Shanghai, CHINA (Solo)

FYI – although I am able to update this blog via the blogger app, I am not able to view it since its blocked in China. But you can use google here. Bangkok is VERY exotic and robust but Shanghai is very sophisticated. Shanghai is a combination of San Francisco and Chicago. Big avenues and massive tall buildings. You don’t feel cramped like Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The streets are clean and the city is sophisticated and the people are very stylish. It’s a very expensive city. Just want to mention that I felt extremely safe solo in Thailand. No issues at all. I was out at all times of the day and night in various venues solo in three areas of the country and no complaints or issues. Here in Shanghai I feel safe but I see that there are more folks that seem to target you for scams. Around the hotels, shopping touristy areas and subway exits folks will approach you. Ignore these people and pretend that they are invisible. That’s the best advise I can give you. After about 10 feet they will give up and move onto the next ‘sucker’. There is not very much of the ‘old china’ left in Shanghai. The architecture is intricate and edgy and goes on for miles. Actually very impressive. Maybe you can get an idea from my pics below. Taken from my hotel, Le Royal Meridien in the Bund area. By any standards I would say that Shanghai’s architecture and infrastructure is very impressive. The stores are VERY high end – you name it they got it here and I didn’t see any sales! I am not a big shopper while on vacation and I assume outside of the area where tourist lodge have cheaper choices. For instance they have a Jaguar store that only sells handbags. I didn’t even know Jaguar sold hand bags. And in addition they have duplicates of shops two blocks apart. Just amazing and impressive. Although the crowds are large by DC standards, I would say that they are on par with maybe NYC, actually not even that crowded. I would say that Shanghai is not really a place where locals live in large part so as it gets late in the evening the streets start to clear out. The population of Shanghai is more than 23 million, Beijing about 20 million. Los Angeles population is about 3 million and NYC about 8.2 million. NYC and LA are the two most populated cities in the US and compared to Shanghai they are not even close so you can understand how large this city feels but the streets were not crowded. The only place that seems very crowded are the subways. With the few days I had in Shanghai I did a lot of eating, walking and looking up. The city is WOW. At least for folks from the US. The infrastructure seems very new and so much different than what I expected. I would also suggest staying in the Bund area but I guess it is considered a more touristy area so you will see a lot of foreigners and I guess it allows the locals a better opportunity to know where we are and run more scams. Don’t get me wrong, Shanghai is not a dangerous city at all but of course if you are not Chinese you are going to stand out and thus can be a target for ‘scamish’ activities.   So I also thought that the streets would be really crowded with huge crowds but this is not the case here in Shanghai. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes because you will do a lot of walking. Don’t be intimidated by the subway because it is not that difficult to maneuver. Its much cheaper than a taxi and most times faster because of traffic. The worst thing about the subway is that it is very crowded, like its always rush-hour. Maybe that’s why the streets are not too crowded, everyone is underground! You will find all types of food at all price ranges. For breakfast I did pretty much stick to the hotel buffet but you will not be disappointed with the selections at various price ranges throughout the city.   Also, where Bangkok was like a sauna even in October, Shanghai is nice and cool, a lot like home. Beijing should be even cooler since I think it’s the same ‘longitude’ or is it the latitude as NYC or Boston.   Anyway, I am headed out to Beijing now. See my Beijing report here. Waiting to board this high-speed train. Back in the day it took 46 hours to go from shanghai to Beijing. Then they improved to 17 hours. Now it’s about 4.5. And that’s with 2 stops. I think they started running the trains at 300mph but later lowered it now to about 200 – siting fuel concerns I think. The train only started running last year so I decided to do this instead of a flight. More convenient actually and excited to experience his ride.

Market Area


Typical Subway Car
The Bund Near Hotel


Typical Infrastructure Scene
Garden Performers
Stray Kitten in Gardens
Bund architecture

Train Station. Only one of 3 levels

Bullet Train Ticket
Views From hotel room. Twenty-first floor Le Meridien


View from Hotel Room of Bund
Bride on the Bund