After traveling through Malaysia without girlfriend it was time to go somewhere with her. And as my visa for China was soon expiring we concluded that we should go to the second most important place in China after Beijing – Shanghai.
Shirley had some slight reservations though. Apparently her friends didn’t like Shanghai, and the weather in Shanghai in February isn’t the most forgiving… the forecast promised 5 to 10 degrees C. In the same time, my room mate Claes said Shanghai almost was better than HK. So, who was right?
Well, I’ll just start with the simple fact that it was darn cold in Shanghai. Sure, I’m from Sweden, I’m supposed to stand cold for half of the year, but I seem to have lost that nordic attribute. I was always freezing to the bones in the 2 – 4 degrees Celsius, even though I had winter clothes! It was really getting on my nerves and seriously affected my overall judgement of Shanghai. Seriously, how will I ever survive a Swedish winter?
So, what about the city… Shanghai is probably the most futuristic city I’ve seen so far. Hong Kong has much more skyscrapers and a better skyline, but Shanghai has bolder architecture and it’s more spacious which makes the buildings look bigger. It actually has a higher skyscraper than Hong Kong – the Jin Mao Tower is 420.5 m high while HK’s IFC2 is 416 m high… and we went all the way up to the 88th floor…
In the end, Shanghai is about the same as Hong Kong, but without the finesse. It’s about shopping and business rather than history or nature. It has a grandiose cultural museum which got us bored in 15 minutes. The modern art museum is slightly better. But people are more rude and more chinese (which implies a couple of bad and good things). Some things are really cheap, but most prices are actually closer to HK standards.
Our program for the weekend – we had 4 days to spend – was not very original. Visit the skyscraper, the museum, the shopping mall, the riverside and the old town. And that’s what we did, in addition to sleeping a lot – I guess that’s what cold weather do to people… and none of the sights were really worth saying “wow”. I liked the skyscrapers – Shirley did not. Shirley liked the food, I did not…
And now we have been back for a while and Shanghai didn’t have any lasting impression on me. It was too cold and I had too high expectations on what to do there. Although it was very nice traveling with Shirley – the next time we should go to a warm and cosy place though