Shanghai – Nanjing (July 7th – July 12th 2015)
Thanks to our friend’s help, we could easily pick up the train tickets Xiamen-Shanghai. During the trip through China, we have widely enjoyed the benefits of WeChat application (微信) functions: if you have a friend with Chinese mobile phone and WeChat account, he/she can pay the ticket online for you and you can give them money afterwards! It was enough to show passport and a picture of a receipt and many train tickets were soon in our hands! In this way, we have also just picked up our Beijing-Qingdao tickets for 15th of July, while we wait for the train to Beijing on 12th! Cool!:) Not to mention that the huge Nanjing train station, where we are now, seems even bigger as the typhoon stopped many trains towards the south and east and it is only like a million people around us! That’s nothing! 🙂
We arrived to Shanghai on 7th of July, and got on a metro with our new purple SH metro card. We found our hostel pretty easy and were happy that day although the room was terrible. Luckily we do not stay too much in rooms and the guys in the hostel were ok, so it went ok in the end.
The first evening we had a spicy Sichuan dish for dinner in a restaurant nearby and immediately headed for the famous Bund (外滩). We took some really nice photos of the area, both banks of The Huangpu River and curious, veeery curious, people passing by.:)
We strolled down the walking street, Nanjing Road (南京路) before heading back. The next day we started with a lazy morning and decided that it is time to slow down a bit. The typhon news started to arrive and we gave up on Hangzhou and Suzhou and made plans for Nanjing instead – not really being aware how big the typhoon will be and how lucky we will feel afterwards!
After breakfast we walked all the way to The Bund again and met The Pearl Tower (东方明珠) in its morning outfit. This famous landmark of Shanghai broadcasts TV programme that one can watch directly in the SH metro trains. We also visited beautiful and traditional Yu Yuan Garden, felt the atmosphere of an old Shanghai and had a nice rest in this place that is a real food for the soul…
Afterwards we also experienced the first raindrops, while sitting on the bench on The People’s Square, an area neatly arranged by the city government.
This is my (Dragana’s) third short visit to Shanghai and I can say that every time is so different and unique, it’s like coming to three completely different cities. Not only due to the ten year change and development but the city size! It is huuuge and it takes ages to see everything.
Shanghai is a city of contrasts. As you stand next to an old temple with the red dragon-shaped roof, a growing skyscraper from the temple’s neighbourhood is unavoidable on that picture you are taking. Old, traditional spirit is easily being mixed with high-tech places, full of neon lights, “dum dum” music and those shopping centres where people stand in line to open one of those little boxes on the sale. Ok, they look stylish, but what is in them? We barely managed to see some pieces of fake jewelry. As people in Serbia say, “even the god loves it if it is for free”. Or on sale, I would guess.
We went through The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (fun for kids mostly) to reach the modern Pudong area and take photos of The Pearl Tower in the night fog. It was like a dream! Really nice experience. We could not climb the tower as it disappeared with its neighbouring sisters in fog and clouds, but went to a good and cosy Shanghai history museum which is located at the bottom of the tower and got an evening history lecture.
We would also like to recommend one of the Lanzhou noodles places, where Chinese muslims make huge portions of a various delicious food and you can see them as they “la mian” – strech dough and make noodle soup. I remember watching this in Putian-flashbacks from the previous life in China.:)
Our next stop was Nanjing and it was a pearl to discover. The green capital of Jiangsu province and an ancient capital of modern China that housed six Chinese dynasties!! We were so happy with this place! Our friend Charlie took really good care of us every minute and we are looking forward to welcome him and his family in Norway.
Two days in lovely Nanjing went fast but we managed to see ancient gates in the city, entrance to the Confucious museum, old city area where we had our first stinky tofu (臭豆腐）experience (it is really true: the stinkier this soya cheese is, the more tasty it gets!) and modern night-life area 1912 (the year of founding of the first China Republic).
K&D – First time stinky tofu experience
The next day we spent hours in a big Nanjing museum which we absolutely recommend as it gives a thourough lecture on Chinese and Jiangsu history. If you wonder which city to visit in China and want to know more about its culture and history, Nanjing is number 2 place to go (after Xi’an, the first capital ever, previously known as Chang’an). Nanjing is the city of green: bridges and roads are literally covered by green plants and leaves and as we go through and leave Jiangsu province now, the green is saying hi to our 310km/h bullet train.
Our next stop, Beijing, promises sunny weather and we hope that our friends in the south and eastern provinces will soon experience the same.
Go away, typhoon, go away! k&d