Day 12 - Tue 10 May 05, Shanghai, China
Up early to get breakfast, and then onwards to the Yuayaun gardens, had a great deal of trouble finding them, but did get to see a lot of the old back streets of Shanghai. Small twisty streets full of real local people. Eventually found my way into the gardens (30 Yuan) it was full of tour groups, German, Spanish, Italian, but I've seen very few English. The gardens were very tranquil and rather like a Japanese one.
Back to the hotel to pack and watch a bit of CCTV International - a sort of CNN with a Chinese twist. Well, I'm packed and ready for the off, but the train doesn't leave for another 7hrs. I've put my bag in the luggage room, and I'm going to take one last walk up the Bund before I head for the train station. There isn't a lot of colour in the way that the Chinese dress, it's all black's and grey's.
The Hostel restaurant is very popular with the locals, a lot of them have been coming in to get fed, and they are all walking out with a piece of fruit.
I'm going to head for the train station now, before rush hour hits. When I checked in at LHR I was proud that my bag was only 9.8k, but even that is too much. I'm never bringing that much ever again!
Reflections on Shanghai - I'm glad I've been here, it's a cross between Bangkok and Tokyo, but spending five days here would be too much. To say that the small remaining parts of old Shanghai that haven't been covered in concrete, somehow make the city special doesn't really do it for me. The Bund is good, but the 'Scrapers on Pudong don't really have any architectural merit. In Hong Kong every building is an eye opener, here there isn't that Buzz.
Well, I'm on the train to Beijing now, and a very modern one it is too. I'm in a cabin with three other blokes. The guy in the top bulk was rather put out that he had to put his case up in the upper storage area, as I had my case under my bed.. They supply a complementary airline type meal, rice and some 'meat' and a chocolate cake, not bad really!
I started to talk to a Chinese guy three doors down, he said his bunk mates are rather boring, and mine aren't that much better. So we headed down to the buffet car for a drink. The car had been taken over by a group of French tourists, but we managed to find a spare table and sat down and talked about everything and anything.