The largest city by population in the world, Shanghai surely is an exciting destination. My first time to visit the vibrant and bustling city of Shanghai, I did a bit of reading about this global financial center prior my visit, which made me even more jumpy.
From Mactan Cebu International Airport, my new found friends from the travel industry and I took PR2846 flight to Manila via the country’s flagship airlines, Philippine Airlines, and from NAIA Terminal 2, we hopped on the 3.5 hour PR336 flight to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.
4PM as we started our descend to Pudong Airport, I look outside and had my first glimpse of Shanghai. Upon landing, it took the plane about 15-20 minutes to park at the gate. That’s how huge Pudong International Airport is.
Those curves and lines, make Pudong International Airport one very sexy airport! And who wouldn’t appreciate the good number of immigration officers on duty, making it real speedy to have everyone’s entry to Shanghai processed. More photos of Pudong International Airport here: http://www.iluvcebu.com/to-shanghai-pudong-international-airport-aboard-philippine-airlines/
Shanghai has 4 distinct seasons – a pleasant warm spring from March to May, a hot rainy summer from June to August, a comfortable cool autumn from September to November and an overcast cold winter from December to February. And for most of us Filipinos who enjoy the cold weather, the best time to visit Shanghai is during winter from December to February. But for those who doesn’t , then visit during the warm spring. Our trip was during the last week of March and this year, Shanghai was battered with an extended cold winter with night temperature as cold as 8 degrees celsius, which I really didn’t mind experiencing. ^_^
After deplaning and passing immigration, the group met with Sally, our tour guide for the entire Shanghai trip. Our first stop – The Bund. (More Pictures here: http://www.iluvcebu.com/the-bund-shanghai-china/)
The Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The area centers on a section of Zhongshan Road within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River facing Pudong. From the bund, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the buildings of different architectural styles. Among the magnificent buildings you’d see across The Bund are Shanghai World Financial Center currently the tallest in the country and soon to be the second when Shanghai Tower is finished , Jin Mao Tower and the tallest TV tower in Asia, Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
After having dinner at a restaurant in The Bund, we then checked in at our hotel located in downtown Shanghai. After settling in, we then decided to check the neighborhood out! With the biting 8 degree air, we ended the night with a grande Starbucks Signature Hot Chocolate located at Pearl Hotel Shanghai, 3 blocks away from our hotel. The english speaking barista was very helpful and had set our phones with Starbucks wifi accounts which we can use to surf for free whenever we visit any Starbucks branch in Shanghai.
The next day’s itinerary is one of my favorite, for it includes outlet shopping! But before we head down to shopping, we dropped by Zhujiaojiao Ancient Water Town first. Zhujiaojiao is a water town on the outskirts of Shanghai, and is established about 1,700 years ago. 36 stone bridges and numerous rivers line Zhujiaojao and many ancient buildings still line the riverbanks today. The town is also a souvenir haven where you can buy local products at affordable prices. Silk comforters, hand painted hand fans, fridge magnets, keychains, Shanghai shirts and hand painted chopsticks are a few of the items you’d see here.
Shanghai Qing Pu Outlets Plaza houses hundreds of boutiques including luxury brands like Armani, Versace, Coach, Ralph Lauren and Tod’s. The complex also houses sports brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance and many others. A perfect place for some retail therapy.
We did more shopping on our next stops at the jade and pearls shops. I would strongly suggest that when it comes to purchasing pearls and jade, be sure you made your research before getting one. Here’re are steps on how to identify a real jade.
Click here: http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-Jade-Is-Real.
And make sure you spend only within your budget. Some sellers tend to be a bit persuasive, convincing you to buy more.
That ended the the second day of the tour. But travel buddies Mark Eros, Juliet and I decided to go grab a drink at a downtown pub a few blocks away from our hotel. Grub and Groove is a sports bar with a really cozy ambience. Everyone is so friendly that you don’t feel like a tourist. Grub and Groove is located at Bldg 2, 283 Jianguo lu, near Xiangyang Lu, Xuhui district (Chinese address 徐汇区建国西路283号2号楼，近襄阳路) and is open from 4pm to late from Mondays to Fridays and 2pm to late from Saturdays-Sundays.
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