The Bund and River Huang Pu
The Bund and River Huang Pu
The symbol of Shanghai and NO.1 sightseeing choice of Shanghai.
The Bund, associated with the River Huang Pu, divides Shanghai into east part and west part.
The area in the west side of River Huang Pu is called as Pu Xi, which is also the old town of Shanghai. Most tourist attractions are gathered in Pu Xi.
The east side of River Huang Pu is called as Pu Dong, which is the new town of Shanghai. Hundreds of financial giants are developing their business in Pu Dong. The whole Pu Dong area is most likely being the financial centre of China and would recur to the honour of the Wall Street of Fast East again one day.
Take a stroll on the Bund in the daylight and night, you would see two different Shanghai. There is only one thing is in common, both of them are gorgeous.
Knick-knacks in Shanghai
Fangbang Road is a pedestrianised shopping street running east-west through the Old City (Nanshi) just south of Yu Bazaar and Gardens. Billed as an "Old Shanghai" shopping street, it is lined with stalls and shops selling knick-knacks, clothes, shoes and many everyday items. It seems more popular with locals than with tourists, and bargaining is of course required. Clothes, shoes, knick-knacks, that sort of things. Varies - should not be too much.
Fantastic Shanghainese restaurant
Xiao Nan Guo (meaning Little Southern Country) is an excellent local chain serving delicious and affordable Shanghainese cuisine. I went to the Rui Jin Bin Guan branch, which was busy with local diners, had pleasant decor and good service. There is a picture menu, which may be helpful if your Chinese is not so good. Very good value for money. Kao fu - a Shanghainese appetiser of bean curd and beans. Tang xin lian ou - sweetened lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice. Yummy!
Yu Gardens and Bazaar - Dumplings!
The Yu Gardens and Bazaar are renowned for having the oldest dumpling restaurant in all of Shanghai. As it was lunchtime when Anne and I arrived we decided to go straight to this famous landmark and give it our own seal of approval.
The tables are a first in first served basis and don’t be startled when someone will just sit next to you at your table and start eating! There is no table service, you must order from a menu board at the front door…all written in Chinese of course. Anne and I just wandered around the restaurant with a waitress and pointed at other patrons meals and showed how many we wanted by raising 1 or 2 fingers. We also just went to the refrigerator and took out our drinks before handing them to the waitress before payment. All of the patrons and staff seemed to enjoy the entire experience as much as we did!
SHANGHAI - METROPOLITAN
"The Arrival & Activities"
The Malaysian Airline System 747 departed from Kuala Lumpur around 0140 and landed in Pudong Airport at 0700. Baggage clearance and passport checking are quite slow due to lots of traveller arrived at the same time. As it was early morning, only few access door were opened. It surely a long queue line.
From Pudong Airport, we took a van to Ramada Hotel in Cao Bao Road, Shanghai City. The journey took us almost an hour. Reached Ramada at 1000 and some rooms were still not ready for checking in. Parked my luggage inside one of my friends room and straight away went back downstairs for start our activity.
1st Day (17/9/06)
> 1000 ~ 1300 = Breakfast@Starbuck & Visiting the Old City
> 1300 ~ 1500 = Visiting the Oriental Pearl Tower
> 1500 ~ 1700 = Late Lunch at a Muslim Restaurant inside Xi Jia Hui
> 1700 ~ 1900 = Siteseeing around Xi Jia Hui Shopping Mall
> 1900 ~ = Back to Hotel
2nd Day (18/9/06)
> 0630 ~ 0830 = Take a van ride to Hangzhou
> 0830 ~ 1130 = Visiting Leifeng Pagoda
> 1130 ~ 1430 = Visiting & Silks Shopping at the West Lake
> 1430 ~ 1600 = Lunch at a Muslim Restaurant
> 1600 ~ 1700 = Shopping around Hangzhou Muslim Community Street
> 1700 ~ 1830 = Visiting a Green Tea Plantation & Bought Green Tea
> 1830 ~ 2030 = Journey back from Hangzhou to Shanghai
> 2030 ~ 2130 = Dinner at a Muslim Restaurant along Cao Bao Road
> 2130 ~ = Back to hotel
> 2230 ~ 0100 = Did a Neck, Shoulder and Back Massage & Business Centre @ Ramada Hotel
3rd Day (19/9/06)
> 0830 ~ 1000 = Breakfast & moved to Fenshine Accessories & Fashion Plaza
> 1000 ~ 1300 = Shopping@Fenshine Accessories & Fashion Plaza
> 1300 ~ 1500 = Lunch at a Vegetarian Restaurant along Old City area
> 1500 ~ 1800 = Shopping at area surrounding the Old City area
> 1800 ~ 2100 = The Bund (Cruise ride at Huan Pu River)
> 2100 ~ 2140 = Back to Hotel & take a quick shower
> 2140 ~ 2215 = Went to Park/Pub 97 to meet a VTer
> 2215 ~ 2330 = Meeting with a VTer
> 2330 ~ 0045 = Went to Babyface Discoteque & experience the Shanghai disco environment
> 0045 ~ 0130 = Back to hotel
> 0130 ~ 0330 = 2 hours Reflexology massage at the Ramada Hotel
4th Day (20/9/06)
> 1030 ~ 1200 = Depart to Exhibition Hall (Shanghai Mart) & visit ISSA Exhibition
> 1200 ~ 1300 = Lunch at a Muslim Restaurant
> 1300 ~ 1600 = Shopping again at the Fenshine Accessories & Fashion Plaza
> 1600 ~ 1900 = Shopping again at the area surrounding the Old City, maximum gems shopping this time
> 1900 ~ 2100 = Dinner & watch cultural show at a Muslim Restaurant
> 2100 ~ = Back to hotel
5th Day (21/9/06)
> 1030 ~ 1200 = Check out & head back to Pudong Airport
> 1200 ~ 1520 = Check in at the Airport, light lunch (just a Snicker) and last minute shopping
> 1530 ~ 1540 = Boarded airplane and flew off back to Kuala Lumpur
> 2100 ~ = Landed safely in Kuala Lumpur International Airport
> 0015 ~ = Reached Melaka
"Highlight of This Visit"
1. Yi Yuan Old City
2. Xi Jia Hui Mall
3. West Lake, Hangzhou
4. Tea Plantation, Hangzhou
5. Oriental Pearl Tower
6. The Bund - Cruise Ride
As most of our activity here in Shanghai occuppied with doing shopping, We went for maximum bargaining and even sometimes we get scolded by sellers in their language and with hand & face expression. Some are saying that first open/intro price, we should straightly cut off the price by 50%.
For example, if a seller stating the 1st offer price is RMB100, we should bargain for RMB50.
Anyhow, I will tell you our true example of bargaining in Shanghai. Asking for an antic beautiful 'Mahjong' set, the seller opened the price for RMB1800. As thats the last day for us in Shanghai, my friend only had small balance of RMB in wallet. We straight away try our luck mentioning RMB150. The seller resisted and started to gave discount, I think more than 5 times she droped the price down. Lastly she said "last price RMB300", still we insisted for RMB150, she denied. We walked out of the shop and once before leaving the place, she called by yelling, "okay RMB150". Can you imagine from RMB1800, the price we bought after bargaining is RMB150?
'Fake' items such as branded watches, shirts, shoes, jackets, handbags, pens etc. being offered openly to every tourist. Seller will approach you at street and ask wheather we are interested in buying these items. At the shopping arcade that I went, all of these items are being placed behind a secret door (back door) of every outlets.
"My Humble View of Shanghai"
Shanghai is a fast and yet still developing metropolis city. The architectures are so modern in most part of town. The pressure of fast modern development makes the local also need to move fast in accepting changes in quick pace. This is to ensure that they are also ready in terms of cultural, mentality, personality and identity so that all these values can go along with the well planed modern city setup.
Shanghai is so beautiful at night, do take the cruise ride and see it yourself how colorful Shanghai looks at night. The syncronization of lightings at night are so pleasuring.
Traffic are not that bad in terms of traffic jammed but the way of driving and following the traffic rules can be improved. Nevertheless, how dangerous its look, the accident rate is very very low inside the city. Thats a salute to Shanghai drivers.
As for muslim, halal food is easy to find. I really love the Vighur/Uygur foods which originated from Xin Jiang province.
Another thing that I noticed, not many local can really speak English. Even the reception at the hotel I stayed asked me how to spell pillow when asked for additional pillow. Most bargaining took placed only by using a calculator.
I will surely missed Shanghai and if given a second opportunity, I'll go and visit Shanghai again. Many great tourist places in Shanghai yet for myself to discovered as the initial planning theme of 'Discover Shanghai" turned out to be "Shopping in Shanghai". Anyhow, its a very fun and exciting trip.
My sincere many thanks to friends such as Helen (thanks for daily weather report), ellyse (great to meet you in Shanghai) and Confusius for tips given about Shanghai whether in responding to queries in Forum or personal emailing.