Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 5: Shanghai (travel day plus a little shopping)

Greetings from Shanghai! We arrived here in one piece early this afternoon after catching a flight from Xi'an. The flight was very, very turbulent, and Josh and I were squeezing each other's hands so tightly that I had indentations on the sides of my fingers from his grip and wedding ring! We half-joked that it must have been the pilot's maiden flight. Also, I had to laugh when, as we were landing and bouncing on and off the runway, Josh suddenly exclaimed, "Figure it out, dude!" I couldn't have said it better myself!

Grateful to be alive, we gathered our luggage and found a taxi to take us to our hotel. It took about 45 minutes to get where we are staying (near the Bund), and there was a little TV in the backseat giving English lessons to passengers. I learned that Americans call "elevators" "'vators" for short. Who knew? :)

We arrived at our hotel, and I have to say, it's out-of-this-world gorgeous! It's foggy/smoggy here, so I stole an exterior picture from the website:

The lobby (also a stolen photo from the website).

The hotel is a combination of art deco glam and modern. I am absolutely in love with it (as you will see from the gazillion pictures that are about to follow.


Our door.

Josh was really jazzed about the shower. It faces this huge window that has an amazing view of the city.

The room.

Okay, my favorite part. We are on the 40th floor with an absolutely killer view!

Josh was also super jazzed on the view.

Next, it was time to eat! We found this fabulous buffet close by. I was starving (hence the massive plate). The best things? A four-way tie between the crab, the Peking duck, the noodles, and the little salmon cake.

So, after we dropped off our bags, it was time to venture out!

Shanghai is absolutely incredible! I have heard it described as "Art Deco meets The Jetson's . . . on speed." It's much more condensed than Beijing, with tons of skyscrapers and flashing lights. It's absolutely spectacular!

Since we only had a few hours left in the day, we set out to do some of the famous Shanghainese shopping I had heard so much about!

First stop: Raffles. It is a seven-storey high mall with tons of little shops and clothing stores. I snapped this one picture, but then a guard came by and scolded me and told me "No photo!" Whoops.

We didn't buy anything and spent only a few minutes wandering. Then, we were back on the street, headed for Plaza 66.

A quick snapshot of the street (another foggy/smoggy day in China).

Our hotel peaking out from behind an old church.

So, like I said, our next stop was Plaza 66. Plaza 66 is an absolutely decadent shopping mall, complete with every major designer you can imagine (Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, YSL, Chanel, etc.). We strolled and did some people watching.

After, we just kind of wandered around, poking in some shops and enjoying the slightly cooler weather (although, I was still dripping it was so humid).

Getting closer to our hotel and right by People's Plaza.

Back at the hotel, we rested our tired feet and I did a little bathtub laundry. We just ordered some room service, and I am currently looking out at the most spectacular scene. I tried to take a picture of our view at night, but I can't seem to get a clear photo through the glass at night. It is like something out of a movie: a thousand sparkly lights, flashing banners, huge television screens mounted to the sides of skyscrapers, and the glitter of hundreds of cars zipping around the city. I could sit here and stare all night.

But, I need my beauty rest. We are meeting our guide tomorrow morning to do a full-day tour of Shanghai. Tomorrow should be a bit more action-packed (and, therefore, more photos)! More updates to follow soon!


Manohar said...

Hi Jen,

Wonderful pictures and very crisp description. I loved it . I will come back for more. Please keep posting.


amber said...

that hotel is so awesome!! :D

WeezerMonkey said...

(1) Your hotel kicks ass! Livin' large! Love the Josh in Shower pic!
(2) Buffets are the best! I love that you love duck! Quack quack!
(3) I am laughing at the Raffles' guard's "No photo!"
(4) For night photos through glass, try turning off all the lights in your room. It should reduce the glare. You can also place your camera on a steady/hard surface (like a desk or armrest) to reduce any movement.

Arian said...

Your flight sounded very not cool. How long of a flight was that? Bravo Josh for yelling at the jack! I love the "vators" I'm going to start calling it that now. teehee

Danica said...

i am officially in love with your hotel shower.

can't wait to hear more about shanghai!

California Girl said...

Fantastic hotel room! Love it!

R said...

Wow Jen. I could probably stare at the view all night too. It sounds lovely! Hope you have a kick ass day touring the city!! Oh, and your room is awesomeness. :)

jmawrey said...

Thank god we didn't have to see Josh naked in the shower.

dapotato said...

love that there's an old brick and gothic-ish church in the middle of art deco + jetsons on speed.