Asia Trip 2014: Shanghai

Hope everyone had a splendid Valentines Day with their loved ones,
whether it be friends, family, significant other, or lots of me time.

This post I’ll be sharing with you my
4 days and 3 night trip in Shanghai.

Before arriving in Shanghai, I was in Taipei, Taiwan.
You can read about that part of my trip here.

shanghai asia trip

Erick and I arrived in Shanghai on Saturday, October 18th early in the evening. We were picked up from the airport by my brother.

The last time I was in Shanghai was at least 5 years ago, and since then, it seems like much has changed. There were skyscrapers for miles in every direction. Literally, all of Shanghai was a “downtown.”

Our first stop that night was at Xin Tien Di (新天地). We had the most expensive hot pot that I’ve had in my entire life. I believe the bill was $300 or $400 USD? It was super good, but not sure if it’s worth it for that sort of sticker price! Especially considering that there were only 3 of us eating.

shanghai asia trip

Oh God, but look at that spicy broth. It was for sure top notch quality with a good kick. Also felt really clean in comparison to a lot of other hot pot places in China.

shanghai asia trip

Much of the food quality was simple perfection. I’m sorry that Erick wasn’t able to enjoy the meal since he was still recovering from food poisoning or some sort of bug that he got while in Taiwan.

shanghai asia trip

Look at dat meat! Oh the marbling drives me crazy.

shanghai asia trip

We also got live shrimp on skewers. Yes, they were still moving when our plate arrived.

shanghai asia trip

After dinner, we strolled around the area. During that time, it was Shanghai Fashion Week and we saw tons of high fashion trend setters roaming around the streets. It really felt like I was in Europe rather than China.

shanghai asia trip

For the rest of the night, we took a drive around Shanghai, mostly viewing the sights by car. One thing I noticed was the use of lights on the highway overpasses – I thought it was a beautiful touch. I guess its something you wouldn’t normally think of if you’re from the area, but since I’m a tourist, it made me go “whoa-hoh-oh! what’s that!?

Another thing to note is, wow Shanghai has so many expensive cars. I don’t know how they afford it, and how they don’t get scratched up. Beats me~

Eventually we got dropped off at my mom’s apartment. She owns one in Shanghai, and we were lucky enough to get the chance to make use of it.

shanghai asia trip

Early the next morning, Erick and I woke up to muffled sounds of someone shouting and banging on a door. We had no clue where it was coming from, but all we knew was that it was going on for a long time. Still half asleep, I finally decided to get out of bed and go investigate. As it turns out, it was my aunt who had been outside of our apartment for nearly 30 minutes trying to get in contact with us. She yelled, pounded on the door, and called the apartment phone, but nothing was able to wake us up. So sorry for that.

Surprisingly, she wasn’t very angry at all when we let her in. In fact she was laughing. She had come by early in the morning to take us out sight seeing with my other aunt and cousin too. What a surprise. We quickly got ready to go out and begin our first real day in Shanghai.

First stop was breakfast.

shanghai asia trip

You can’t visit shanghai without eating some Xiao Long Bao (小笼包). Hands down, I’ve never in my life had any that tastes better than Shanghai’s. Ya just can’t beat it!

shanghai asia trip

I was being a pig, and also decided to get Xiao Hun Tun (little wontons). Oh, and also some sort of spicy noodles. Both of which were amazing. Looking at these photos makes me want more of it again!!

shanghai asia trip

My cousin apparently got a new car, and drove us over to our first destination. I just had to take this photo because it was just too beautiful. I’ve never been much of a fan for skyscrapers, but wow, it looks so nice! Tall and handsome just the way I like.

shanghai asia trip

So our first stop was the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. I remember coming here when I was really young, but I never actually went inside.

shanghai asia trip

The lighting outside was gorgeous, so I just had to stop and take a selfie while we were waiting to buy our tickets.

shanghai asia trip

Hmm… I also took a selfie inside while we were in line to go up the elevator, and another one after we got out of the elevator. But yea, no ones interested in these, just photos for myself~

shanghai asia trip

From the observation deck, the view was quite spectacular. The sky was pretty clear and you could see out for what seemed like miles and miles.

shanghai asia trip

I love how the tall buildings cast huge long shadows across the city. This is something that I’ve never noticed before, but I guess being up high it becomes a lot more apparent.

shanghai asia trip

There was another area of the tower where the floor was transparent. It was really fun being able to look down and see the ground waayyyyy below us.

shanghai asia trip

It was quite windy in the area with the transparent floor. All of the Chinese tourist were sitting on the floor taking selfies, it was weird.

shanghai asia trip

After about an hour or so, we headed back down and met up with my aunties. They forced us to take some photos, and we managed to catch this cute one. I liked’ed it.

shanghai asia trip

I made them take photos with us as well.

shanghai asia trip

Next we headed over to the Huangpu River area.

shanghai asia trip

I don’t think I’ve ever been here in the daytime, but it was quite a treat for the eyes. Such a surreal cityscape and beautiful architecture all around. It would have been nice to see it again at night with Erick.

shanghai asia trip

By now, we were getting somewhat hungry. So we decided to head over to Chenghuang Miao for a small bite. I think this area is super cool since it looks so traditional. This area has a temple, shopping, and lots of foods.

The first thing we did when we got there was look for some ice coffee. We totally overpaid for what we got, but whatever.

shanghai asia trip

Inside, we found some stinky tofu, which was a little too stinky for my taste. We also got Shengjian Bao ( 生煎包), which is one of my favorites. I used to eat this every day for breakfast back when I lived in Shanghai over the summers.

shanghai asia trip

I think I’m pretty obsessed with the look of this place. Gosh, can I live in a place like this and wear super cool traditional outfits and walk around like a boss? Too bad it’s so friggin’ crowded…

shanghai asia trip

We mostly walked around, explored, shopped, and ate ice cream after this.

I’m pretty sure we ended up at Nanjing Road to shop too. But we didn’t buy anything, except for some banana ice cream popsicle things.

By now, we were pretty tried from all of the walking and sight seeing. Plus I felt bad that my aunts were taking us around to all these places that they had no interest in. So I told them that we were done playing tourist and that we wanted to go visit my brothers “new home.”

I don’t have any photos of my brothers place because I wasn’t really in the mood to take any. I just mostly drank some wine and tea at his home. It was a nice home, but a bit too over the top for me. And for the price, I’m not sure I’d ever want to pay that much. I guess if you have the luxury for it though, by all means why not. The only photos that I got from my brothers home were of these Koi fish, there were just so many… and I sure do like fish.

shanghai asia trip

At night, I got to eat dinner with my two aunts, uncle (not pictured, he ran away), and two cousins. They know I like spicy food, so they brought me to a restaurant that had a lot of it, yum!

shanghai asia trip

I must say, this is perhaps one of the most delicious meals that I had in China. These aren’t even all of the dishes that we ordered! By the end, I was extremely stuffed, and I think ordering a beer was a horrible decision since it pushed me over the top.

shanghai asia trip

During our dinner, it wasn’t as awkward as it could have been, being that it was the first time most of them were meeting my new husband. For most of the dinner, I just listened to my family converse in Shanghainese while dish after dish pilled up on our table as we ate. At one point, everyone got into a heated discussion on one of my cousin’s future living situations. My uncle left to go out and smoke, he never came back (weird).

Walking back to the car after dinner was quite strange. My family wanted to give me and one of my cousins that I used to be close with some time to catch up since we hadn’t seen each other in years. We literally had 2-3 minutes to talk and walk, while the rest of my family stayed inside of the car and creeped ever so slowly next to us. Won’t forget that! It was really nice speaking with him.

Our conversation sorta went like this:

Miao Ching: So you’re married now. He seems nice.
Sarah: Yea…
MC: What does he do?
S: Computers?

This was all in very broken English too. Oh the language barrier~

shanghai asia trip

On Monday, we woke up and went to the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. It was way better that I had expected. There were all sorts of HUGE fish that I’ve never seen before! I was blown away by the top image of an old looking fish, as it was at least 20 feet long.

Some of my other favorites of course were the jelly fish, sword shark, and penguins. Overall, there were a lot of underwater tunnels filled with sea creatures. It was a good treat.

shanghai asia trip

After the aquarium, we mostly went shopping around the same area that we were at the day before near the Pearl Tower. There was both a high end shopping mall and a regular shopping mall. We started off at a Starbucks, then went on to get a sim card chip for my phone so that I could use it in China.

That day, we did so much shopping, but came out with no purchases, wow. I was so tired that I wanted to sit down, but the malls and surrounding areas had no seating whatsoever! We ended up ordering dessert and drinks just so that we could sit for a while. Sadly, it looks a lot better than it tastes.

shanghai asia trip

By the end of the day, we were famished and made our way down to the food court and decided to eat Korean hot pot. Don’t ask me why we wanted Korean food in China, especially when we would be traveling to Korea, lol. Believe it or not, but the food was quite tasty.

Sometime during this day was when I started getting the stomach bug. I wasn’t able to eat much of the dinner, and originally we wanted to try going clubbing this night. That didn’t happen either. Since I was feeling so sick, we ended up cutting our night short and took the cab straight home.

shanghai asia trip

We did go for a really late night walk after returning home and changing. It’s always quite relaxing to walk around in Asia at night. I’m not sure what it is, but I love it so much.

The next morning we got packed and ready to head to our next destination, Beijing!

My aunt came over in the morning to collect our apartment key from us, and help us catch our cab to the airport. On our way out, I’ll never forget that I saw a lama just outside of our apartment complex. So random, but so fun.

I’ll always love Shanghai since that’s where my family is from.
Until next time Shanghai!

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xoxo Sarah 

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