A vibrant and lively metropolis?
Let’s put it this way, if New York’s streets have a hectic bustle, then Shanghai in comparison is a cocaine trip of the finest kind.
Navigationless people should definitely plan ahead.
Shanghai impresses through and through with an excellent infrastructure that we Germans can only dream of.
Only clean roads, on-time transport, state-of-the-art technology – basically everything is paid for by app.
Everything is meticulously planned and implemented.
As a German you are quite amazed.
Admittedly everything thanks to the control regime which prevails politically in China.
Safety and security
As a western tourist one feels quite supervised and controlled.
Everywhere you look, there are surveillance cameras, security guards and police officers.
Not to forget how the internet works here.
Here a short instruction:
You can only get a SIM card by passport and beastly procedure. So forget this one.
Wifi in the hotel is only available by passport, which is registered by the hotel and then activated by the police. My WiFi password was therefore my passport number.
And if you are then in the internet, nothing known works.
Google, Instagram, Facebook adé.
WhatsApp only works with massive limitations – no pictures, just text and very slow.
As our guide always said:
Trust is good – control is better
The Chinese love to take pictures of western tourists. Most of them secretly. Some simply put their arms around you or sneak up on you with all the family ties and quickly snap a few more memories of the encounter.
I had a lot of fun with the local people taking pictures. You laughed and could dust off pictures for yourself. Quid pro quo even.
The Chinese man himself has always been polite when dealing with us.
However, we can no longer see or hear the local customs such as „feasting“ while eating, spitting on the streets or watching TV on the smartphone constantly and everywhere without headphones.
The Chinese person speaks mostly only Chinese.
Although English is widely spoken, it is rather reserved for the young or the upper class.
A good English is spoken around the tourism in the hotels, places of interest and guided tours.
More and better English is spoken in Shanghai than in Beijing.
Important: Taxi drivers hardly ever speak English!
Tip: Always have the description of your accommodation in Chinese ready so that you can come home again.
It’s best to have a translator app with you which works offline.
In the Yu Garden (Yu Garden) with the famous Zick Zack Bridge, hell breaks loose, because here, one feels like in a sardine box in the midst of pointed roof houses, traditional Chinese architecture.
Built by an official of former times as a resting place for his parents, it has nothing to do with peace and quiet.
Worth seeing are the architecture and the many temple-like magnificent buildings but nevertheless.
One must have seen and experienced the Yu Garden. Photospot and experience spot you will remember forever.
What is the Zick Zack Bridge all about?
It was built like a Z, because demons and ghosts can’t walk across corners.
So anyone who is currently afflicted by such things should be able to walk over them and leave all evil behind.
Jade Buddha Temple
Only 11% of Chinese are Buddhist believers and yet Western citizens associate everything traditional from Asia with it.
In the huge inner city of Shanghai, surrounded by skyscrapers, you will find a traditional oasis of happiness in the Jing’an district.
The Jade Buddha temple complex captivates with huge Buddha and other Jade sculptures of different deities which each has its tasks.
One marvels in the inside of the pointed roof splendour buildings among other things also at the holiest of all Buddhas, which is nearly 2 meters large and 3 tons heavy, with great reverence. By the way, photography and filming is forbidden.
The Buddhists worship the statues very much. As a tourist one often stands with the eye at the camera viewfinder and takes pictures, while beside one some believers address their prayers to Buddha.
The temple complex is well visited during the day. Towards the evening it gets less.
Culturally a must do!
The Bund promenade along the Huangpu River offers a fantastic view of the skyline of Pudong.
The promenade is adorned with many historic European colonial buildings, such as the Customs House, which is based on the Big Ben, and is an eye-catcher at night.
Attention: Lights off at 10 p.m.
Pudong is the district with the densely built skyscrapers and the flagship of Shanghai.
As a symbol of the emerging economic power China, pure amazement is appropriate in Pudong.
In contrast to New York’s Manhattan, Pudong is more modern, more expensive and cleaner.
By the way, 25 years ago this was still a swamp area.
The „old“ Shanghai
Far away from the skyscrapers and the Upper Society, one also finds the used and lived Shanghai before the economic awakening of the 90s.
Dismantled houses, simple lives, lots of small shops and food stalls.
One should also have seen the other side of the shiny Shanghai medal.
The fastest train in the world
We dared to take the fastest train in the world from Shanghai to Beijing.
Perfectly planned and well equipped, this Chinese fast train comes along.
We drove 390km/h and didn’t notice one centimeter of it – if it weren’t for all the provinces that pass by so fast.
Definitely worth an experience. For the 1200km we needed only 4 hours.