Hey wassup peeps it’s me again on a new week of Just Zhejiang Things!
Let’s just jump into the highlight of this week shall we? So what happened was me and ma friends decided to go to Shanghai (woots woots) and for me, this would be my second time down to Shanghai for this trip already. XD My first time there was incredibly fun! But it lacked that cultural and touristy experience, so what I wanted to do this time was to really settle in the different attractions and get the full package! However, what came out of the trip really taught me more than how many attractions there are in Shanghai. It gave me a new perspective about myself and what I really lack in. But other than that the attractions were a marvel too XDD.
Day 1 was a blast right off the bat! Arriving at Shanghai, we went straight to one of the most sought after theme parks perhaps in China – Happy Valley (欢乐谷). Short backstory, the last time I went to a theme park was 3 years ago (and for obvious reasons). So I really looked forward to the thrill and exhilaration on the coasters, the joy from the faces of families and most importantly, the positive memories that friends would enjoy looking back in the future. That was what I got – until the rain got in the way and decided to drench us in the afternoon. X.x Fortunately, there was indoor rides and haunted houses that we could enjoy after, but it was definitely a pity that we did not go for a round 2 on the biggest ride there.
So Lesson Number 1: Kids, always check the weather before you plan for a trip!
Day2 was a little unexpected… Because we did not plan for there to be any outdoor activities due to the 90% probability of rain, but lo and behold, that’s the good thing when you wake up at 8 am – you get to make the plans! 😀 And that’s when
those who are awake everyone decided to go to Disneyland! And since we shifted Day 3 ahead, it also meant that we had a more flexible schedule for the days ahead.
Anyway, Disneyland was definitely a place you have to visit before adulthood, whether is it just for the claim that you had a childhood, or for the rides and the big performance at the end. It was also true that if you wanted to visit Disneyland, you either needed to plan your rides schedule to the T, or come down a few days just to finish all the rides, because it was simply that big! That aside, even for a person who probably only read Cinderella such as myself, it was quite a sight to be seen, especially the performances in the afternoon and the final one at the end. One word of caution though: Plan out the rides really carefully and know when a ride may not be worth the time it takes to queue for it. Because we ended up wasting a good 2 hours to queue for a 1 minute ride, which was definitely a downer for us. However, the final performance was definitely one that’s worth to watch because a) fireworks were amazing b) fireworks were amazing c) give you a thought how much they spend on fireworks if they have to do this every night… (Nah don’t think about it fireworks were great HAHAH)
Ps. Short session after was great 😀
Lesson Number 2: Always plan out the rides schedule, and take the longer rides either when the land opens first thing in the morning or when it’s about to close late at night.
And what’s a trip to one of the four ancient civilisations without some cultural immersion? So here we went to one of the most famous places in China – the Yu Garden district. A short history to the Garden: the garden was built in the Ming Dynasty under an influential official of the time, which took a good 20 years. The word Yu (豫) symbolises “staying safe (平安)” and “peace (安泰)”, which was a core for families of the time. It was truly a scenic place with many aesthetic sights and told us a very traditional story of the architecture of the time.
The actual Garden aside, the district surrounding the place also gave a very good mix of the traditional culture and modern vibes. One example was the 城隍庙 （City Temple）, which was a place for best wishes for one’s loved ones, the one place that transcends time. What was interesting about the place was that there were many modern elements infused into the traditional heritage, an obvious one would be the use of the e-payment systems, which really gets one thinking about the pervasiveness of technology in our lives. In any case, it was a trip worthwhile because both me and my friend realised that there was a family member who was having a bad year according to the zodiacs and we both decided to buy an amulet for our family member. Superstition or not, I guess it was a peace of mind that we bought rather than the amulet itself. And of course, this was a good way to have shared memories too, that we both got this peace of mind together.
What better way to end a cultural day than to immerse in the shopping culture in the metropolis known as Shanghai? Turns out we found out from another group there that Pull N Bear had a major sales during this period and we decide to
rapidly deplete our budget shop as we go! I didn’t buy anything (budget issues :’)) but it was refreshing to spend an afternoon just relaxing in the mall and watching the rest burn their wallets.
Afterwards, we decided to go to the Bund. BIG NONO RIGHT HERE. For those of you looking at going to the Bund on a weekend, be sure to eat first before heading of to the place because for a very large stretch of the Bund, there’s no food and it would be a hassle to get some nearby. And that was exactly what we NOT do (partly due to me sorry guys TT) and we decided to go to the Bund without dinner. After walking for a while, we broke for dinner separately back at the Bund.
Rounding the day up was one of the main highlights of Shanghai: The Bund (上海外滩). This is a must go for tourists and the night view along the river was especially amazing (if not for the hundreds of others hanging out at the place as well). It was also a calming way to end off the whacky day we had going from one place to another.
Lesson Number 3: Always settle the stomach problem before anything else TT
What we thought was a free and easy last day turned out to be a rush because we all woke up late 😀
(Wonder why) But nonetheless, we managed to have a great round-up, starting with the Shanghai Museum.
The Shanghai Museum had a rich collection of cultural artifacts, ranging from coins, clothes, paintings, calligraphy, and the list goes on… and the rest is just photos HAHA
Next stop was the Oriental Tower. Well honestly the Oriental Tower was quite a disappointment in the day, even when the Sun was going to set, because without the lights it just seemed like a really tall structure, not to mention we did not have enough time to go up as well. However, it was nice to see how the central district looked like, especially with the roundabout as well as the famous buildings such as the World Financial Building and Oriental Pearl Tower. So if you plan to go to the tower, definitely pick a weekday near the evening period and go up if you have yet to go up before.
Our last place of the trip – the Starbucks Roastery. The previous time I was here, I thought the drinks were good, but this time it was the aesthetics and the exterior that captured my attention. By the time I reached in the evening, I saw the night lights and honestly it was quite dazzling, especially among the old fashioned buildings around it. I also spent another 50 Yuan on that same coffee I drank from before this, but maybe because the trip was ending, it just didnt give me the same feeling I had the previous time I was here, much to my anticipation. (It could be due to the bartender too hehe)
All in all, the trip had its high and lows but I really got a lot from the trip, be it memories or life experiences I would never have had if I stayed in Hangzhou. Looking forward to the next trip that we have! 😀