Shanghai'd again!

Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Mingtown Etour Youth Hostel Shanghai
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Peoples square, National Museum

Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Friday, February 10, 2012

After nearly a day of plane travel and airport waiting,  I landed in cold, dark, and effiecient Pudong airport of Shanghai.   The Chinese rarely heat public buildings this far south and they tend to not waste electricity on luxuries such as lighting.   The customs were friendly and fast (in comparison to my home country),  then I had to walk a mile through giant dark cold hallways in order to find the "Maglev" train platform.   (CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE THE VIDEO)

   The Magnetic Levitation railway of Shanghai is a fast way to get to the middle of the city in 15 minutes.  Being the only public Maglev train in the world,  make it a must do when traveling out of Pudong.  For only 6 dollars,  you save about 45 minutes of standing in a packed subway car and miss out on all those extra stops.  Once the ride is over either head to the Metro station (in the same building) or go outside to the "Legal Taxi" cue. 

   Avoid taxi drivers who try to intercept you before you reach the official taxi cue.  I was tired and didn't know the driver who hit me up was illegal until I got in his cab. He caught me off guard before I got to the cue.  His illegal cab was on a nearby street.   I was in the back seat when he told me the price would be 270 Yuan,  I left his cab and headed back to the maglev station with the screaming driver following me asking what price I was willing to negotiate.   I told him to go away then even called out "Police" when he continued to follow me.   Be careful never to accept a Taxi ride from the airport or train station from a person canvassing you before you get to the proper taxi area.  Usually you just get cheated but I have heard some horror stories,. Once I made it to the correct taxi cue area,  I finally caught a cab (Charge of 50 yuan) and made it to my Hostel around 10 PM.   (always make sure they hit their meter upon departure, some might try to negotiate a price,  even the legal taxies will at times.  Be sure to write down the taxi's number which is located near the meter just in case.   

    I will recommend the "Mingtown" hostels in China.  Very nice gardens and common areas to hang out and read/compute/meet other travelers ect...   I paid 140 Yuan for a single room with shared bathroom.  Not too bad considering I'm in the most popular area of the city.   

Got up at 7 AM and went to the Hostel cafe for some coffee and an "American Breakfast" which is basically eggs and toast,  but the watermelon slices that come with this was a nice touch.  Not sure where the Chinese get that Americans eat watermelon for brekkies? But I do like the idea.   Watermelon is the best!   After a couple hours of catching up on my blog and surfing the net,  I went out in the soft, cold, rain, and had a gander of the back streets and alley's of my new neighborhood.   Located which places were useful, IE:  Bank, store, noodle place, etc...   Once my guarantee of future sustainence was assured,   I went back to the room in order to lose the rest of my jet lag.   Watched a bit of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" travel show on DVD while passing in and out of consciousness.   Once unconscious I slept like a child until the late-afternoon.  

"I turned my collar to the cold and damp" (Paul Simon) as I took off for a second excursion around the block of my new digs.   When I move into an area,  I learn all the close by streets and shops before heading to that touron spot across town.   I get more joy and fascination by looking into the shops of the local bird and fish sellers (for pets not food),  then to go to the national museum.   I also looked into a few tiny stores that claimed to have ancient artifacts from China,  but since I am nearly penny-less and completely sceptical:  I didn't enter into any of those places.   The old winding streets and alleyways on a day like this were as beautiful as nearby "Peoples Square", "Yu Yuan Gardens", "Pudong", or the rest of that touristy crap that most visitors clamor to see.   Just give me a narrow winding street with fish and bird shops and I am quite satisfied to see something new.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Samantha on

I feel like we're spoiled over here. Can't imagine that too many Westerners would enjoy sharing a hotel bathroom with a stranger. If I ever make it to China, I'll keep your cab tips in mind :)

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