13 Jan Since I have arrived in Shanghai….
Since I arrived in Shanghai I have spent most of the weekends, public holidays and some weeknights after work seeing the sights and attractions that Shanghai has to offer. I have been to the Bund, the Yu Yuan Garden, the Jing’an Temple and Tianzifang. I’ve also seen Pudong and its glorious skyscrapers, the top of the Park Hyatt Hotel for cocktails and chocolate cake, more gardens, and even had the chance to get out of Shanghai a few times with the group to Zhoujiajiao (an ancient water town) and Suzhou (a major city in the southeast of the Jiangsu Province). I have explored the 1918 Shanghai Abattoir, done a photo shoot with my Chinese colleague (that was fun trying to understand a photographer who didn’t speak English as he asked me to do different poses haha!), had Christmas night on the 60th floor of a hotel with free wine and snacks playing Secret Santa, enjoyed NYE fireworks on the Bund and had a Chinese massage with their ancient Chinese cupping therapy (OW! And man, the bruises!).
I think what makes these locations special or not for me is both the degree to which they are in direct contrast with what I grew up with at home, and how good the food was. So by these standards I have to say my favourite places was the Yu Yuan Gardens at night, the bar at the top of the Park Hyatt Hotel The Yu Yuan Gardens with the beautiful Chinese traditional buildings and still water reflecting them so perfectly almost had me thinking there were buildings below them. The buildings are full of little shops selling touristy things and lollies and I managed to find my favourite variety of Chinese cakes there.
The bar at the top of the Park Hyatt Hotel is something else. It’s not traditional, but it is very classy, with a relaxed atmosphere and the most incredible view of Shanghai. From this bar you can see the entire Bund, the Oriental Pearl Tower and most of the buildings in Pudong. I was lucky enough to spend the day with a few of the interns and one of their family friends who is a local and just by luck of the draw, also a tour guide! So she showed us all the buildings on the Bund and explained their historical significance and heritage. She taught us many things about the sights in Shanghai, recommended some places and even taught us a thing or two about the Chinese Culture that we didn’t know. On a different night I took my boyfriend to the Park Hyatt for a date, which was really fun because he had no idea where we were going and he hadn’t had a chance to explore Pudong yet. The drinks there are well worth the money, and you end up spending the same amount or less than a standard cocktail price in Australia for an incredible cocktail at a very upper class bar with that incredible view. Not just drinks though, the food looked amazing, and the chocolate cake we ordered was the best chocolate cake I have eaten since I got to Shanghai.
Now I am looking forward to many things in the last half of my trip. I have planned to go to Nanjing with the other interns for a weekend and discover the massacre memorial and other sights in Nanjing. Then I have two weeks until Chinese New Year which I will spend 3-4 days in Wuhan, in both the city and further into the country, and also 3-4 days in Chengdu hopefully discovering some of its great club scenes, pandas and famous food. Then after Chinese New Year I am hopefully going to take a weekend trip to Beijing because I don’t think I could bare going all the way to China and not going to the capital city and walking along the Great Wall of China.