Ni Hao Shanghai

Its time to finally wrap up my China trip recap. We arrived in Beijing first and then hopped over to Xian before making our last stop in Shanghai.


Each city was quite different so its hard to make a fair comparison but I think its safe to say Shanhai was our favorite. It had a great young energy, was easy to get around and enjoy. Its also the city that has the least iconic sights - no great wall, no terra cotta soliders, no emperors tomb. (By this point in the trip I had had my fill of ancient relics!)

We took the famous Maglev train into town. It goes fast or so the digital indicator tells me. Just felt like taking any train to me. (Not sure what the big deal about this is. It goes fast. Maybe its a male thing? Or a train lovers thing? Im sure its highly useful if you live there but as a tourist, I wouldn't go out of my way to do it again.) Anywho, it got us there.

We were staying on the Pudong side a short walk from the promenade so we got to enjoy a great view of the Puxi skyline our first night there. Sadly this was the last time we got any clear sky - it rained on and off for the rest of our trip.

The next day we made our one and only educational stop - the site of the first National Congress of the Communist Party. Interesting but no photos allowed inside.
Even nicer was that this site is in the beautifully restored and chic neighborhood of Xintandi.


I fell in love with these dark blue bricks everywhere. I want a build a house out of them!!

We moved on to walk along the Bund and enjoy some of the surrounding areas.
This would have been such a better photo if the sky was blue but I wanted to point out how beautiful the repetition of the red flags looked. Each building has one so it really makes quite a impact when looking at a whole city full of them.

Naturally I couldn't visit a city without trying to scout out some fun vintage finds. We stopped at a couple of spots but my favorite is probably the most touristy - Dongtai Road.

Didn't buy anything because I thought the prices were a bit high. I'm sort of regretting not purchasing one of the vintage cameras we stumbled upon. Oh well, live and learn.

We spent a lot of time in another tourist and local hotspot - Yu Garden. It was totally cheesy in many ways but we really enjoyed browsing, people watching and sampling some of the amazing food the city has to offer.
YuYuanGardenYuGardenUmbrellas ShrimpatYuGardenCafeteriaNotimpressedbyfiguresYuGardenatNight

We even had these little clay figures made of ourselves as keepsakes. I was really excited about having a tiny version of ourselves but I have to say, the result was a bit disappointing. Not really a good likeness of either of us.

To close out the day we took the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel back to the other side of the river. EPIC FAIL! It was like a really cheap recreation of an acid trip. Save yourself the yuan and take the ferry instead.

On our last day we walked all over the city taking it all in. And yes, that is a dog panting over a fruit stand.

And that was it. Back on a realllly long plane ride home.



  1. I love hearing about your travels. How much time do you put in learning about the cities before you visit? What resources do you use?

  2. Looks like such a great trip! I have loved seeing all of your photos!

    All of your photos are fabulous, as usual, but I have to say that night skyline one is just amazing!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous9:47 AM

    What wonderful narrate the trip so well too! ♥ it.

  4. The photos are great as always and I like the clay figures:) I don't like the dog hanging out over the fruit:(

  5. Thanks for sharing - always so fun to travel trough your photos! Makes me yearn for a far away trip. The dog over the fruit stand is classic

  6. Great to get glimpses of places I'd like to see one day. That Puxi skyline is incredible.

  7. What an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing all of the details with us.

  8. Fabulous trip...I haven't been to Shanghai as yet but would love to. xv

  9. Really great pictures. Do you ever get sick eating the food in foreign counties?

  10. I love those clay figures! So cool. Too bad it doesn't look exactly like you, but I loved checking out the outfits you guys were wearing!

  11. Val: It all depends on how much lead time I have before the trip. Aside from the usual internet research I do while planning, I almost always buy a guidebook and read it cover to cover. Its pretty high level but they always cover the basics in terms of history, important facts and things to do. On most trips we'll have several planned things to do and a little free time to just wander. On this trip we had very little free time because of all the specifics we wanted to see.

    Naz: We didn't get sick eating anywhere in China. I had been told to expect some questionable stuff there but we found nearly every meal to be absolutely delish without any incidents. We didn't drink the tap water (as advised) but other than that, enjoyed pretty much everything else. If you are asking in general, we've been very lucky. We rarely are effected at all while traveling - and when it happens its very minor. Nothing a little imodium can't fix up right away.

  12. Shanghai is definitely on my list. My dad goes there on business and he loves it.

  13. Absolutely amazing! You take the best pictures S! Can't wait to see where you guys head to next!

  14. your photographic eye is so sharp. the photos made me feel like i was there (and praying that dog wouldn't jump out of the window). and seeing the red flags on all the buildings was an interesting about patriotism. glad you had a wonderful trip. i think i'll be a stowaway in your luggage on the next excursion.

  15. I love your photography... but I am curious - how did you shoot the picture of the city at night with the river flowing by? I looked on flickr but didn't see photo properties to see shutter speed etc.. but I am curious! :)


  16. Hi Anita - thanks. For some reason the exif data didn't get uploaded with that photo but Ill check it when I get home. Im positive I took it on auto so I didn't set anything special. I didn't have a tripod handy so I handheld as best as I could.

  17. Oh my gosh am I so glad I saw this! I am going to China at the end of July! Were going to Beijing and then Xi'an not sure about Shanghai yet. But please let me know what I should see and what I should buy while I am there. ANY tips would be awesome!


  18. LOVED these pics! I used to live in Shanghai. Moved home 2 years ago after being there for 5. LOVED it. I took many of friends to the YuYuan Gardens. And walked many of those roads. Loved the photos!


  19. This looks like an absolutely amazing trip! I love the image of the dog over the fruit stand!

  20. Your photos are amazing!! I can't believe you took the night shots without a tripod and on auto setting - what camera do you have again? I can never take pictures like these and I love taking night shot, that never come out the way my eyes see them; I guess it's time for a new camera! The one thing I hope to do well one day is to take a photo of the moon without it looking like a blurry spot in the sky.

  21. Heather5:30 PM

    ha! love the review of the Bund "sightseeing" tour -- we also fell into that trap. It was hilariously ironic how bad it was. Basically a bad Disney ride.

    The rest of Shanghai - we fully fell in love with as well! We were there this fall and just loved the feel of the city. If anyone is going, I highly recommend Yang's fried dumplings. Our hotel concierge warned us politely that it is not very "formal" read: not many tourists eat there, but we loved it! for some basic info.

    Great photos by the way! love the blog :)

  22. Natalie C2:29 PM

    Just out of curiosity, did you take a tour (ChinaTour International)? My husband and I are getting ready to leave on a tour through that company and it hits all of those cities. How exciting to get a glimpse of what is yet to come! 

  23. We did arrange the trip through a tour company but it wasn't the one you mentioned. We had private guides in each city so it wasn't the kind of your where we were with other travelers on a bus.


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