The plan after Nanjing was to catch the train to Hangzhou. But because of the holiday and my ass booking at the last minute – all trains were fully booked for the entire weekend. I was debating whether to stay in Nanjing for another night, which I didn’t mind at all, or dash for the bus station in hopes to get a bus ticket to Hangzhou. However, Simon and Barney, HongKongers I met at my hostel extended an invitation I couldn’t refuse: a personal tour of Shanghai, a couch to crash on and a home-cooked meal. How could I not say yes? Before I knew it, I was on the bus with them bound for Shanghai.
Man oh man, all I have to say about Shanghai is, where has Communist China gone? Getting off the bus and walking through the metro, I was having flashbacks of my visit to Hong Kong last year. All I kept thinking was: “Am I really in China? Did I get on the wrong bus and somehow ended up back in California?” Nothing but shops, shops, starbucks, shops, more shops and more starbucks. Skyscrapers everywhere and heaps of Americans! Three months in China and I’ve encountered more foreigners walking the streets here in two days.
Despite feeling under the weather, I was still able to get a taste of this modern, cosmopolitan city. Started off at the propaganda poster art museum, which was quite interesting. We walked around the French Concession (the charming, peaceful, green section of Shanghai) through Renmin Park, Ninjing Road and ended at the Bund (waterfront area where you can find a nice collection of traditional colonial buildings, a must see area in Shanghai). Topped off the night touring the lit up city on motorbike with Simon, which was awesome.
Shout out to Si, Barney, Shannon – thanks again for letting me crash on your couch and thanks for dinner. Good times in Nanjing and Shanghai! My doors in Dalian are always open for ya’ll!