To go to China for a period of time you have to pay a large amount for a Visa so we decided to get a transit visa which is a free 144 hour pass into China. There was 2 or 3 forms to fill out so it’s a bit complicated and obviously as you haven’t had the background checks of a standard visa they judge you pretty harshly at immigration. So we spent a good hour at least waiting to get through passport control in Shanghai. There was only like 10 people in front of us in the queue but they kept doing things wrong and god it was such a huge faff I’m just glad we didn’t have anywhere we needed to be.
We took the maglev to the city centre of Shanghai which was incredible because you don’t feel like you’re moving that fast but you’re going like 400 km/h and you can see things zooming past you out the window. Chinese people themselves will literally travel the maglev for no other reason that to experience the fastest train in the world.
We stayed in an actual Youth Hostel so it was a really nice quality hostel but my god it was so hard to find. If you’re going to have a youth hostel surely it shouldn’t be super out the way, but what do I know?
After our experience at the airport we just kind of stayed in the hostel for the night, it was also raining so we just chilled out.
The next day it was still raining, which sounds like a bad thing but honestly when you’re in a place like Shanghai you want it to rain because it clears the air. We literally didn’t have to wear any breathing masks when we were there. Because it was raining though we needed somewhere that wasn’t outside to visit so off to the Shanghai museum it was. If you ever want to go to the Shanghai museum make sure you go in the morning because they only allow so many visitors a day. I learned some things there I didn’t know but there is a lot of the same thing there on display, they don’t have just one of each thing. I was kind of amazed though at how much they had that was still in such good condition.
Then once it had stopped raining we headed to The Bund which is a nice view but is literally just a view of some buildings and I have no idea why it’s so famous. Then we grabbed lunch in a shopping centre, which is probably the best option if you don’t speak Mandarin and aren’t interested in mystery meals.
We then headed to the YuYuan market which is outside of the Yuyuan Gardens and was just a really weird place. It’s full of shops and random people trying to sell you stuff which I find so sad because the buildings themselves are so pretty but they aren’t allowed to be the original buildings because the Chinese government is so tight fisted in its laws on there being no religion in China. We didn’t go into the Yuyuan Gardens because they were fairly expensive and I’m not paying that much just for some gardens no matter how pretty they are. Holy shit the amount of people in the Market was just ridiculous. We crossed the bridge which is like the most pictured bridge in China and it was a trial in itself just to get photos.
That night we went to a bar called Perry’s. What an experience that was. If you ever go to China go to a bar where the students frequent because you will see some things you would not believe. I come from Scotland I’ve seen people in some states due to alcohol but my God what a night.
The next day we headed to Nanjing and just wandered around the city. Joanne spent a month in Nanjing last year studying so it was cool for me to see a place that she called home for 3 weeks. After having a wander around the university campus we headed to the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, got off at the wrong metro station, walked to the Hall and found it was closed.
We went in some duck boats and got stuck in the middle of a lake for a few minutes because the engine needed a little rest. Then we went to the Nanjing Fuzimiao where there is a Confucius Temple which again costs a lot of money. China has to be one of the most Capitalist Communist states to ever exist.
Our final day in Shanghai was in Disney which was probably my worst experience at a Disney. Not through any fault of the park but just the people at the park were just the worst. They were so rude all the time and even the staff didn’t seem that happy. What I found wild was that there was like no queues for character meetings, but the queues for rides were all really long. We kind of just wandered around a lot of the time because the rides we were interested in all had long wait times and we just couldn’t be bothered with it. But it was still nice just being in Disney itself.