Really, it was more like Shanghai shopping.
Shanghai was the last stop on our holiday before having to work our way back to Singapore (I say work our way back, but it was just a flight) to make our way back home. I don’t know why, but I was super excited to experience Shanghai, I wish we could have spent more time there, I think I’d like to go back to Shanghai at some point in my life. I experienced so much in such a short amount of time, but I’ll get to that when I explain my story more (:
Another early morning as we made sure all our things were packed and ready to leave the ship. I miss the cruise life already.
We had a pre organised escort from the docks to our hotel. It took maybe 45minutes – an hour to get to where we were staying (which was in ‘old town’ apparently). I didn’t mind the drive, it was good to feel grounded again after being at sea for so long. We rocked up to our hotel and it was actually pretty swanky. For once our travel agent did a good job. Because we had such an early morning disembarking we got to the hotel earlier than expected and couldn’t check in. Only one of our rooms was ready so we decided to put all of the luggage in there and go exploring for a few hours.
We had about four hours to kill so we decided to walk to the nearby markets (and when I say nearby they were literally 500metres away) to have a little shop around.
I’m so glad we were in ‘old town’ because it felt like we could experience a bit more culture. The buildings were gorgeous. We were exploring the markets and it was literally street upon street of stalls and markets. It was overwhelming, not as much as Hong Kong, it was a different kind of overwhelming.
I got my first taste of bartering here, and to be honest, I got quite good at it – bot because I tried, but because I had no emotional tie to the item I was buying and I was willing to just walk away and get it somewhere else. This apparently is a ‘good technique’. I’ve never traveled anywhere where the Australian dollar is so good. It made me want to shop so much more but unfortunately we just ran out of time.
The culture on the streets of Shanghai was interesting, there were people from different ‘classes’ (I use that term loosely and in no way do I mean to judge) all in the same area shopping. There were street food venders cooking up god knows what but it smelt delicious! There is a heap of Shanghai street footage in the video.
Something that I didn’t expect was the reaction to us (westerners) and the lack of toilet paper. I don’t know what the go is with public restrooms but I made sure I held it until I got back to the hotel. They were western style toilets (and no I don’t mean they had cowboy boots on) but just no toilet paper, I was not willing to commit to that level of tourist just yet.
Obviously we were tourists. Just on physical appearance alone one can tell that we were not ‘native’. I have never really encountered ‘racism’ before, and don’t get the wrong idea we weren’t spat at or verbally abused or anything. We were more of a spectacle and I’m not sure how I feel about that, I kinda get the idea that we were taken advantage of in the markets because sometimes I really just could not be bothered bartering and I paid full price but it was ten of their “dollars” which is basically two australian dollars so I really wasn’t losing out there.
One of the things I loved the most about Shanghai was its architecture. The streets were elaborate and had so much artwork and culture to them. I absolutely loved the golden dragon heads on the street signs. The entire street had them and it was just really cool.
There were so many beautiful lanterns decorating the place as well and it was a really nice atmosphere.
We had dinner in a little place in the middle of a shopping centre. It was just a random place to eat as we had no idea what else to do and didn’t want ‘typical takeout/fast food’ so we thought we’d get some trashy dinner at a Chinese place. When in Rome, right?
We went to Tesco (in the same shopping centre) to get snacks and then made our way back to our hotel, we were exhausted and all shopped out after making two outings (boat to hotel to markets to hotel to markets and dinner and snack shopping and hotel) so we made our plans to meet at the breakfast room in the morning and just hung out in our room. Kris and I watched some movies and snacked on odd and delicious goodies. Here is the view from our hotel room at night. It was really pretty seeing all the lights on the buildings and I was amazed at how busy it still was (traffic wise) at like midnight.
I don’t know what this building was, but the top of it fascinated me.
Traffic in Shanghai is horrifying. Its not just because of the lefthand drive and the sides of the road being different. I swear traffic lights are more of a guideline than a rule. If the light is red and you can make it without killing anyone, go for it. If there are four lanes, but you can make a fifth or squeeze in somewhere, then do it.
As I was watching the traffic, I saw this bus. It changed lanes then proceeded to ‘chuck-a-Uey- in the middle of the intersection because it had made a wrong turn or something, I’m not sure but I was scared.
The next morning was mine and Kris’ last day this is where we split up from mum and the rest of the group (they went on to Beijing and The Great Wall whilst we came home). We met up for our final breakfast and said our goodbyes, they had an early start and we had an early check out so we put our bags in their room and hung out there for a little while making sure we’d packed everything. This was the worst part. I hate packing almost as much as I hate un packing.
Kris and I went out to the markets again just ourselves to do some last minute shopping, this is where I became the bartering queen! I wish I purchased more things, but alas…. I’ll just have to go back and buy everything!
I had no fucks to give for appearance. This is what I’d wear regardless of traveling and it was so comfy. This was the centre of some kind of square near the entrance of the markets. This was also where we found the coolest ATMs. They were inside a building and each ATM was in a little a little booth of its own. It was all in Chinese though so that was going to be a problem, but Kris went in and just winged it and yay we had money again!
There were these giant lion statues all over the place and I just HAD to get a photo with one. I think they’re great and I really want one for my garden. I wonder how much it’d be haha.
We made our way back to the hotel after our last minute shopping and then had a taxi organised for us to take us to the airport and OMG it was so scary! Until we got onto the freeway I honestly thought we were going to be in an accident on more than one occasion! But yay we survived! We got to the airport and checked in our luggage and then just hung out waiting for our flight. It was a 5 hour flight back to Singapore and then another 7 hour flight back to Adelaide with an hourish stop over in the middle. So basically non stop for 13 hours.
On our way to Singapore we had a celebratory Singapore Sling Cocktail. It was some of the strongest alcohol I’ve ever had. I don’t know the ratio of the booze to mixer but I only needed one and it took me a while to drink it.
On this flight, I watched a few movies and played some more games with Kris.
Towards the end of the flight I started to get headachey. I get like that when I fly and it instantly puts me in a bad mood.
When we landed in Singapore the humidity hit us again and it did not improve my mood. We got a bite to eat at Burger King (only because of the name really) and then waited a little while for our next flight.
We were up the very back of the plane for the next flight and this plane was a bit smaller than the last one and we were all cramped – no, that also did not improve my mood. All I wanted to do was go to sleep. So thats what I did. I didn’t want any of the on board food (mainly because we’d just eaten and I wasn’t hungry), I just couldn’t be bothered with it. I was craving lemonade though, for some reason whenever I’m travel or motion sick lemonade always makes me better. So I asked for a can of lemonade and drank it almost instantly, the lovely stewardess got me another one (:
I slept all through the flight until they turned the lights on and demanded we wake up. It was hard to wake up but that meant we were landing soon.
Because it was morning when we were flying in I got a really good shot of the Australian sunrise as we were flying over. It made me really keen to be home.
The sun was so bright that it was reflecting off my engagement ring. I just thought it was really pretty haha.
And as we touched down and made our way through customs I was so happy to be home. We picked up our luggage and then made our way out of the airport. We had arranged for Kris’ mum to pick us up and it was so lovely to see her. We went out for lunch after we dropped our stuff back home and just like that we were back in the swing of everyday life.
Thanks for reading my travel posts I hope you enjoyed them and keep and eye out for that.
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