Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shanghai Adventure: Final Thoughts and Photos

Well, I unloaded the 300 pictures I took on my trip and thought I would write one last blog about my trip to Shanghai. Then I promise to get back to that Spare Room project, so excited to go junkin'/shop this weekend! The trip went so fast, we were really only there for 4 days total.  So I thought I would just show some of my fun photos and list my random thoughts along with what I learned on my trip!  Here we go...
  • It was fun to be referred to as a 'Western Lady'
  • CNN, BBC, and HBO are the only English channels on TV...although watching Chinese game shows is pretty entertaining even though I couldn't understand it.
  • When in China, stick to the traditional foods, it is the best you will find in the city!  Lost Heaven was my favorite dinner, amazing Yunnan Folk and Thai cuisine.
  • Shopping was really tough for me, I hate mental math, the exchange rate from US to RMB made me go cross eyed.
  • In China they talk about age and size openly, very different from the US!
  • Driving in China is soooo different than in the US, much faster and more aggressive. I felt like I was in a rocket ship!
Lastly, here are a few of my favorite pictures and a couple stories to go with...

Learned something new on the trip, while the plane is boarding, if you see a pilot walking through the cabin, ask to take a picture with him.  I learned that this is code for "bring me up front and let me wear your captain hat!" Didn't expect that, but it was a blast and I got a great photo! I was a little nervous I was going to push one of the thousands of buttons and mess something up though.
The Four Seasons in Shanghai is AWESOME! Oh, so was having the King size bed to myself..... for a while of course (Sadie can be a real bed hog), glad to be home now :)
There are TONS of bikes and mo-peds in Shanghai (Alex would've loved it), and they are not shy about running you over if you get in there way.  I still didn't figure out why people wore masks over their faces... Germs? Pollution? Upcoming Western fashion statement in 5 years?  No idea.   
I know I said before that Shanghai is truly an international city, here is a photo illustrating.  I felt like I was back in the US with all the high end stores listed in English and there were Christmas trees everywhere. At night the city lights are breathtaking, so colorful and bright.
We learned that Shanghai is not considered 'the real China', since it has such an international feel.
To see 'the real China' you have to take a trip out into the small rural areas, definitely feels like a different world.
 The team I work with in Shanghai is AWESOME! I had an amazing experience with all of them in the 4 short days there, so much fun!  Can't wait to see most of them again when they come to the US! They liked our blog too!
 Pizza Hut in China looks sort of like a flower, or stuffed crust inside out. It was yummy! We also learned that our friends in China only eat pizza once or twice a year!  We all felt guilty to admit that we eat pizza close to once a week.
This shower has one of the best views in the world... had to take my picture in it. I don't know how you could really shower in it though without showing your goods to Shanghai.
I loved seeing a Starbucks every few blocks... however I was afraid to walk there alone since crossing the road always felt like a real life game of leap frog... but with the risk of injury. I relied on those Venti dark roast coffees to get me through moments when jet lag set in.  Ordering them was always filled with a little bit of giggling since I seemed to not understand what they were asking me (very similar to being in the US) even though they were using Starbucks vocabulary.
My favorite part of the city?  The Bund!  This was one of the things I really wanted to see for myself before I went on the trip. If you look at the photo from that blog, do you notice that there are more buildings now?  They are constantly building in the city and it is getting bigger and bigger everyday!
 On our last night we dined at a restaurant called New Heights.  Their patio had the most amazing view of the Bund!  Their food was also the best western food we had on our trip.
This is my favorite photo of the trip, this is the Western side of the Bund.  I loved that you can see some of the history with the British influence of the late 1800's mixed with bright modern colored lights.  Just stunning!
That's it for my Shanghai Adventure. I really hope I will get to go back again, and I think Alex would have to come next time! Thanks for sharing some of the adventure!


  1. Carla,
    Thanks for sharing...glad to see that you are back home! Isn't amazing how our cultures have merged?...particularly when it comes to business and marketing. *Lynne*

  2. I went to Japan years ago and only ran into one Eastern toilet, thank God. I'll admit, I had to stop and think about it for a minute. Pizza in Japan was really awesome, too.

    Looks like you had a great time! Hope you get to go back soon with Alex.

  3. Carla,

    From my understanding, the masks originated from scares over spreading SARS. From my experience in Hailar though, people wore them mostly to keep warm, but some sited pollution and disease as reasons. I was gifted a few and wore them during the coldest time I was in China (-40 degrees!) under my scarf because it did indeed keep the warmth in!

    I'm so jealous of your trip because it takes me back and makes me miss the friends I made there. It looks like you had a great time!

    Katrina (signed in as Mike!)

  4. AHHH, post more! I want to read everything about this trip. I'm dying to go to China someday, so cool that you got to visit Shanghai!


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