Ni Hao!

That’s about all the Mandarin I know less the swear words. Its amazing how modern Shanghai is. To be absolutely honest I was expecting the worse when boarding the plane for the first time to mainland China. Fearing the smell, the sight and the sound.  I’ve been to Hong Kong numerous times on business but never really took the time to embrace the city’s richness (save for a quickie in HK Disneyland). All I could see were huge Louis Vuitton concept stores and how fast everyone was walking on the streets from the confines of my Peninsula Hotel room.

Now Shanghai was another story to tell. The entire city’s population is 25 million! Thats like our entire country man! They put us up at The Radisson Blu; which was really big, clean and the service was top notch for a five star hotel. On one side of the Bund was a totally modern city centre mimicking New York… hence dubbed New York and Paris of the East. Crossing over the other side of the Huangpu river would be a more understated yet culturally rich Chinese architecture; of which tickled my fancy. Of course we didn’t miss snapping photos along the ‘lovers wall’ overlooking the Pudong area. The funny thing was the local Shanghainese also wanted to take pictures with us. Hmmm… perhaps its how amazingly rowdy Malaysians get in front of the camera which fascinates them? Which was very different from my last trip to London and Paris.

I loved walking around the Yu Yuan Garden. I love the history behind this 5 acre garden which was built by this guy named Pun who architectured the entire garden solely for his parents to enjoy in their old age. Now how many of us would go that far for our mom and dads?  What I saw there were grandpa’s taking their grandchildren out for walks while their moms and dads work to make a decent living there. I asked our tour guide Jerry (who took a slight fondness to Moi! wink wink) whats the average income in Shanghai? RMB10,000 is not even enough to buy you a low-cost apartment let alone owning a car! Suddenly I feel so so blessed that I live in a country that enables me to own certain things which I consider a necessity by our standards.

It was drizzling  the day we went to Oriental Pearl Tower. Already feeling a slight disappointment; I told myself to look on the brighter side of things. When we got inside the tower, I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient the queue was for us to get up 260 meters  and boy was it fast. My ears didn’t even get a chance to pop. I’m not one for heights… hence I don’t know how to live on anything above a 3rd floor building. The most fascinating view to me was looking beneath the glass floor deck. As the Malays would say “seriaw”. My girlfriends had to practically drag me onto the floor and in 15 seconds snap as much photos like i was there for an hour. Surreal I tell ya! Imagine standing on ‘air’ looking down on the busy streets like you’re stepping on the tiny cars passing by. My knees were melting and my feet was already detached from my body but seriously, it was the one of the best hair-raising experience of my trip.

(These are pictures… finally managed to sync the pictures)

Well, thats as far as the typical tourist sights that I visited. Next post shall be about where I shopped and what I ate. Just don’t ask me how much this all costs… because I really don’t know. This entire Shanghai experience was just given to me, free of charge. Ask me about how much my pearls costs… that I can tell you in my next post.