Moving to Shanghai ?!?!?!
Another VT member recently asked me about online resources for people relocating to Shanghai. Here is my short list:
www.thatsshanghai.com (local expat mag)
www.cityweekend.com.cn (local expat mag)
MagLev: A fast and economical way to the airport
The MagLev, short for Magnetic Levitation train, is the best way to get from the PuDong airport to the city. The train which reaches speeds in excess of 400 KM/H travels the 40 KM stretch to the Fangbang Metro station in roughly 7 mins. The standard fare is 50 RMB but if you present a ticket with a departure/arrival date on the same day then it's discounted to 40 RMB.
This is the best way to travel to and from the PuDong airport. The trains are clean and their is sufficient space to place all your luggage. This is an economical way to travel to the city centre as a taxi ride could reach over 150 RMB especially if you are lodged across the river.
An afternoon in Fuxing Park - an urban retreat
Formerly a private estate, Fùxing Park in the French Concession was styled like a Parisian city park with wide, tree-lined walks and flower beds. Today it is a popular Shanghai parks with pleasant fountains, a children's playground, a rose garden, 120 species of trees. Near the north entrance there is a statue of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, a throwback to somewhat earlier times.
Sunday is a great time to visit the park. Locals meet for ballroom dancing to live music, playing cards or just people watching.
We visited The Bund two times in our trip to Shanghai. It was the first place I visited in Shanghai accompanied by my cousin who lives there. The view of the Pudong Area was obstructed due to the bad weather. It was raining that day. My mom slipped on the wet ground. Luckily she was ok.
We were able to fully enjoy the views the second time we went there. We had a great time clicking our cameras and were able to take plenty of shots. We were able to take pictures of the Pudong New Area across the Bund. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Building across is very visible from here. Shipping vessels can be seen plying along Huang Pu River. The old French Buildings around the area provides a sharp constrast with the modern structures. This place is huge & requires long walk along the promenade. I wished though that we were able to see this place during nighttime. I'm sure it's quite nice here at night with the lights on the skycrapers.
The Third Day-September 13
Well, again I got up early and went straight to the buffet this time. I wanted to get to the EXPO before 8 a.m. to try to get reservations for the events that filled up quickly. I took the Metro since, one of the lines (line 13) stopped inside the EXPO grounds. Although, when I got there, they said they had already filled up all the exhibits that I wanted to see. So, I went to get in and didn't realize that I was not in the ticket line and that I already needed to have a ticket. The good thing is they sold me one right there-this means I didn't have to stand in the long ticket line. I went in and unfortunately, it started to rain-quite heavily. Apparently, this is common in Shanghai and everyone had umbrellas except me.
I didn't let this get me down but, wondered why there weren't more awnings and covered entrance ways to the halls. I decided to stop at any exhibit to get out of the rain and chose the Czech Republic exhibit. It was a no frills exhibit like most of the other exhibits (something to represent them at the EXPO-usually something to do with technology or the ecosystem). So, after a short tour through the unique building (probably the greatest attraction are the buildings each country has), I exited out into the rain. I couldn't help to notice that alot, of people had umbrellas (people from all different countries). I remember seeing some people selling these near the Metro entrances when it would rain and wished that they were here selling them because they sell them rather cheap. Anyway, I continued on and found the "elevated pedestrian bridge" that went from one end to the other of the EXPO. There were plenty of visitors here camping out trying to stay dry and taking a break. I decided to get a snack and realized that although it was early in the morning(for ice cream) that it would be a good idea; since, all I had to do was spend about 15 RMB(about 2.30 USD) and I'd get a free EXPO umbrella. This turned out to be the best bargain of the day. I took a seat at one of the many benches they had under this bridge and ate the ice cream. The ice cream was good, too; making this deal even better. Afterwards, I took the umbrella and headed out and 25 minutes later it stopped raining-but, this umbrella was used again and again on this trip.
Anyway, I walked around looking at buildings (some with long lines) deciding which ones to visit or not. More not, so I became thirsty after awhile and I was looking at some food places they had scattered about and couldn't believe the prices, especially for sodas. Even, the carts they had selling sodas were not real cheap and they weren't real cold, either. So, I remember seeing a soda machine and realized it was moderate priced and atleast it would be ice cold (really good so, I had two from this machine and two from another later). As it was, the machine was located right near the food court they had with like a mega chinese food buffet. They had tons of food in a buffet bar that streched from one side of the building to the other. I bought way too, much and spent too, much but, I left stuffed. The food was a little institutional and lacking flavor so, I didn't feel like it was much of a bargain. This left me feeling lazy but, I pushed on.
I realized if I was going to see anything, I should get in the USA line and then with what time I had left see other things.
So, other countries will let their own citizens in their VIP line for easy access but, not the US (No we're not participating in that-I was told). Great, I can wait in this line all day and not see anything else(I thought). Well, the exhibit was just a joint advertising effort of all the big names in the industry-Coke, BK, Pepsi, Microsoft, Oracle, FEDEX, etc. Nothing special but, interesting in its own way.
It seemed like it was getting late rather quick so, I made it a point to head to the China pavillion. It was way on the other side of the EXPO park and I didn't feel like walking. I remembered seeing little taxis(big golf carts) and since the fee wasn't too, much I took one there(on the way back I took the bus, it was free). I was amazed by size of this structure (probably the biggest pavillion) poking up into the air. With no skyscrapers around, it was the biggest thing in sight.
Across the street from the China pavillion, was the EXPO pavillion(I found the other soda machine here). It stretched the length of the street and by it's own right it was big as well. They had alot, of shops here; as well as a few EXPO stores. I found one earlier and bought an EXPO t-shirt. At this one I bought a key chain; and I then decided that I had seen plenty enough of the EXPO. I took the bus back towards the Metro and headed for the hotel.
"Jade Buddha Temple"
I got back in the late afternoon and had a quick snack at the hotel in the club lounge. Since, It was still early enough, I went to the Jade Buddha Temple. There was enough time before it closed at 5 p.m. So, I went to the front of the hotel where the bell captain got me a taxi in no time. It was only about 15 RMB(so, I gave him 20RMB-about 3 USD). It is a little inconspicuous from the street but, once you get in you find a national treasure.