Got a free Americano from the hostel as a birthday present! I was stunned they had noticed and it was a really nice touch. So 44 yuan saved we made our way to the station to get the train to Shanghai
The train station was like most, very new, shiny and spacious. I went on the prowl for food, ignored KFC and went to the Chinese chain next door, and got an over microwaved savoury bun. Train stations are the same the world over, full of cheap, overpriced food.
It was only a 2 hr journey so we sat back and relaxed, bracing ourselves for Shanghai, and it’s 24million people and 24 hr nightlife.
It was certainly much busier when we landed, lots of jostling and pushing, but we are getting used to it now, so we sharpen our elbows and plough through. It does seem strange to see lots of westerners around again, most of whom seem to work here as they have clean, shiny clothes and no smiles. The opposite of us! It feels like London in that there are lots of rich people around and no one looks happy.
Still we are happy to get straight to our hostel, unpack, change into birthday clothes (anything clean) and start exploring the city.
First off, food. Around the corner from our hostel was food street, and I had my eye of some hairy crab dumplings, there was no English menu on the outside but we went in and smiled, an English menu appeared and we ordered 2 sets of dumplings, crab and pork. We waited, for ages, they arrived and we then had to he patient and wait for them to cool before popping them into our mouths and wait for the explosion of crab and juices to hit our tongues. Yum.
We walk down the main road to The Bund, which is just like any other shopping street. I take the fact that I was offered hashish as meaning I am still a hip, young thing (Guy murmured something about aging old hippy….).
We finally made it to the view that everyone knows of Shanghai, the buildings on the waterfront, and even though it was dull and grey the view was still stunning. A lot like Hong Kong, but bigger.
We walked down the river admiring the stunning architecture. We went into the Fairmount Hotel and gawped at the beautiful art deco fittings.
Birthday meal was sichuanese food, however we slightly buggered up on the ordering and ordered a 3 chilli rated eel dish, along with a chicken and peanut dish (one chilli rating) rice and broccoli (for Guy). The eel was hot, too hot, and when Guy found a nail in it we hoped they would not bring another portion back, we were wrong. We got another plateful of hot, hot eel. We both sweated profusely, downed a large measure of Chinese wine (tasted like sherry) and got on with picking out the eel and leaving the chill. Below are before and after photos!!!!!
We went home to be near to a loo.