Stopover in Shanghai

We caught the 2:45 train to Shanghai well in time, having spent over two hours sitting around the station of Gin Hai, a small Chinese City close to Tianjin. We slept through most of the ride until sometime around midday.

The view out the window was a mix between countryside with tiny houses and big city dominated by huge apart,met blocks and high rises, most of which were still being built or seemed empty.

It was already dark when we arrived in Shanghai. We could make out the modern skyscrapers that made up the futuristic skyline when we approached the main train station. I had selected a hostel near Caoyan Road before we left on our hitchhike/train journey from Beijing, so we had to transfer to the metro, which was pretty easy to handle. I got an immediate feel of familiarity when we whizzed passed countless buildings atop the elevated train. “Like Bangkok” I thought to myself, but the similarities didn’t end there. Even the street food vendors and small shops between large shopping malls were eerily familiar.

If Beijing was the administrative and cultural heart of China, Shanghai was its commercial and modern hub. The streets were bustling with colourful traffic, people were streaming up and down the sidewalks and countless LED boards were lighting the entire scene. You could feel the buzz and momentum of this thriving city, I loved it.

We only spent only two days in Shanghai but managed to have a varied mix of perspectives on the city, from the old French concession to the modern Pudong district contrasting with Zhujiaojiao, a small traditional Chinese water city that is reminiscent of an Asian version of Venice. Shanghai did have lots of things to offer.

But we wanted to see the true China, so we left on the next train heading west towards the Yellow mountains or Huangshan in Chinese.