Wow, what a different city Shanghai is than Beijing! After leaving Datong last night after a great visit, my flight arrived late at night where I was hoping to take their new Maglev train into the city. Unfortunately, it had already stopped running for the evening. So I waited in line for a taxi and was on my way to my place for the next week.
My first views of Shanghai were at night, but in the daytime, the city is bustling about with life. Street stalls selling pork buns, dumplings, streets zigzagging in all different directions each leading to another ‘business district’. I found my way to People’s Square, a great park full of greenery and a hub for transport. Right when I arrived, I saw one of those Open Air Bus Tours going around, which I thought would be perfect to orient myself to how the city is laid out.
After lunch, I walked to the stop that’s near the ‘Bund’, the most famous area of Shanghai that is around the river that curves through the city. On one side, you have the various European styles of architecture, which look across to the futuristic modern architecture of sky reaching buildings.
The bus tour was ok, as it took me through the city and gave a little dialog about each of the places. It did its job of orienting me to the whereabouts major sites were in the city. After a couple of routes (an hour each), I felt like I had a good understanding of where things were in the city.
I then met up with Branden from Austin, who’s studying here. We went over to Pudong, the modern side of the city, to go up into one of the buildings to overlook the city. It was really beautiful and I lucked out apparently on my weather as it’s been raining the past several weeks.
We then went to grab dinner before walking along the boardwalk area to see the night lights. It was as amazing as the pictures always show, but what is even cooler when I see ‘famous’ sights like this, is understanding their position in a city. I always thought the main part of Shanghai was the modern side, but it’s actually the opposite side sitting facing it. Really cool to understand the make ups of these cities.