Shanghai (25-Nov/02-Dec)

Last stage of my eastern China tour, Shanghai. This 18 millions inhabitants modern city is often considered as the jewel of China, a showcase for the foreigners.

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Well as a matter of fact I've already been there many times and therefore don't have much to say about it. And the fact is that if China is a really nice city, really modern, clean (well on a chinese scale I mean)... I don't really like its inhabitants. They are just not welcoming (and not only to foreigners) and very haughty... and worse lots of them tend to try to trick others. And I don't know if this is linked to that, but I was surprised that fewer people in Shanghai seem to speak english than in the other towns I had been to, before. After this bad advertisement, I have to say that Shanghai hosts some nice places and nice buildings, some old, some modern. The district around Yu Garden for example, though artificial, is a nice place to walk around and imagine how a touristic China will be. The French Concession (which as a matter of fact never hosted as many French as Russians) is a nice place, though it did not appear to me very exceptional. The Bund... was under renovation... So well... I spent one week there doing not that much :P The good thing is that I stayed in a very nice hostel which gave me the opportunity to meet many other foreigners and chat with them, spend some time with them. But if the hostel itself was really nice it was managed by people from Shanghai... which means not so welcoming. For example to wash your clothes you need 1RMB coins and nobody in the hostel can change them for you!!! (they would just have to go to the washing machine to get some coins... but come on man, it's at least 50m far from my desk!) That's sad as I'm sure a place like this could really be great with nice people. After Shanghai I headed for the airport to take my flight to Shenzhen... using the impressive Maglev! It crosses the 50km between downtown and Pudong airport in 8mn while reaching the cruising speed of 430km/h. I'm not sure it's really useful to spend so much energy to reach 430km/h just to gain 1-2mn, but it's definitely more impressive than our old and small TGV. Then at the aiport I discovered that my plan had been cancelled so I had to take a 2 hours bus to the other airport...China sucks sometimes. There the plane (already 1.5 hours later than the first plane)... was, guess what? Late! Well how can I still be surprised, all planes are late in China, with a minimum of 1 hour. I did not hear this time the excuse for it being late but some can be quite funny like "Flight XXX is delayed to YYY cause of late aircraft" or "Flight XXX delayed cause of bad weather in the departing airport" (flight Hangzhou - Shanghai while the weather is kinda good :D)

Well whatever, after renewing my visa in Hong Kong I will leave on Saturday for the marvelous Guilin in southern China.

Photos here

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