A 9:35am departure out of Dubai with 7 and a half hours over to Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China. Whenever I’m at work I always try to pick up some new phrases in the countries language. I remembered a couple of things from my last Chinese flight, so I utilised the language speakers and asked them to help me with drink names which I wrote down phonetically on a menu card. What I thought I was offering was apple juice and orange juice, but with my English accent, I was actually offering apple juice and heavy machinery. The Chinese crew were laughing their heads off at me when I came back and repeated it to them. No wonder it seemed everyone wanted apple juice from my cart! Anyway, with two services, the flight went by pretty quickly and we landed just before 10pm local time.
We actually had quite a few Chinese crew on this trip which was very handy for anytime I needed some translation on the flight. They were heading out for some local food, and not one to pass up an opportunity to try some local cuisine, I asked if they didn’t mind me joining. So after checking in, within 10 minutes I was back downstairs to meet the girls and we headed to a restaurant called Shudumaotai (I am unsure if that’s the correct spelling, however that is how it sounds to be said, apologies). It was quite an interesting style restaurant and not one that I had ever tried before. One of the girls gave me a large silver bowl and a pair of tongs and directed me over to two separate fridges. One was completely filled with fish and meat and the other with vegetables. You were to chose whichever fish and meat you wanted and place it in the bowl and likewise in a separate bowl for the vegetables. Each would be weighed and from this you would be charged.
For my food and a local beer it cost me 50 yuan, around £5! So cheap and I hadn’t held back at all when choosing my ingredients! It was then given to the chef who would cook it all for you in a piping hot spicy broth served with sesame seeds and peanuts. When asked by the cashier if I wanted it spicy, I said yes, but one of the Chinese crew Yibo stepped in and said how much spice can I take? As their spicy is blow your head off spicy and she translated for me. Thank goodness she did, cause she asked for a light spice and I was still sweating eating my food!!!
The food came really quickly one after another with the biggest bowls of food you have ever seen. Honestly, my fruit bowl at home isn’t the same size as this! I managed to almost finish, and it tasted absolutely incredible. I would definitely come back here when in Shanghai.
It was approaching 1am now and I had an early start the next morning so it was off to bed for me.
I woke at 7:20am the next morning and met Sarah downstairs in the lobby. I was really excited as we were heading to Disneyland! The last time I went to Disney was back in Hong Kong a couple of years ago. But I’d heard great things about Shanghai. First it was a pretty new park as it only opened back in 2016, but second it’s meant to be quite technologically advanced and incorporates virtual reality etc. So I was looking forward to heading here.
It was a short 20 minute taxi ride over to the park and cost 499 yuan to enter with it being peak season. But I thought that was pretty good price (£60) in comparison to other park entries I’ve paid.
Heading straight through, we made our way towards the castle. I mean, you can’t come to Disneyland and not have your picture taken in front of the castle, right?
Grabbing some English maps, we decided on what looked like one of the bigger rollercoasters. It said a 50 minute wait which wasn’t great but we thought we may as we’ll crack on with it.
We actually ended up waiting in the queue for 2 and a half hours and at the end realised we could have just gone in the solo rides queue. How annoying! But the ride was great, and we had a great laugh as we watched the different characters wander on by whilst me and Sarah got to know each other.
After our foolish mistake, we made our way around all the single rider rides which sped things up exceptionally! Not before watching the lunchtime parade!
Especially Tron! It’s the fastest rollercoaster in any Disney Park. Not being a massive fan of big rides I felt incredibly apprehensive, but the adrenaline rush was incredible and it went so fast it dragged the tears out of my eyes! Note the hilarious picture they caught of me when I least expected it…
Finally it was time for something to eat, we’d not eat since dinner last night and opted for some quick burgers and fries so we could squeeze some more rides in before we went back to the hotel to sleep.
The final area of the park we visited was Toy Story Land and that’s when the heavens opened.
We fortunately found a ride which had sheltered queuing and by the time we got onto the ride the rain had stopped, happy days.
After this we called it a day, it was after 4pm and we got to the park just before 9am. So we took a taxi back to the hotel and slept before our 3:40am wake up call.
A brilliant layover with a really great crew, I had so much fun and stepped up my Chinese speaking skills a little! As a passenger on the way back informed me my mandarin was very good, and one of the crew actually asked if I spoke Chinese as I conversed as best as I could about our meal choices with the passengers.
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