After travelling for almost 24 hours, from London to Dubai, Dubai to China, we finally made it to Shanghai.
As soon as we left the airport the humidity hit us but other than that we could’ve been back in London. We’d arranged for a car to pick us up and the airport and take us to our hostel so as we drove from the airport to the city the city skyline came into our sites. Towers of tall buildings in all shapes, sizes and architectural feats.
We arrived at our hostel at about 3.30pm local time, dumped our bags in the lockers and headed out to explore the area.
After strolling around the city for a few hours, using a free map that we picked up at the airport and a lonely planet guide, we found the People’s Park and Square. Unfortunately, in July the sun sets quite early in Shanghai so by the time we made it to the park it was already getting quite dark.
Shanghai at night
Buildings are illuminated with coloured lights once the sun sets and the streets are busy. There was people rushing to get home after work and grab something to eat from street vendors in the parks whilst others were slowly strolling through the streets, popping into bars and restaurants along the way.
It was like a home from home, except…it’s not just buildings that illuminate after dark, Shanghai has underground malls staggered around the city. These malls have flourescent shelters for their elevators making them look like nightclub entry points.
Vegan in Shanghai
Our first dinner in Shanghai was slightly tricky.
We ate in a restaurant opposite our hostel which had a picture menu, plastic chairs and tables on the pavement of a street. Restaurants lined the street side-by-side with locals rushing in and out with their orders.
With no knowledge of mandarin, ordering off the menu as a vegan was slightly tricky but, after about 20 minutes deliberating over photographs of the food, we decided on a selection of dishes.
The restaurant was packed by the time we had finished our food and tables were being set up in every available space (including the road!).
Our first day in Shanghai has been a lot less hectic than I thought it would be. The locals we’ve met so far are happy to help and share their city with two English girls from London.
Tomorrow’s another day and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for us!