shanghai: xintiandi

May 18, 2010

It might be the good weather or the cleanliness or something, but I think Shanghai is one of the best cities I’ve ever visited. There’s something special about it; it’s a fast-paced city, but yet it still has a beautiful calmness to it.

The city is pretty organised, with beautiful skyscrapers, smooth highways and clean pedestrian walkways. At night, the city is lit with lots of neon light. So beautiful! They say it’s something like New York, just less busy.

Shanghai Quick Facts (that I can think of right now):

Fact 1: Population is reaching over 20 million people, so you can imagine how cramped it is now with the World Expo. I was told that locals prefer the public transport like the subway or walking than driving because of the traffic jam and lack of parking spaces. There are spacious pedestrian paths everywhere and it’s so nice to just take a stroll aimlessly.

Fact 2: Shanghai has a lot of skyscrapers especially ones with full on glass. They seem to like that, I notice. Tallest building: Shanghai World Financial Centre at 492 metres. It’s the one on the right. There is an observation deck on the 94th floor.

Fact 3: Shanghainese people drive on the left side.

Fact 4: Taxis have this protective plastic around the driver. I wanted to ask why but none of the ones I met spoke English.

Ni hao ma!

I went to this area called Xintiandi, a fusion of old and modern Shanghai. The architecture was especially beautiful! A lot of alleys and squares housing trendy restaurants and boutiques. I was told this was a happening spot for hangouts.

I felt like I was in London for some reason! I mean, they had Paul!! I loved this patisserie, everything was always so yummy.

There was this fountain in the middle. The three statues represent 3 gods; god of wealth, god of prosperity and another god whose function I had unfortunately forgotten.

There was also this famous balcony. I was told that this is the Romeo and Juliet balcony, don’t know if it’s true. There was a lady playing the violin on the balcony. The Romeo downstairs didn’t seem too interested. He’s just not that into you, girl!

Very romantic at night, this place.

My first meal in Shanghai was Italian, ironically! It was really really yummy and the decor was just beautiful.

There’s something about this open concept, where you can just dine outside while people-watching. Coupled with nice breezy weather, it’s really a wonderful thing. I really wish Malaysia could have something like this, but it’s way too hot back home!

Oh this is random.

Whenever I travel, I would always buy the local magazine to gauge a feel of the fashion and lifestyle there. As I was browsing Chinese magazines, I found this magazine with my name on it! (Well, not exactly the same spelling but still sounds the same!). Turns out it was actually a Japanese magazine, not Chinese.

I was so excited, I had to have it! I have no clue what everything in it means, so I could only look at pictures. I think it’s a fashion magazine because there’s a lot of beautiful Japanese models in nice clothes. Some of the fashion features were a bit questionable, but there were some nice outfits that I really liked! Way cool. Have to go to Japan one day.

I shall blog more about Shanghai, but am going to call it a day for now. Night!