Shanghai was the last city, I visited in China back in Dec 2019. Unlike my New York visit where I had imagined a city straight out of the classic Hollywood Movies & Nat Geo Magazines. My first impression of the Shanghai Trip was quite stellar, a city outperforming all other Modern Hubs of the World when it came to Infrastructure, Nature Friendly Environment, & Societies.
A Day in Shanghai
Welcome to the Bund, the prime place where any first timer would head to first. The early glimpse you get, is a backdrop of financial behemoths piling up there skyscrapers like a Chinese army parade. Each towers have their unique fashionable design & attractive lighting to roll your eyes during the night.
Further away from backdrop, moving to the finest part of the Bund. i.e. Walkways & Greenery. Yes, this is something I rarely saw ever in other cities. The Shanghai government has given more land space for Parks, Walkways & Corniches. Amidst this, there are public amenities at walkable distances everywhere like Libraries, Toilets, Cycle Spots, Seating Halls. I was surprised, how the well-being of citizens & residents are prime importance for the Shanghai Govt rather than lifting up Malls & Money Spending Traps
I spent almost half the day across the Bund, and my suggestions for everyone is to explore the city by walk rather than cabs. In just an hour, the sun melted to its sweet spot and I land up at the historical part i.e. The Oriental Pearl Tower, an iconic landmark from the 90’s is a TV Tower resembling a giant ball of sphere with a vertical ground lift.
Around the OPT, is the touristy part. A well lit up garden, mix of old & new building flooding the streets. Normally, you would expect a city like this comparable to New York should have its own Chinese New Yorkers aka Shanghanians. Be surprised, the most populous country will shock you with a the crowd that is not even half of Bangkok. People are there, but you see them sparsely. During the day, of my visit most people I saw was employees heading straight out of office to head for gatherings and catching up with friends. It’s a very young crowd, and very hospitable. I had the chance to meet few residents & get few drinks with them. All my discussions, were very relatable content I have heard interacting with people from other parts of world. Of Life, Politics, Conspiracies & Travel Stories ))
I play hunger games with myself a lot, thought my tastebuds were being little cautious with the food served in China. So I chose to have the most safest food only. Luckily, most restaurants I went had English Menu & few even made the food live infront of the customer.
If you ask me, how basic the food is in the Costliest City of China. This will give you an idea. Shanghai is dirt cheap, when it comes to off the street food. Only caution to take is, know your ingredients before ordering food. The famous Kao Pao Chicken I ordered, had atleast 15 Red Chillies on a single plate, way too much for Spice lover like me )). Same goes for drinks too, you would find some best products from local breweries.
In overall, I found Shanghai Trip quite likeable and livable. Being an expat myself, I found only the language being a great barrier which could separate people like me from the majority crowd. But honestly, this would apply in almost every non-english country you would like to work on. And, of course there are mix of good & bad people all around. Its upto you, how you make your social circle while visiting this place.
The city is credited with excellent hospitality and top-notch public convenience all over from Buses, Toilets, Stores etc. The Chinese people are generally very helpful, and try their best in communicating with you. Be sure to get your VPN sorted out cause Google Translate is an app you would be frequently making use of because of the Chinese Censorship.
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