Christmas in Shanghai

On Christmas Eve we left Hong Kong for Shanghai. After a short flight (about an hour and a half) we landed at Pudong Airport. Unfortunately for us, the 30km metro journey to our hostel took about two hours.


The first thing you notice about Shanghai is the abundance of shopping malls—especially the ones attached to the metro. We were amazed not only by the abundance, but also by the magnitude of luxury stores including a two-story Rolex store.

We found that three days would have been sufficient to explore this cosmopolitan city. However, the two additional days we had were welcome as we felt a bit under the weather due to the rapid alternation in climates over the last two weeks.

Our favorite part of Shanghai was the Bund area, which provided us with scenic views of the Huangpu river and the Lujiazui financial district as well as a nice contrast between old and new architecture. We found that the metro was a cheaper and more convenient way to reach the east-side of the river as opposed to “The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel”. This rather strange, irrelevant (and expensive) tunnel was a typical tourist trap.

We found the design of the east-side, Lujiazui financial district, quite efficient and safe as it separated pedestrian and motorized traffic. The view over this area from the rooftop Hyatt hotel was quite nice, however, the drinks were not worth the price tag. So after taking a picture, we made a run for it. This concluded our tour of the city, as the Nanchang Lu foodstreet did not look busy or appealing. One last thing we’d like to mention is the ERA Acrobats show: highly recommended if you are looking for a night of entertainment.


About 15km south of Shanghai lies the pictoresque old town of Qibao. Easily reachable by metro, we went for a day trip to learn more about the traditional Chinese way of life. The combination of waterways and architecture is impressive, yet the town was flooded with tourists, making it hard to move around. Nontheless, Qibao is worth a visit if you just want to spent a few hours as the other, more well known, ancient towns of Zhujiajiao and Zhouzhuang are further away and harder to reach.

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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