Cat lagi superstitious than Anay wor!! LOL.

      Delete
  6. oh deja vu!! thambee went to Shanghai in May 2007 and these places looks so familiar.. hmmm, i took the bullet train at its peak speed at 431km/h though, means i was better than Anay~~ :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the train sped at 431kph, I would have nose bleeding! You damn lucky devil, having traveled to so many countries at such a teen age!!!!

      Delete
  7. hmmm, qing-ming public holidays in China, but i guess it's still minor compared to their few golden weeks huh?? i went there in May 2007 but way after their labour day golden week, thank god!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have avoided that day if I had known it was their big public holiday. No one told me until I read in the newspapers a week before my departure. The Star ran article about China's undertakers now offer services for mourners to cry even on Qing Ming Day!!!! I think that is silly to cry so much on Qing Ming Day.

      Delete
  8. i am so impressed by that second last photo, that crowd is just so overwhelming!! hahaha.. gosh that is so scary!! way scarier than the Bersih 3.0 rally that i went!! Thambee faints~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They crowded from the Yu Yuan Garden across the bridge until the old streets!!!! I have also mastered the Art Of Pushing!!

      Delete
  9. got molested in the crowd?? hahaha, that's normal lah.. but this is what i read about the way the Chinese Mainlanders queue.. you must queue tight and touch the body of the person in front of you, with this, there is not even a single inch of space for others to cut queue.. that's their mentality lah..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried so hard to understand the way they think but failed. My ex HKG bosses opened our advertising branch in Shenzhen many years ago and had to close down! They had very good business but the staff fought internally everyday as they came from different provinces. The office was relocated to Guangzhou and has flourished since as they were smart to hire their locals only.

      Delete
    2. "not even a single inch of space for others to cut queue", muahahaha, but seriously?

      Annay is so tall and handsome, unlike the typical China men with small small eyes, sure the ladies in Shanghai grope Annay non-stop, from front to back and back to front.

      Delete
    3. I spent a lot of time watching people walking pass and inside the trains! I think most good looking Chinese people live in Malaysia! Must be our diet of Nasi Lemak and Roti Chanai that makes our faces rounder, fuller and nicer!

      Delete
  10. i actually like this place very much, with all the ancient architectures.. you went to have that daylight robbery RMB50 fried beehoon!! actually not that bad lah, you still had desserts and two more dishes.. i remember my friend brought me to have the very famous Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao there.. nice!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woii my 50 Yuan was only for Bihun & 2 miserable desserts in a public food court dei. The other 2 dishes were Letchumi's and i dunno how much she paid but she said it was also a rip off!!! LOL

      Delete
    2. Daylight robbery food court is very normal at tourist spot. I remember paying RM30 for a chicken burger in Legoland and it tasted horrible! McD is better!

      Delete
    3. Wow! Even in Legoland got RM30 burger!! The Chilly's restaurant don't even charge so high and tastes very good!

      Delete
  11. very true, still so cold in Spring.. i was lucky i went there slightly later and the weather was just nice!! i guess around 18°C then, so cooling..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather should have been around 15-18 degrees too but this year's weather is freaky with snow storms in Beijing and outside London in Spring. I hope Malaysia would snow someday!

      Delete
    2. Annay, Ah Hua hopes Malaysia would snow too!! Then I can parade in stylo winter clothes, muehehehe... Just kidding. I dislike extreme weather. Malaysia's hot and humid weather works fine for me :)

      Delete
    3. Yesh I don't like too cold weather. I just wish for Spring weather all year round, something like San Francisco.

      Delete
  12. Anay, i checked through my older posts and found out i also wrote 10 posts on my Beijing & Shanghai trip!! OMG i can't believe it!! starting 19/5/2007 till 28/5/2007, but written in Chinese only back then, and photos are so minimal.. i might consider to "re-engineer" my older travel posts and get them re-posted for new readers..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second that, SK. Please do so.

      Delete
    2. Yes please repost your old photos esp the ones taken in India!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
    3. i am considering to re-post my India trip, because so many people did not believe i went back to my homeland~~ but first, i have to find ways to retrieve my photos that was trapped inside my external harddisk that is now not recognizable by my PC!! @#$%^&*!

      Delete
    4. Thambee, so many requests for your Indian posts! Quick dei.... I wanna see our homeland!

      Delete
  13. Phew! People mountain people sea, Bananaz may pengsan haha. Would love to see 'Old Shanghai' as its the norm to be taken to see other side of Shanghai when on a group tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we could avoid crowds when they have no public holidays. It was a bliss for me after their 2 days holidays were over.

      Delete
    2. Anay made people all so scared to visit these places already. LOL

      Aiyo... it's like over here also what. School holidays and public holidays sure there will be packed tourists places one. Locals also want to go jalan-jalan.

      Delete
    3. Our holidays here is not so packed with humans like in Shanghai which is a huge city. It was like Tokyo scene after office hours everywhere in Shanghai. After their 2 days holidays, it was less crowded and nice!

      Delete
  14. This year travel plan, I actually discussed with Jin Jin. There are a few places in my min. Shanghai is one of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, I heard you talking about the toilet, I am scared. I am getting UTI easily, dirty toilet will make me hold my bladder. So, I think I better drop Shanghai in my travel list.

      Delete
    2. No doubt, the building and the scenery in Shanghai are so fascinated. I back off when I see the crowd.

      Delete
    3. Imagine, I need to bring my two princesses along, too crowded and too dirty places are not suitable for kids.

      Delete
    4. Tonight, I must review my travel plan with Jin Jin again.

      Delete
    5. No worries, all the toilets in Shanghai, Beijing, Xian & etc are modern and clean!

      I am actually referring to some places like Nanking, Nanning and places in Anhui where modern toilets also have no doors!!! I really cannot understand their mentality to pooh so openly.

      Delete
    6. Yannie, you must not drop Shanghai out of the list. There is much for your family to enjoy there.

      Delete
  15. Whoah!

    Everywhere was packed with people there. Wanna see Anay's face also susah! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't breathe in the crowded places for 2 days only. Thank God.

      Delete
  16. welcome back TM.. wow love the photos... I love the lake outside the Yu Yuan Gardens the most ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Milton, I will post the Yu Yuan Gardens sometime this week. Come back again yeah.

      Delete
  17. yikes that is a huge crowd indeed... good thing you sill managed to take good shots

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a lousy photographer actually. I must invest in a proper camera again.

      Delete
  18. wah the train so fast ah....buttock sat dont not even hot yet already have to get off liao...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no wonder when i went to my friend's bog...i saw why so familiar ah...you two were in the smae place...you know here ka? Chloerouyi. Whole family just moved to shanghai

      Delete
    2. when i see the photos i kept expecting those anciet super hero flying here and there with sword :p

      Delete
    3. aiya...molested ah...you tarak ask for money meh

      Delete
    4. just joking la....

      but really a lot of people leh. I think i will feel dizzy if i went there..

      Delete
    5. come la come la...i fry bihun for you la...buy one whole packet RM3-50 can eat till lausai...really daylight robbery

      Delete
    6. What a funny Pussy cat!... Muahahaha

      I dunno your friend lah. She moved to Shanghai?? It is such a costly city to live in this world.

      Thanks, I wanna eat your fried Bihun someday! I know you can make good damn delicious Bak Chang!!!!

      Delete
  19. The architecture of the buildings is well maintained, I like the small-small narrow lane in the photo.

    It looks like it's hiding a lot of gems and secrets :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The shops are all very interesting but I managed to refrain myself from over buying things this trip!!!

      Delete
  20. wah, nice lorh.. i never sit a train that exceed 300km/h before~ @.@~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lonely Boy, work harder and save now! You will be able to take the 401kph like SK Blogger!

      Delete
  21. Wow, those place are so crowded!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was Public Holiday in Shanghai. Other days, it would be pleasant to visit.

      Delete
  22. So many similarities (in the photos) between Tokyo and Shanghai, despite obvious massive differences. I'd love to read a post (from you!) (nudge nudge hint hint) that compares the two cities.

    Toilet culture? I've heard of China's dreaded toilet culture. My business man students who've travelled to China all look somewhat traumatised by their toilet experiences. ;)

    You've travelled on the maglev! I'm jealous!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Shanghai is always busy and crowded. At times, catching your breath can be difficult and i've to be always be aware of pick pockets. glad you had an enjoyable time there.

    ReplyDelete
  24. there are so many places that i haven't visited in Shanghai so thanks for the snippets of your trip.

    ReplyDelete
  25. How I wish I can just leave everything and travel like u... almost went to Shanghai to work last time but I held back cause parents didn't want me to go to a make an earning from a strange land

    ReplyDelete

Bad Wedding Etiquette

I just attended a wedding dinner of another colleague on Saturday night. It was held at a restaurant inside Goldhill Club. I didn't enj...