I have travelled to many places around the world over the last couple of decades, but if I needed to draw up a short list, my favorite areas would be Asia and Europe, the Caribbean. Some people enjoy the sunshine and beaches on a vacation, while others like the peace and quiet of the open country. I can vacation in any capacity depending on my mood , but I absolutely love the buzz and culture of a major city. Feeling the heartbeat of a country really gives you an insight into how it functions. Having a vacation in Shanghai, China is something everyone should do.
This city is unlikely to be at the top of the list of places to visit, especially as most media only seems to talk about the smog. However, on the it is not much different from the likes of London or Los Angeles, cities which often surpass international recommended limits on dangerous gases.
Shanghai has existed for over a thousand years, but only started to really grow into a major city after the Opium War of 1842. It is now one of the biggest trading ports in the world, with many of the products that we use today passing through it. The population has been growing fast in recent years, and now numbers over 23 million people.
I landed at the Pudong International Airport, which has had some rapid expansion over the last few years. As airports go, it is nothing special, and definitely does not compare with Changi in Singapore, but then no other airport does. Taxi’s are plentiful from the airport, and are preferable to using the buses or hiring a car.
As the city is so big, there is no shortage of hotels, and I prefer to stay in a mid-priced one. Cheap usually means rubbish, and expensive is throwing money away. I have yet to stay in a hotel anywhere in Asia where I have not enjoyed myself. The people are always polite and helpful, especially those that work in the hotels. This does not mean problems won’t occur, but as long as they are resolved quickly, then they are not an issue.
I was told by a friend before I left to visit the Yuyuan Gardens if I wanted to see plenty of classical Chinese architecture, and he was right. I would recommend taking one or more of the organized tours that many hotels do, as you will see a lot more of this amazing city than just going around on your own.
Another thing that has to be done on a visit to Shanghai is to take a river tour, as the views of the skyline are wonderful, especially if you go in the morning or evening. The Chinese are well-known for their food, and this is one place that you will never get hungry. I am a foodie and Cantonese food I enjoy very much. YUMMMM!
Getting to the city from anywhere in the world is easy, as most major airlines go there. This was one of my favourite cities on my trip to China, Shanghai was definitely a memorable experience.