one day in shanghai


we spent just under 24 hours in shanghai. as soon as we got off the bullet train, i could feel the amazing energy of that metropolis. after we checked into our hostel, we went straight to “the bund,” a riverside park with the most incredible views of the shanghai skyline. the bund is such an electric place that is pulsing with life and color. it’s crazy to think that most of those skyscrapers weren’t there twenty years ago! the victorian buildings on the other side of the water are magical all lit up.


the next morning we went for a run through the crowded, exciting streets back to the bund to see the views in the daytime. i love getting a sense for a city on a morning run.

2015-04-10 08.57.252015-04-10 08.45.42
^^ a little squinty :) ^^

we had some work from back home to get done this day, so our time exploring shanghai was really short. we did enjoy walking around yuyuan gardens and some fun shopping streets in the french concession. we had difficulty finding food that looked appetizing, so we shared an oreo blizzard from dairy queen for lunch :)

IMG_6756 IMG_6760G1710770IMG_67642015-04-10 16.08.31 IMG_6768 
^^ google translate on the boy’s phone was well used during our time in china! ^^
^^ we stumbled across this vegetable market. i love this kind of stuff! ^^
IMG_6772 IMG_6774

our last stop in shanghai was the fabric market - such a cool feast for the eyes. there was every pattern and color you could imagine rolled up in dozens of different shops, both on the street and inside a big mall-type building. the boy was sad that we didn’t have enough time to get some suits custom-made. the prices are amazing!


we took the subway to the train station right at rush hour – so crammed with humanity, we loved it.


and then, we got on our forty seven hour train ride to lhasa. this was the thing ian was looking forward to the very most on the entire trip, so he was pretty giddy when we found our train in the shanghai station. we had stocked up on lots of food for the next two days and we were ready for our adventure into tibet.


thanks for a great day, shanghai!



  1. You couldn't find any food to eat in all of Shanghai? That's kind of missed out.

    1. No, not in all of Shanghai! Just in the tiny part of the city that we explored in our few hours there. Shanghai was only a stop over for us, so it was quick! We did get to try lots of interesting and some very delicious food in China!

    2. Seriously. Dairy Queen??

    3. Yes, seriously! Sometimes when you're in a really foreign place and you forgot to plan in lunch and you're really hungry and it would take a lot of energy to find something good to eat in an entirely unfamiliar neighborhood, it feels good to have a little taste of home :) I love trying new foods in different places and often feel like the cuisine is a huge part of traveling, but sometimes yes you get a bit desperate!

    4. We don't have Dairy Queen in the UK but I've heard that their ice cream is lovely. It's nice to have a pudding for lunch sometimes.:)

      I bet Shawni & her family have loved looking at these pix, as they remind them of when they were there.

    5. I also had the impression from your blog that you didn't enjoy the food in China very much. Which surprised me, because I think that you love to try different food and that Asian countries offer so many vegetarian dishes which are easier for us Westerners to eat than scorpions on a stick. But I stand corrected.

      As for the five (!) meals in American chain restaurants you had - you can always say that it was part of the cultural studies, because you wanted to see how regional tastes influence franchise products (I hope my English makes sense).

      For your general Q&A I would be interested into your opinion on how different the food was and how well a vegetarian might eat in different countries. Oh and your opinion on the influence of regional tastes in franchise products.

    6. You're right, of all the places we visited, China was somewhere we had a bit of a hard time with the food. I think it was mostly because the language barrier is so great so it was difficult to navigate the food scene, not because we didn't want to try different tastes or because we didn't appreciate experiencing new meals. But also, yes, just like some people don't care for spicy food or cilantro or honeydew melon or whatever, we both don't count Chinese cuisine as our favorite. We did have some really excellent meals in China though and loved trying new tastes, even if we didn't care to go too far past trying :)

      I'm not sure if your (!) means five American chain meals is a lot or a little. We were glad to only have that many because trying new foods is such a big part of traveling. I think a significant number of American travelers head to McDonald's etc quite a bit but we didn't want to do that. Most of our American chain eating was actually in Dubai, where the prevalence of American chains is actually hilariously vast. It was a good time in the middle of our trip to give our bellies something familiar :)

      I'll add your question to my list for a q&a post. It's a great one!

      Thanks for reading!

    7. The (!) was meant to be very little. You have been away for 80 days which probably equals at least 160 meals. So I think five is little.

      My comment in regards to cultural studies and French was meant as a sarcastic excuse which I have used myself (I have been to Subway in France). I'm not sure whether this came off right.

    8. No, it came off right :) It's interesting to see the menu differences at chains around the world and I think it's totally a legit excuse :)

  2. Great to see that you embraced your 24 hours with gusto! You look ready for that next adventure!

  3. i remember visiting italy and going to dq for an ice cream. it wasn't that i didn't like gelato, because i LOVED it. it was just that dq was "home" to me and many times that is comforting. especially when you are so far away from home. you're the best and i love seeing your travel pictures! xoxo nancy

  4. i remember visiting italy and going to dq for an ice cream. it wasn't that i didn't like gelato, because i LOVED it. it was just that dq was "home" to me and many times that is comforting. especially when you are so far away from home. you're the best and i love seeing your travel pictures! xoxo nancy

  5. We lived in Japan for 6 years and we used to love to go to McDonald's or Coco Curry after touring all day. Sometimes traveling is an overload of the senses so it's great to follow it up with some familiar food. I would have been so excited for a Dairy Queen blizzard!! We had many food "surprises" because of the language barrier. The funniest one for me was when I was telling my husband that the onions in my soup were an odd texture and he explained that it was because the onions was actually octopus.



Post a Comment