Shanghai’d in Shanghai – Summer Trip 2007

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Having spent the past 2 weeks in Hong Kong I was faced with a problem. I didn’t want to go back to Japan. As much as I love Japan, I love Hong Kong that much more. I had a hard time convincing myself why I should go back to Japan. I mean there were plenty of reasons, but my job is such that I only need an Internet connection to do it. So that opens up pretty much anywhere in the civilized world. So I needed something to remind me why I would even consider going back to Japan. Then Ann and I went to Shanghai and I got the reason I needed. Japan isn’t Shanghai. Sign me up.

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Now that isn’t to say I despised or even disliked Shanghai. On the contrary I enjoyed my time there very much. On the whole it’s a nice city and though I think Beijing is a much better tourist spot, if I had to live in a city on the mainland, it would be Shanghai. It’s probably the least-Chinese of the mainland cities, which probably plays into my decision.

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Ann and I booked 2 round trip tickets with 4 days and 3 nights in a 4 star hotel for less than the hotel in Hong Kong cost for 3 nights. I thought that this time, China would pose no problem as I had someone with me who could speak Chinese. But then I found out Ann was scared of mainlanders. And rightfully so. On my suggestion we dodged the taxi booths inside the airport that promised they could get us to the hotel for 300 chinabux. We got out front and I pushed Ann into a waiting taxi. According to someone in the know, it would be between 150 and 160 yuan to the hotel. It came out to a mean 155.

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Once at the hotel we encountered another problem. What the hell do we do? We just sort of threw the trip together on a whim. Now we needed to figure out what was actually in Shanghai.

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Ann had a couple books on Shanghai but they were both in Chinese, so while she went through them, I tried to check my Flickr and remembered that it was blocked in China. Oh well. Ann in the mean time, found the best thing there is to do in Shanghai: Eat.

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We had the place to ourselves for the first half hour before the crowds of diners came in at once. “Ourselves” meaning Ann, me, and the 40 waiters who hovered around us with nothing better to do. A common site at most upscale Chinese restaurants.

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Eggy shrimp thing

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Soy saucey beef thing

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Xialongbao. The whole reason I came to Shanghai.

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On the way out

Afterwards we made our way around the city. The subway is both modern and outdated at the same time. Though it was nothing like Beijing, who’s subway is stuck in the 1920s. We made our way to Xin tian di, the Lan kwai fong of Shanghai. IE: overpriced (for China) beer and dining for ex-pats in a decently night-lifey area. Hou hai, the Beijing Lan kwai fong, is a bit more interesting though. Surely scorned by locals and the elitist ex-pats, they are horrible places to experience Chinese culture but great places to unwind.

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Shanghai Nights

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Shanghai subway

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Ann buying a flower bracelet

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新天地

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新天地

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Unfortunately China doesn’t have the best beers.

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~ by foomfoom on September 7, 2007.

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