Sunday, February 25, 2007

Impressions from China - Shanghai

My first impression of Shanghai as we headed to our service apartment from the airport, was that it didn't feel as "foreign"as Beijing. Things looked familiar - the roads were better maintained, the buildings looked more modern, even the people looked different (northern Chinese faces seem to be broader, & their complexion seems to be darker), closer to the southern Chinese faces that I have been so used to seeing in Singapore. More signs were bilingual (Chinese + English) so that I didn't feel so lost.

Traffic was just as bad (if not worse) than in Beijing. People seemed more aggressive, especially when we were in crowded situations like at the Bund or Yuyuan, which during the holiday season, was thronged, and I mean THRONGED, with visitors. It was literally push-and-shove in order to make ones way through to ones destination.

The crowd at Yuyuan
The city definitely looked more developed than BJ. Walking along the Bund, we noticed that one side of the Huang Pu River had architecture reminiscent of its colonial days, while across the river, modern buildings were the norm.

The "old"side of the Huangpu River

The modern side of the Huangpu river

The Shanghai maglev train is another example of modernization. We did a round trip on this train for the sake of our kids...after all, how often does one get to ride in a train at 430 km/h?!

Shanghai Maglev train

One does not visit Shanghai & not rave about the food! From fine Italian cuisine (read: expensive) at Cucina on the 56th floor of the Grand Hyatt in Pudong, to different varieties of buns at a Mantou restaurant in Yuyuan, to delicious (& greasy!) shenjian mantou costing us only 70 yuan for 72 buns which the 9 of us devoured, one can find an amazing variety of food available in the city. The pig's elbows ("tipang") is a must. Don't be turned off by the layer of wobbly fat & skin that you see on the surface. Underneath all that, you find the tasty lean braised pork meat...mmm...yummy...

"Souper" buns at Yuyuan

Shenjian mantou - delicious & cheap!

Braised pig elbows "tipang"

No comments: