Shanghai

Hi, I’m back with another blog post that is long overdue!

Should have blogged about this almost a year ago but I’m only more free this time around to have sorted out and uploaded the pictures. And all the pictures now seem super old to me!

You can read other posts about my trip to Suzhou here, here, and here.

The reason why out of a sudden I’m blogging about Shanghai is because during my trip to Suzhou, Laurence and Hoe decided that hanging around only in Suzhou wouldn’t do my travel experience any justice and spontaneously wanted to take me for a day trip to Shanghai.

Since taking a bullet train from Suzhou to Shanghai only takes about 25 minutes, a day trip there definitely wasn’t a problem.

On top of that Hoe was and still is working in Shanghai so at the end of the day we could send her off before going back.

Woke up early in the morning (probably to Laurence’s utmost horror because I think he wished to sleep more and I did this to him like everyday) to dry some clothes before departing from Laurence’s condo unit.

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Waking up in the morning during winter had proven to be the most suffering period of the day because you just cannot do any business comfortably on the toilet bowl, have a morning bath, or brush your teeth without feeling the unbearable coldness with room temperature being approx. -4 degrees Celsius.

Worst of all lao zi got a pain-derful experience trying to wring out excess cold water from my clothes before air-drying them because Laurence’s washing machine decided to take a break from rinsing!

Even wearing a pair of gloves didn’t help at all!

Shots from the balcony of the orang atas’s two-floor condo unit.

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Ok, let’s abruptly end the Suzhou part and skip to journey to Shanghai.

Bullet train service from Suzhou to Shanghai cost only about RM20, which was very worthy because the train travelled very fast at a speed of slightly above 200km/hour.

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Many people thronged the Suzhou Railway Station every single second but good thing about train services there is that all trains arrive and depart on time.

Upon arrival, I think passengers have only about 3 minutes to get on the train before it forces the door shut and takes off to the next destination.

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Being boh liao on the bullet train I saw this in the magazine and imagined the obese girl being Laurence’s girlfriend and laughed to myself, like a siao, for quite a bit.

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In Shanghai!

In the picture below we were at the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Walkway, which I only realised now is famously named one of the World’s Seven Great Roads in 1930.

Apparently it is a significant landmark in Shanghai with lots of shopping centers and shops where fashion-seeking shoppers would throng.

And now I finally understand why Hoe said a picture with a stele that reads “Nanjing Lu Bu Xing Jie” (Nanjing Road Pedestrian Walkway) is a must.

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Heading for brunch. And guess what we were looking for?

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Shanghai’s famous steamed buns, which explode juice of pure heaven in your mouth upon a bite.

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Definitely one of the best cuisines I had tried in China!

As our “side” dish we ordered handmade noodles, which went so very well with the chilli provided. Can’t believe a simple bowl of noodles like that could taste so good!

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If you don’t understand the photo below, I was trying to take a photo of the great chef making the noodles but failed miserably.

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Shanghai is also known for its pan-fried baozi (filled buns). Wanted to eat some but everyone was stuffed after eating the our lavish lunch.

On a different note, they said you have not visited Shanghai until hitting the Bund.

Can’t recall much what we did after our brunch, but I think we loitered around the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Walkway and shopped a bit before heading to the Shanghai Bund.

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In front of the famous Peace Hotel, which I remember is a super historical building or sort.

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Just look at the crazy fella in the picture below who took the safety risk to stand in the middle of the road to take a photo for friends.

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The Pearl Tower:

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The Pearl tower didn’t intrigue me so much with its rather unique but still lackluster architecture so I insisted to skip going up!

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After that we went to explore streets around the Bund area.

Some of the buildings were built in Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism, and Renaissance styles due to past historical events and are definitely great places for photo-shooting.

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In one of the posts where I blogged about the famous Pingjiang road in Sushou, I mentioned about a retail chain that provides an unusual “slow mail” service that helps customers deliver letters into the future.

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Well I saw one of its chain stores in Shanghai too. And if you understand Chinese, the the last label in the picture below says a letter to be delivered within 4 years costs $30 (approx. RM3).

Laurence and Hoe trespassing into private area again! JENG!!!

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Along some of the hustle and bustle of Shanghai’s smaller streets, it was such an eye-opener to see this:

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LOL what a way of utilising natural resources.

Heading to Tian Zi Fang – an art and craft marketplace with old, refurbished buildings comprised of artistic shops, as well as exotic restaurants and bars. It is a neighbourhood of alleyways off the Taikang Road.

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Look at the map and see for yourself how complicated the place is.

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Didn’t buy much from there though except for some notebooks with absurd titles to be gifted to friends just for fun.

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Laurence then wanted to do some pretentious artsy-fartsy “looking away” photos, and then…

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(Disastrous cases ahead)

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Just see what this ding doing was doing. Le sigh.

Our next destination – the Jing’an Temple.

In a city so developed and fast-moving like Shanghai where morale remains fragile, Laurence said he thought it was good that people turn to religion to seek a sense of belonging and peace of mind.

I couldn’t agree more.

I found mine in my own religion. In fact I made my solo trip to Hatyai last year to visit Wat Hat Yai Nai, which houses the third largest reclining Buddha status in the world (also the largest in southern Thailand).

While studying and admiring the huge Buddha statue, the kind of serenity and bliss I felt in my heart was something I had never before experienced.

Anyway at the courtyard of the Jing’an Temple, people were throwing coins into a giant metal incense burner for luck. My first attempt had the coin successfully thrown into the one of the upper “windows”.

Laurence giving his attempts:

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The incense sticks and the way people burn them are rather different compared to Malaysia. Or maybe there are similar practices in Malaysia too but so far I haven’t come across anything like that.

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Saw this touching scene at the Jing’an Temple, which got me blown away by what I saw in the two women:

  1. Filial piety/kind-heartedness displayed by the daughter/lady stranger.
  2. The never-give-up spirit of the old women.

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I think the picture below is one of the very, very few pictures Hoe took with us! Sigh, why she so camera-shy one?

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And that kind of ends our day-trip in Shanghai.

To me Shanghai is just another commercial city with lots of crowds and cars. Modern and fast and all that, except that I prefer exploring around cities or outskirts that are less developed or underdeveloped.

Potong steam moment on the way back: Professor Laurence revising Maths questions on the train.

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But who could blame him, right – he had to teach early next morning!