Shanghai, China

First impressions of China? Well, it’s looking for a fight. It’s all elbows, spitting, and eardrum shattering screeching in Mandarin. I am missing the nice cocoon of Japanese zen round about now.

Catching the subway here is like Oxford Street on xmas eve, or a near death wrestling match. Queuing, traffic lights, and personal space are not concepts here.  Chill the hell out China – what’s wrong with you!

I’ve been here two days and ticked most of the check boxes;

  • The Peoples Square (a park and, you guessed it; a square with a few people hundred milling around)
  •  The Bund (a harbour-front walk through the old financial district with a few skyscrapers thrown in)
  • Yuyuan Gardens  & Old Town Road (Old teahouses, an out of place Starbucks, lots of 10 yen (£1) old curiosity shops.
  • The French Concession and Tianzifang (Bit of French architecture, a few tree-lined streets, some posh European style restaurants.)
  • Muse Club, Sky Bar (pretentious clubs, with shiny ‘plastics’ model types if we are putting this in Mean Girl’s terms. Although, that said, Andi, Scot, Gillian and I had an odd but pretty good night out befriending a random Austrian character who paid for everything. No catch just friendly and loaded.

Despite all this, I’m just gonna say it. Shanghai is still like a poor man’s Hong Kong. Harsh but true.

The undoubted highlight was (get ready for this…) tickets to the Chinese Acrobatics. They take it oh so seriously here. Think military style/footage of Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. We saw a barely teenage contortionists do unspeakable double jointed things, then saw 8 madmen in mopeds race around in a giant hamster ball. Where else could you see this for $100 Yuan (£10)

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Connecting to %s : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

November 2011

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