Week 39, and the last of the big cities on my Chinese travels, Shanghai.
And when I say big, I mean it! Shanghai is the most populated city in the China, coming in at a not-too-shabby 23 million people!
I’m waiting in the busiest subway station yet on the way to the Xuhui district. One of the great things about travelling is the amount of chance encounters and friendly people you meet along the way. I’m staying with Miao, a friend of a friend of a friend, that I met in Cambodia and who had kindly invited me to stay over if I ever made it to Shanghai. All the way from New Zealand up until now I’m still blown away by the amount of kindness and generosity I’ve received from people that I’ve only just met.
Hopefully, at the point I stop bouncing from place to place, I’ll be able to pass it on forward :-)
After making my way through the Shanghai crowds and following the directions that Miao had texted to me, I arrive. After a few weeks of bunk beds and Chinese hostels, I’m feeling amazingly spoiled with a spare bedroom in an amazing flat located in the heart of the city.
I catch up with Miao after he finishes work and he kindly takes me for a wander around the area, to catch up and grab some food. For a moment, around this part of town, it feels like you could be in any European city. The architecture, the shops, the cafés, the European accents drifting around from the tables and passers-by.
While I’m at it…..let’s just take a moment to talk about Chinese bakeries. This isn’t just a Shanghai thing, in fact for the past 4 weeks there wasn’t many bakeries that me or Lee passed up….we were searching for that elusive, mystical treat….the cake that tastes just as good as it looks! I’m not kidding! These bakeries have cakes and pastries in the windows which look like the stuff of dreams…but when you actually buy and eat one….it’s just not right. Somehow the flavour is dialed down to 10% of what you expect it to be!
And to round out the week, a few pics of Suzhou, a couple of hours away from Shanghai, dubbed the Venice of China.