By the end of my trip to China, I was exhausted and a bit overwhelmed. However, that didn’t mean I wasn’t infinitely excited about visiting the biggest city IN THE WORLD. We all know I love New York because it’s so huge, and I was expecting to love Shanghai just as much. I certainly did – in fact, Shanghai might just be my new favourite city.
I think it will surprise nobody when I say that my time in Shanghai started with several mishaps (see previous tales from Beijing, Datong & Xian). First, I spent 20 minutes idiotically staring at the subway map, before I figured out which one to take. I got on and immediately realized I had gotten on the entirely wrong line. I got off at the next stop, only to look at a map and realize I had actually done the exact right thing – so somehow, my messup saved me! Only a few stops later I arrived at the stop for the hostel that I thought I had booked, exhausted and sweaty and SO ready for a shower and a bed. I found the entrance thanks to my meticulously typed directions, and attempted to check in…only to be told that I had booked at the wrong hostel. I thought I had booked the Blue Mountain Bund Youth Hostel, but I had booked another Blue Mountain Hostel. On the verge of tears, I asked if there was any beds available that night; I probably would have paid an exorbitant amount just to be allowed to get settled in. Luckily, they had something for me!! It was only guaranteed for my first night, but they said something might become available for my second and final night in the city as well.
I would highly recommend this hostel; the location honestly could not be better. You’re far enough from East Nanjing Road (a massive pedestrian shopping street) to be quiet, but close enough that you can walk there in minutes. Even the walk to the subway stop (which is on East Nanjing Road) is fascinating – walking by dozens of street food stalls and tiny stores gives you a lovely little snippet into local life.
Shanghai is very different from Beijing in that it’s not really about attractions: a visit to Shanghai is just about experiencing the city. Watch out for a post on the Shanghai World Financial Centre and one on the amazing food I had here; but for now enjoy these pictures from my wanderings around the city: