Hello fellow earthlings and welcome to my new weekly “Throwback Tuesday” series!
For the following few weeks I’m taking you four years back, all the way to the miracles of China!
I was a bit bored and started looking at my old pics from China and that made me miss Shanghai so incredibly much and now I wanna hype about it a little.
So what should I say?
Spring of 2011 was amazing. It was when me and my classmates wento to Shanghai Normal University to do some exchange studies. Shanghai was a dream come true to a group of bubbly twenty-yearolds who knew nothing about life.
The city was so full of exciting shit and we never ran out of things to do.
We barely went to the University classes we were supposed to go- but instead we explored Shanghai, and most importantly, we explored China.
I think by traveling we learned so much more, than if we just would’ve sat in the cold classroom.
In just three months this place started to feel like a second home for us, and we totally
forgot that we are just tourists in one of the most famous cities in the world.
Shanghai is the biggest city in all of China and truly lives up to the expectations anyone might have about a huge metropolitan like this. Downtown Shanghai is full of amazing buildings, sights to see, stuff to do, venues to go to.
Moving around is made quite simple for us stupid tourists,
as you can go anywhere by the subway,
and if you’re lazy – taking a cab won’t make you bankrupt either.
Some of the cab drivers have extra long finger nails and spit in a big drinking bottle. Oh how I miss those guys.
Huangpu-river divides downtown Shanghai in two parts: futuristic Pudong and historic Bund.
Pudong is the home of the financial district, modern buildings, skyscrapers, tons of tourist attractions, shopping malls…Whereas the magic of Bund comes from the old European styled buildings, the super busy shopping street Nanjing Lu, majestic hotels, and smoky clubs where they’d play blues and jazz.
While I was in Shanghai, I didn’t give enough respect to everything the city could offer. I was young and stupid and went with the crowd. Nevertheless, I still had an amazing time. I pretended I was in New York.
Taking cabs just by waving your arm while standing in the middle of a street, trying to be so cool.
The best thing to do was just to sit by the river and look at the buildings of Pudong, living the care free life.
After two months I started thinking that there’s nothing new to do in Shanghai (HOW STUPID WAS I?!) and i stopped carrying my camera with me. I walked around and didn’t stop looking at the buildings, or what people were doing, or what the other tourists were looking at.
I should’ve not forgotten that I still was a tourist!
And that is something I have to remember here in Boston as well. ABSORB THE CITY.
THINGS TO DO IN SHANGHAI AREA
EAT FOOD AND BUY THINGS!
Food was DELICIOUS, most of the time. Sometimes the language barrier got too thick and we ended up having slimy goo or some other suspicious looking crap. Definitely eat food from the street carts,
I was way too much of a fancypant back then cos I only managed to eat street food there like…twice…
But it was good so I don’t know what my problem was. SHAME SHAME SHAME!
A TIP: If you are a picky eater like me, just order something from the kiosk, anything actually.
Take a few bites, and if you don’t like it just order something else! If you’re starving go with something more familiar – but otherwise – explore!
My favorite restaurant was some kind of fast food chain where they’d only serve Chinese food. I can’t explain it, and we never even got to know the real name of the place. It’s logo was orange, so we called it T’he Orange”. Stupid kids.
But seriously, food is good. Eat it. But it probably goes without saying.
And I also mentioned shopping.
Well, shopping is amazing. Everything is so cheap.
VISIT THE NEARBY TOWNS
Suzhou and Zhujiajiao are relatively close to Shanghai.
These beautiful “small” villages (population in Suzhou is 5 million)
have lots to offer: beautiful gardens, lots of river canals, tons of other western tourists, lots of cute souvenir stores,
smelly food, music…..
I wish I could remember all these things better. It means I have to go back.
GO OUT CLUBBING
Two words: OPEN BAR. Pay like 20 euros, get a wrist band, get hammered, dance the night away.
Clubs called Paramount, Not Me and Phebe turned out to be good party spots.
Poor Shanghai girls couldn’t handle their liquor so we had to show them how it’s done.
A place called Windows is a nice party spot too, they serve rather cheap drinks and there’s a nice cozy feeling to the place. I did get my foot smashed at that place tho, but it’s a story for another time.
TIP: If you think you can find a western toilet from these clubs you’re WRONG!
There’s just a hole on the ground, so before getting totally wasted – practice some squats with high heels!
SEE ALL THE TEMPLES AND STROLL AROUND OLD TOWN
Well not ALL of them cos there tons.
If you’re into spirituality, history or just wanna see how the monks live and how people in Shanghai practice their religions. I found those places rather interesting. My favorite one was called the Longhua Temple.
The famous old town is a beautiful must see place, but itattracts soooo many tourists that in my opinion it’s better to visit it during night time.
You get to walk on the cool zigzag-bridge without fearing that somebody might push you into the river,
and when it’s almost closing time the souvenir shops in old town are not that packed anymore – so you can do your browsing in peace.
I wish I could go back in time, to this carefree part of my life.
Seriously, my biggest concern over there was basically where to eat food that day.
I MISS SHANGHAI! I miss the lights, the life, EVERYTHING!
Maybe my the whole stay in Shanghai was a bit sugar coated (like this blog post), since we were just students – not having to live the “real life”, but who cares?
It’s an amazing memory and if I could just have a few days in Shanghai again I’d be extremely happy.
Someday I will tell you guys all the cons of China/Shanghai, since this was mainly a hyping post.
But, next Throwback Tuesday is about Cheng Du, China!
With Pandas, mountains and Chinese Opera!