Shanghai is my last destination of my China abroad semester. After I arrived in Shanghai, I set up my subway card easily. I just opened the wallet app, paid 20元 “card” fee, and it was done. It is super easy to pay for public transportations as you can just hold your iPhone to a QR reader without opening anything. Super convenient. However, it took me ages to grab my suitcase at the airport. To get it, I even had to take the metro and walked around 30 minutes to reach the belt finally. This situation can give you an impression of how big the Pudong airport in Shanghai is.
After taking the metro and bus for two hours, I reached my home for the next weeks finally. My apartment was huge, but as cold as the outside temperature. And there was no air conditioner, but this cute heater, which was super inefficient. Well, as you probably know, it was the Chinese New Year festival and additionally, also the coronavirus. Thus, it is super hard, even harder than usual at this time, to find any restaurant. I literally spend this day (24. January) looking for local restaurants and relaxing.
Some days later, however, I found a nice restaurant where I ate almost every day. It was delicious and close to my apartment. I also spent some days in Café’s to do some organisations.
The Bund and Chinese New Year
I started my trip by visiting the Bund. My goal was to see the firework as it was the New Year festival. Unfortunately, the festival is on 25th January, and thus, the firework is in the night from 24th to 25th January. So, I just missed the celebration of the Chinese New Year! What a pity.
This day, it had been raining all day. Therefore the view was not the best. However, I also took pictures in the evening as I was there because of the reasons I wrote before. And this view was breathtaking! I also used the location to eat something, but it was already really late, so Subway was the last restaurant left open.
The virus literally destroyed my whole stay in Shanghai. I tried to visit many attractions, but all of them were closed. For example, I would have loved to see the century park.
I went on to the Yuyuan Garden, and, although it was closed, all the shops were to my surprise opened. I enjoyed the view as you can clearly see the contrast between traditional and modern. On the one hand, you see all those beautiful temples and, on the other side, the high skyscraper. Also, the whole area was covered with Chinese music making it remarkably authentic.
I walked around this place a little bit.
Some days later, I visited the garden in the night again, and it was spectacular. I bought a lot of souvenirs, and I think the Yuyuan garden is the best traditional place in Shanghai. Definitely a recommendation.
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street
I also walked through China’s premier shopping street, Nanjing Road. I just took pictures because I didn’t need anything.
Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
I spent one day in an ancient water town called Zhujiajiao. It is the nearest and best-rated water town near to my apartment, so I decided to go there. Even though it took me more than two hours to get there, I don’t regret it. There were literally no people, but it is gorgeous there. I was lucky that, because of the coronavirus, I could go into the town anyway, and I was fortunate that I also found the only restaurant in this big town.
It was not even evening, so I decided to visit the grand view garden area, located in the near. After taking the wrong bus first, it took another half of an hour to go to that place. And suddenly, after leaving the bus, I was out of nowhere. Nothing and nobody was there. Anyway, I went to that garden, which was obviously closed because of the virus, and I talked to the policemen if I can pass anyway. They doubt it, and I didn’t know what to do next. I decided to walk around and, well, I found an old place, which seemed to be an old tourist attraction, but with no plans to be reconstructed again. I went further, saw the vast lake, and enjoyed the time in a deserted place.
Another day started, and after one week, I had to change my apartment. I planned to leave my baggage there, see some more (closed) attractions, and grab everything in the evening. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to leave my stuff there. That meant, I need to move to my next apartment (one hour far) and then go all the way back to enjoy the city. The sun was shining, and thus, I didn’t want to waste time.
Okay, on this day, I visited a lot of temples. The first one is the Longhua temple, which was, of course, closed. Well, I hoped that at least one attraction is opened, so I continued visiting more attractions. But also the catholicism cathedral was closed. Finally, there was one park, the Xujiahui park, which could be entered, even though there were signs indicating that entering is not allowed. But everyone entered it, so did I.
The next temple was the Jing’an temple. As well as the others, the temple is closed, but the view from outside is already stunning enough. To my surprise, the Jing’an park was open, and I used the beautiful view to relax. To this time, it was already 4 pm, and I had been looking for restaurants in the last four hours. Because absolutely no restaurant was opened, and I really tried hard to find one, I decided to eat unhealthy trash as restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, and so on, are always open.
I went to the Jade Buddha temple, and give up to visit any more tourism places as every attraction is just closed. This virus really destroyed the opportunity to see lovely views.
In the night, I went to the Jinmao tower, which is the third-highest tower in Shanghai. After leaving the subway station, I was blown away because there were high towers everywhere around you.
In the Jinmao tower, I asked if I can go on the top (87th floor). They denied it (guess why), but said I could visit the restaurant on the 56th floor. Although it’s not as high as the 87th floor, I enjoyed the view and ordered a beer for 55元 (=7 Euro). I also went for a meal, and looked around seeing Europeans only, or at least not Asian people.
At this point, I want to complain again. I hate that every attraction is closed because of the virus. I understand it in most cases, but I don’t know why, for example, huge parks are closed. There are never enormous people gatherings. Instead, all the people are walking outside of the parks, making it even more crowded.
This was the last blog entry of my China journey. Unfortunately, my journey ends two weeks earlier because of the virus. I would have loved to visit more cities like Nanjing, Chongqing, and Chengdu in those two weeks, but I think I have already seen a lot. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences, and see China as diverse as I do. Thank you for following my blog and my time in China for the last six months!
If everything goes right, my flight back to Germany is on 3rd February. I look forward to seeing all of you guys again. Bye!