Break 5 & Train Journey 6 – Shanghai and Train to Hong Kong

Day 20:
05.11.2009 (Thursday)

We reached Shanghai around 0730. Not a good time to arrive as we were caught in the rush hour when we took the metro to the hostel. Luckily we managed to arrive to the hostel without much difficulty. The hostel is located in the city centre, close to the metro station and shopping malls.

We choose to stay in Mingtown Etour International Youth Hostel. The hostel is very clean and still maintain an old building architecture. We noticed a common traits in both the hostel we stayed in China. All od them do not have toilet papers in the toilet. Luckily we brought a few rolls for the train journeys. Strange…

The sight seeing started after we have freshen up. We started walking from the hostel towards the main pedestrian shopping street and ended up in The Bund. We were quite sad when we saw the whole place is fenced up and under construction. Apparently Shanghai will be hosting the World Expo in 2010, so they started renovating and upgrading all the major sites.

From the Bund, we made our way to Yuyuan Garden. On the way, we found a toy market. We spent a few hours in the garden and had our lunch there. After that we went to Xintiandi for a pint as there was nothing much left to see or do.

For dinner, we meet up with family friends for dinner. We had excellent local food and after dinner they drove us around the city to look at the city lights. They also took us to the opposite side of the Bund to look at the night view. Apparently this side is not closed for renovation.

We were back in the hostel after dinner and decided to stay in as it has been a tiring day.


Day 21:
06.11.2009 (Friday)

Today has been a boring day. We are scheduled to take the train to Hong Kong at 1824 so we didn’t plan much. We can’t go too far out of the city and there wasnt much to see in the city anymore.

We started the day early and looked for breakfast around the hostel area. We had yummy soy bean curd and yau char kwai and also a bowl of noodles.

After walking around for an hour, we headed back to the hostel to prepare for checkout. There wasn’t much to pack. So we just checkout, store our bags in the hostel and make our way to the Shanghai World Financial Centre. The Centre has the highest observation deck in the world (I think). It is quite expensive to visit the observation deck. But I figured we will only do this once in our lifetime, so why not. It was indeed quite an amazing building with superb view. But the view was obstructed with a layer of pollution, so we cant see far.

When we’re done, we headed back to the hostel to get our bags and start our journey to the train station. Can’t believe we’re off to our last destination of our trip!!

For this leg of our train journey, we’re sharing the berth with 2 locals on a company trip to HK. They were very friendly and we shared lots of food together. After dinner, they also played drinking games with Dav while I catch up on my writing and reading.

As we leave China, I contemplated on the places we have visited for the past 4 days. I think we have enjoyed Beijing more than Shanghai. This is probably because Shanghai is too commercialized and is a big city. We prefer to see olden things but that’s not to say we didnt enjoy ourselves. We definitely have some good times in Shanghai. Perhaps we under estimated the amount of time needed to truly appreciate the city. We were rushing every day to see the main sites.

We said our goodbye to China as the train makes it way towards Hong Kong.

Click to read on: Final destination – Hong Kong

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