A Taste of Shanghai After Charming Suzhou
Beautiful memories of Shanghai and I fell in love with Shanghai. Well, I always fall in love wherever I get to a destination. I love to travel, that’s why. So, it happened I got half a day free to myself and a change of plan was the best decision that day.
The driver won’t be picking me up till 6 in the evening to take me to the airport for my flight back home..
For several days, we went exploring the temples, gardens, pagodas and learned some history in Suzhou! It was immersive to experience tricycle riding, make your own dumplings with the locals, tai chi lessons from a master Shi Fu and many more great memories to share with you. The food was amazing! Everywhere we go, there’s a local dish to taste. Mandarin fish is one of the most popular foods in Suzhou. The staple of Suzhou cuisine, a dish hard to ignore and even harder to forget especially if you’re at all squeamish about making eye contact with your meal. This locally caught fish comes to the table whole, deep fried, cross hatched and smothered in a sweet and tangy orange mandarin sauce with eyes. Some of you may not be comfortable seeing eye to eye with a fish. Yet, asian cuisine serves a whole fish with eyes! I can go on and on with our daily activities while in Suzhou and go shopping too! 😄
Read more about Suzhou adventure.
As we have a free full day before heading home, an adventure would be perfect! So, we requested to change the driver pick up. Instead of picking us up locally, we went to explore Shanghai for a little bit. Gladly, the change was accepted without a fuss. We then took the bullet train to Shanghai from Suzhou. The bullet train was quite impressive and fast!
As soon as everything was confirmed, we went to the train station to get us tickets for the Bullet train. It’s popular in China being new and I’d like to try it! My first bullet train experience was in Japan 🇯🇵 and it was smooth!! It’s just perfect to get on a bullet train made in China. We decided to get the luxury ticket so we can experience luxury. Well, when traveling, you might as well travel luxury, you’ll love it! 😄
The train was on time. It looks cool! There were not that many people on the train. In fact, it was almost empty which is good because we went to the wrong compartment and ended up on the lower class ticket!! And did I mention while purchasing our ticket, the line was so looong, you can’t find a seat to sit because the train station was sooo packed! So glad we have someone taking care of that. We were seated comfortably as our guide waited for his turn to get the tickets. This is luxury travel…
We had a great conversation onboard the train. There’s probably less than 10 people in our compartment. I wonder how many people would be in the luxury compartment where we were supposed to be as it was comfortable enough from where we were seated. Hmmm, I wonder if I can ask for a refund. 😆
The ride from Suzhou to Shanghai was like 20 minutes. There’s not enough time to go back to the line and ask for a refund. It was super quick! That’s how fast the bullet train is compared to a 2 hour ride from Shanghai Airport to Suzhou in a car.
From the train station, a fancy car picked us up. It opens sideways upward to get in like James Bond. How cool is that? Talk about luxury and I love it!
We arrived at the Hotel, a fancy 5 star hotel and the manager came to greet us with one umbrella on hand, ready to serve as it was pouring that day. He was accommodating, welcoming, and treating us like royalty. Luxury is impressive, try it yourself one day even for just one day.
The room was ready when we got there. It was a beautiful and spacious room. The room was a corner room overlooking Shanghai commercial district. I love love love the room. It’s all glass haha…even the shower area. Bring on your imagination when staying in a hotel like this. It’s fully loaded with luxury, light changes at a touch, music, and luxury to the max. My heart wishes to stay one more night in Shanghai. Feeling like the song I left my heart in San Francisco.
After checking the room, we went to Starbucks to grab something to eat.
Starbucks Shanghai was huge! There’s two levels, it was so packed it took us a while to find a place to sit and order. It’s really busy, you can see the servers are almost running! And there was a confusion with our order. The server came with two drinks and one sandwich!! Anyway, as we were not that hungry and Seth is meeting someone for Dinner and I’ll be leaving tonight, we decided to just share the meal. Otherwise, we have to wait again and it takes a long time for orders to arrive.
The server told us that Shanghai Starbucks is the biggest one in the world. And I believed her. There’s two levels and there’s another one next to it, like an overflow. Did you know that we have to wait in line for 15 minutes before going in? That’s how busy Starbucks is on the other side of the world. After Starbucks, we went window shopping 🛍 . I can’t buy any more because my luggage was already overflowing. I was a bit worried about paying at the airport but glad my luggage went through without penalty. Across Starbucks is a huge mall with everything you can think of. There’s 3 levels of brand clothing, handbags, men’s and the underground is a food court and a grocery store. There was a food and wine tasting that day from different presenters. There’s one from Mexico. It was perfectly like being home.
Shanghai is China’s largest city and a major industrial and commercial center buzzing with life! Tall Buildings all around, selling wine, perfume stores are easy to find. It’s kind of western feel with tall buildings everywhere. Bustling with businesses. We passed by Lexus showcasing a blue and gray car and people took selfies in front of the car and inside too. There’s a Disney store not far from it and I was almost tempted to buy more stuff but changed my mind. Whew!!! Ultimately, Shanghai is a busy place to be. It’s modern and there’s Disneyland!
Did you know that there are 241 skyscrapers in Shanghai?
Popular Spots to see in Shanghai
Shanghai is known to be one of the world’s major centers for finance, business and economics, research, science and technology, manufacturing, transportation, tourism, and culture.
1. The Bund: A Stroll Through History and Glamour
From the hotel, I tried to find the iconic Bund and found this almost round mirror like bun shape. But the Bund is more than just a bun . This waterfront promenade boasts architectural marvels from the city’s colonial past, offering a stunning panorama of the towering skyscrapers across the Huangpu River. Marvel at the historic buildings such as the Peace Hotel and Customs House while capturing the perfect photo of Shanghai’s impressive skyline.
2. Yu Garden: A Tranquil Oasis in the Bustling City
Escape the fast-paced urban landscape as you step into the resplendent tranquility of Yu Garden. This traditional Chinese garden features pavilions, rockeries, and winding pathways, all encompassed by the historic Old City bazaar. Immerse yourself in the elegance of ancient Chinese architecture while savoring the serenity amid picturesque ponds and lush foliage.
3. Nanjing Road: Retail Paradise and Cultural Hotspot
For an unmatched shopping and entertainment experience, head to Nanjing Road. As one of the world’s busiest shopping streets, it offers a wide array of department stores, luxury boutiques, and traditional Chinese shops. Indulge in a shopping spree, sample local culinary delights, or catch a performance at one of the many theaters that dot the lively street.
4. Shanghai World Financial Center: Soaring Heights and Awe-Inspiring Views
Elevate your Shanghai experience with a visit to the Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Ascend to the observation deck on the 100th floor and be rewarded with panoramic views that sweep across the vast cityscape, showcasing the city’s architectural wonders and the Huangpu River.
5. Disneyland Shanghai: Unique Attractions
The biggest Magic Kingdom in the world is also the most technologically advanced Disney Park and it features some unique attractions. It is a little bit different from the US but overall it’s got the magic just like any Disney.
And so it’s time to go when the driver showed up at the hotel lobby bringing home some memories to share. Goodbye Shanghai but I will be back. Like the heart, the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings, I can’t wait to come back and explore more.