We arrived in Shanghai Friday night. I left work early and met Daniel at the airport bus. We made it to our gate at Incheon with 10 minutes to spare until boarding time. Our flight was less than two hours and Daniel drank beer continuously while I watched most of the movie Limitless.
When we arrived at Pudong we took the Maglev train into the city. It cost 80RMB ($12.50) round trip per person but it’s well worth it… It’s so fast! It takes eight minutes I believe. It was the first commercial high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world. It’s top speed is 268 miles per hour! From there we hopped on the subway and our hostel was six stops away. The subway is cheaper than in Seoul, we paid 4RMB (63 cents) for that trip. It is easy to navigate as well. The ticket machines have an English option. You choose your destination and it tells you exactly how much it will cost. When you enter with your ticket you scan it and when you exit you insert it into the slot. Also beware when you are exiting to find your exit number before you give up your ticket. Or else you might not have access to that exit, as I learned the hard way! 😦 (Luckily I have an excellent sense of direction.)
We stayed at Mingtown Nanjing Road Youth Hostel and I was pretty pleased with it. It costs $30 a night for a private room with a double bed, AC, and bathroom. The room is large and towels and daily (light) cleaning service are provided. My favorite part was that the outlets in the room worked with various kinds of plugs, so I could charge my laptop without an adapter! There is a cafe downstairs as well. The food was pretty good; we ate there a few times. Disappointing: The free wifi only worked in the lobby and even there it didn’t work well. The lighting in the room was bad and the walls were thin.
It was in a great location, right off East Nanjing Road. While it was listed as one of the world’s “12 worst tourist traps“, I didn’t think it was too bad. Yeah, there are really annoying hawkers everywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I was approached and asked if I wanted to buy a watch. Do I look like I sport Rolexes? My intimidating bitch face deterred them quite quickly however. 🙂
On Saturday I just wandered around for five hours straight. My feet were killing me! I walked up and down East Nanjing Road. The only thing that really interested me was an outdoor aquarium with sea turtles and sharks in it.
Then I walked all the way down the Bund. I wasn’t impressed. Yeah, there was some nice architecture on my side of the river but there wasn’t anything of interest on the boardwalk. Only stands where you can pay someone to take your photo or buy a drink. BORING! There were quite a few interesting buildings on the other side of the river however which I knew I would explore later with Daniel. Also it was quite a gray and dreary day.
My last stop on the longest walking tour ever was Yuyuan Garden & Bazaar. The bazaar was packed; I didn’t even bother looking in any of the shops. I paid 40RMB ($6.25) to enter the garden. It was nice but crowded. I really liked all the gargoyles.
Daniel had his Gaelic football match on Saturday. I wanted to go but his team was really unorganized; they couldn’t tell me where the match was and I didn’t want to wake up at 6:30am and have to stick around all day. But it was nice to have a day to myself and I know he had fun drinking with his Irish buddies.