Technically I was in Shanghai for eight days but since five days of which were dedicated to attending seminars, I only had 3 days to roam around this vast and modern metropolis.
Our office is located at Shanghai Tower—the tallest in Shanghai and second in the world. Spending winter here can be a little bit brutal. One moment there will be a glimpse of sunlight and the next can be freezing cold. I suggest for you to always check the weather online to know which clothes to pack.
For the entirety of our Shanghai trip we used an app called Didi — their own version of Grab and Uber. It helped us to get in and out of different districts in no time. For five consecutive days, I had the pleasure of seeing the heart of their commercial district — walking below the towering buildings of Jin Mao Tower, Orient Pearl Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center. But the last 72 hours were jam-packed with everything we can fit in this “business” trip.
We commenced our trip with a ferry ride to Shanghai’s world-famous, The Bund. A long stretch of buildings that are influenced with European architecture. Opposite to it is Shanghai’s breathtaking skyline. I stood for about an hour just trying to get that perfect shot but I guess some beauty can’t be translated into photographs. They’re more worthy to be seen in person.
A few blocks away from The Bund is West Nanjing Road, which is a long walk of various branded clothing labels, gadgets and street foods.
The next day, I intended to go around a few more spots in Shanghai. If you’re looking for a place of cheap finds and restaurants, Chinatown is the perfect spot for you. Yuyuan Garden, on the other hand, is a serene place nestled in the middle of busy and narrow streets filled with frantic tourists.
Then we took a ride to Tianzifang, a former French Concession area now reformed with narrow alleys with numerous quaint and artsy shops, cafes and bars.
We ate lunch at Marzano, situated in yet another go-to place for food and bar in Shanghai, Xintiandi. It is said to be the most expensive place to live in China. Some of the apartments are costing more than those in Tokyo, London and even New York City.
After that sumptuous meal, we rode another cab to reach Shanghai Museum, located at the People’s Square in Huangpu District. It exhibits ancient Chinese art and is considered as one of China’s most modern museums. We found time to actually sit down at the square, let the world move beneath our feet and just watched Shanghai create its magic.
Our last day in Shanghai was a little bit hectic. Our flight is in the afternoon but we still had a few stops before we leave. One of which is the China Art Museum. This attraction is actually quite far from the city center but the view up close is just spectacular. The majestic building boasts pearl-white, concrete staircase and on top is an abstract pattern of crimson-painted wood, stacked like an inverted pyramid. I was not actually able to go in because the line is crazy long and it would eat up so much time so we decided to go to our final destination, Shanghai Tower. This is where our trip started and it’s just right to end it here, as well.
Shanghai Tower’s 119th floor has a 360-degree view of the megacity. I was shaking the whole time we were up there. Fun fact, I am not afraid of heights. It must be because of the excitement I am feeling as I roam around, running in circles, trying to get all the shots I need. Everything from above is heavenly. Yes, the smog is quite thick, but to me, it added that mystery. Like Shanghai is there in front of me, but it still holds a secret I badly wanna know.
Shanghai surprised me in a very good way. The weather might be hella unstable but the experience is still topnotch. I get to see a different side of its people, how they value their culture and how amazing their city is. Shanghai is an underrated destination that people should start to be raving about.
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