Monday, 30 March 2015

TRAVEL: Shanghai, China

After recently going to Milan, I hadn't expected the next trip until June when I'm off to Lake Garda.

Fast forward a few weeks and I'm sat a plane on my way to Pudong Airport.

China is one of those places I'd never really envisioned going. I'm a big lover of the food (standard!) and always wanted to see the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, the Pandas but I suppose, that's the extent of it.

I think a big chunk of it is that it's different to anywhere I've been before. It's an unknown. A place I know little about and that makes me a little bit nervous.

I'm by no means a nervous traveller but there seems to be that added pressure going for work instead of going for myself. I have a time frame, places I have to be, duties to fulfill BUT I also have the opportunity to visit an exciting new city but a number of things I know I have to try to see while I'm there (thank you Trip Advisor!)

Let's put it this way, Shanghai was an experience. Good and bad.

I genuinely had the best week with the companies I was there to support but, as a place, I'm not sure Shanghai is for me.

The Chinese etiquette is incredibly different to that of any other nationality I've ever encountered, which I suppose was one of the things I questioned while I was there. The food was, again, different to what I had imagined. They have a huge pollution problem so their water isn't always the safest to cook with - enter deep frying and fatty EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, I'm not adverse to trying new foods, no no no, but one meal in particular was something I wouldn't be repeating.

I did, however, have some DELICIOUS food while I was there and felt very, very spoilt to be taken for such lovely dinners.

Managing a four hour sightseeing tour of Shanghai was something I was pleased I had fit into my week and also one of the best massages I think I've ever had - like seriously, ever. The tour comprised of a trip to the Old Town, Yu Garden, the French area, The Bund and People's Square.

Restaurant-wise, the choice is endless. There are some really authentic local places, some western restaurants and some bloody good restaurants in the hotels. I'm not usually one for hotel restaurants but the quality and reputation of the two we ate in exceeded itself. And Indigo. Indigo was my favourite - a rooftop view of The Bund area of Shanghai. At night. With espresso martinis and food to share. Absolutely perfect!

Oh, and I CANNOT forget my hotel. It was incredible. I stayed in the Hilton, in a posh room...with a bath in the window that overlooked the city. It had a walk-in wardrobe and a waterfall shower, the biggest king sized bed you've ever seen and I pretty much felt like a princess. Hopefully not my last stay at the Hilton Hongqiao.

I'm going to do a separate post on my guided tour of Shanghai but I haven't really blogged that much I suppose this is a 'hello, I've been to China and I'm still alive, just seriously busy' kind of ramble to you.

I saw this the other day and well, that's where I'm at really. I feel so lucky and proud at the moment of where I'm at, the experiences I'm having and I suppose part of me is thinking, 'Is this life now? Is this how things are for me?' and that's pretty exciting in itself.


1 comment:

  1. China was always the top of my 'to visit' list and I was so lucky to get to visit in 2011. If you do get a chance to go back then do try and get to Chengdu, the pandas are amazing and Xi'an for the Terracotta Warriors.