26 Jun China is an Amazing Country
It’s difficult to put my first impressions of Shanghai into words – though it may suffice to say that I wanted to experience a new environment, and this city certainly hasn’t disappointed.
At times, areas such as Pudong look like “just another big city”. There’s certainly the feel of a typical modern, rapidly expanding city. But that isn’t to say there is no uniqueness to it looking like, well, a bottle opener. However, when you walk through some of the narrow, winding side streets you begin to see a more traditional side to the city, with the vendors selling authentic Chinese cuisine and original craftwork. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place where the contrast between the old and the new is so immediately apparent.
The food has been very special; I don’t see how anyone can ever get tired of Chinese food! From the spicy dishes at expensive Sichuan restaurants to the cheap dumplings at the local neighbourhood stall, the food here is delicious. As someone who is generally a pretty fussy eater, I’ve put aside my reservations to try a bit of everything, and my experience has certainly been all the richer for it. Saying that, I haven’t yet come across anything as testing as snakes or cockroaches, so that may require a little more courage.
The nightlife in Shanghai is also wild, and again there is a great range of venues. With Absolute Internship we’ve experienced classy clubs complete with fantastic views and shark-filled fish tanks, as well as bustling bars frequented by locals and Westerners alike. You don’t have to go too far to have a good night in Shanghai.
Transportation is also an area where China differs from the west. Though the subway system is simple, clean and efficient, the traffic on the road is at times a whole different matter. I’ve been here a couple of weeks now and still don’t really understand why when crossing the road once the lights have changed to red, some drivers seem to have right of way. Those hoping to visit certainly shouldn’t take crossing any road too lightly, though it’s all part of the experience!
So that’s a little on my first impressions of this amazing country, though thankfully there’s plenty more to come!