I’m always happy to see Shanghai on my roster and this was the early morning departure from Dubai at 3:15am which meant I would finally be able to see the Shanghai skyline lit up at night! A nice and easy 7 hours over to Dubai where the majority of passengers slept, we landed into Shanghai Pudong International airport just after lunchtime.
A long (ish) drive to the hotel, and by the time I’d checked in and changed, it was approaching 6pm before I was making my way into the city. With translation help from the concierge, I headed in the direction of the river Bund. It took around 25 minutes with traffic and I stepped out into the chilly evening air to that backdrop of an impressively lit up skyline.
It never fails to amaze me the Shanghai skyline, it’s just so different and quirky!
I walked briskly along the river to try and keep warm and thought I’d grab a warm drink for my wanders as I’d not packed my gloves! I walked past a tourist office with signs for a nighttime river cruise for only 120¥ for an hour, so I booked into the next available one!
They didn’t speak english in the office, but whilst in there a mother and her young daughter were also purchasing tickets. I got a basic instruction for me to follow them, as she couldn’t tell me where the pier was. And it was a good idea they were in there as I would NOT have found it on my own!
The boat was huge and compromised of three decks filled with two bars, chandeliers and more importantly heating as I was so very cold! I grabbed a seat by the window to warm up before heading up to the outdoor top deck.
It was a lovely ride upstream, and when we passed the iconic Pearl Tower I stepped out to an incredible close up view.
An hour passed by quickly and I was feeling cold and tired after the long day at work paired with the early morning start. So upon exiting the boat, I jumped in a taxi and headed back towards hotel. The entire 45 minute journey back (busy Saturday evening traffic) the driver spoke to me through a translation app. He spoke into the app in Chinese, and a male english voice spoke back to me. I then spoke into the app in English and a female Chinese voice spoke back to him. It was such a cool application, even if it didn’t translate correctly at all times when he called me a “very long human”…
When I got back to the hotel, I stopped at the restaurant I visited last time I was in Shanghai as they do the best hot pot and it’s so cheap. I didn’t have any language speakers with me so when she asked if I wanted it spicy, and I said “a little bit” I think she got confused as I ended up with the SPICIEST hot pot I have ever tasted. It completely blew my head off, but it was SO yummy.
I went to bed and slept for the next sixteen hours, I had not stopped in over three weeks and my body definitely needed it. I set an alarm to wake up and visit the underground market in the morning, but I switched my alarm off wanting nothing more than to sleep the day away before our wake up call.
It was ten hours and twenty six minutes back from Shanghai, so I got a much needed Starbucks in the airport ahead of the full night flight back. How cool is this packaging though, to limit the amount of plastic waste?
A great trip ticking something off the bucket list and catching up on sleep with a lovely crew. Will be looking forward to seeing Shanghai on my roster again in the future! As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more daily updates: