Shanghai – Hangzhou Trip 2014 – Day 1
On July-August 2014 holiday, Me and My family went to Shanghai and Hangzhou. It was my 3rd times to Shanghai, 2 of them was done in 2011 during my study time in China. Unlike the others 2, this time, I should arrange the trip by myself completely (my 1st trip there was using tour agent services in China, while 2nd trip only went there for 3 days without any special arrangement). So, yeah, since 1-2 months before, I prepared the trip, such as selecting the most convenient hotel based on price and location consideration, the itinerary that able to maximize our time there, nice places to visit, especially ones I haven’t visited too. We flew there using Air Asia, from Surabaya – KL – Shanghai. Well, the low price means you have something to sacrifice, and for this trip, it’s the ‘not-so-comfortable’ flight schedule. Our schedule to SH was : around 12 in the afternoon –> flight to KL. 16.00 landed at KL. 19.25 flew to Shanghai. As i remember, we landed at Shanghai (Hong Qiao Airport) at 2.30 am. Whoah… Such a tiring start. I went to KLIA LCC (Low cost carrier) December last year. My first impression was, well, okay you pay low cost and this was the airport you deserved to have with that kind low price. But seriously, you have to come in/out from plane on foot to the terminal. Very-very uncomfortable. Lol. It’s quite like some small airport in Indonesia :p where you just went off from plane and then walk on foot to enter the terminal. This time, I was surprised since KLIA LCC 2 was already used to serve LCC and it was such a very very nice airport terminal! It’s like 180 degrees different with the latest KLIA LCC (I have heard that KLIA LCC was on progress since December 2013, based on our tour guide story that starting from next year, we will leave the small, uncomfy airport). I will say that now, it’s quite in the same level (the building interior) with the 5* airport like HK, Beijing, Shanghai, etc although it’s specially used for LCC.
Many nice food outlets too there. It was such a relieve, since I think the last KLIA LCC only had few restaurants including Old Town White Coffee :p KFC, Starbucks, Mcdonalds, etc, And even ‘Bumbu Desa’, Indonesian restaurant is there too 🙂 Here was what I ate *unfortunately forgot the name of restaurant, but it was kind of Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken’
After 5 hours flight, we arrived at Shanghai around 2.00-2.30 am. Took the luggage and then directly search for Taxi to go to Hotel. Well, from airport, It took almost 1 hour (without traffic jam, of course!) to arrive at Hotel. I chose Magnificent Hotel at Xi Zhang Street. The first consideration was I already stayed 2 times there, and I think the location of the hotel is very convenient. Near many public places like People Square (Renmin Guangchang), Nanjing Lu (Shopping Area), Xintiandi, etc. All of those is reachable with 10-20 mins walking (believe me, when you ask Chinese people, they will say that any place reachable on foot < 30 minutes is NEAR!)
Some important point that I want to say that is in KLIA LCC or Hongqiao (and many other international airport), both of them has very nice and speedy luggage handling. Sometimes it only takes 15 mins for luggage to start coming out (and those 15 mins (or more) will be used by foreign people to standing in immigration queue :p so after we finished at immigration service, we would not have to wait any longer for luggage. Our luggage wait for us. This don’t happen at Indonesia, although some big airports is titled ‘International Airport’. Be time-efficient please 😀 From 3.30 to around 9 am, we slept and took a rest at Hotel. My first destination was Nanjing Lu street, specifically Xin Shijie Building. To make you easier to find it, please look at Samsung Logo there (it was there since I first time saw it, 2011). To reach Nanjing Road, you just need to walk forward (well, you have to pass some bridge too :p but just straightforward and you will reach the destination)
Compared to my last visit here 3 years ago, there are many things that still the same. The most spotted differences are Steve Jobs statue (The first day I stepped my foot on Shanghai ever was the day when Steve Jobs died, 3 years ago) and some superheroes from Marvel comics. Besides that, I hardly find any new statues there.
After visiting Madame Tussaud, we went to eat the most delicious Xiao Long Bao in the world (quite exaggerating right :p But every time I go to Shanghai, visiting this small restaurant is a must!). The first time I went there was at 2011, when my friends who studied Chinese at Shanghai invited me there. She said it’s the best (maybe one of the best?) steamed Xiao Long Bao at Shanghai. It is located near Xin Shijie too, not too far from Madame Tussaud place, maybe 5-10 mins walking. I give you the map in case you will want to search for it :p But don’t be surprised seeing the queue, since it’s only small restaurant with limited seats. I have never ate at that restaurant without queue-ing first! It is located at Huang he Road. just follow the street from Xin Shijie, and you will see a gate with *if i’m not mistaken* name 黄河 (Huang He)
Basically, I want to say that there are 2 restaurants there whose Xiao Long Bao is so damn delicious here. The first I mentioned above is the steamed XLB, while the others (it’s exatcly in the opposite side of the first restaurant. The name is Yang’s dumpling. So, in case you haven’t found the first one, make sure you find the ‘Yang’s Dumpling’ first. The first restaurant is in the opposite).
Yang’s dumpling main product is fried XLB… quite different with steamed one. But be careful, not to bite it in a hurry, since there is some delicious fluid/soup inside of XLB that will come out if you bite it too fast/hard. The one I took photos of is a package consists of 8 XLB with different taste inside of it.
Next, we will have a kind of City Tour. This time, I decided to use Big Bus Tour. In 2011, I already took another sightseeing bus in Shanghai to have a city tour. But this time, I used Big Bus because it offers more tourism objects to visit and some bonus like free entrance to tower, etc. For a tourist like us who like to maximize the time by visiting as many place as we can, Big Bus provides an economical 48 hours package. It costs us around 300 RMB by paying at the spot (in front of Xin Shijie building), but i think you can get discounted price if you pre-book in the website (http://eng.bigbustours.com/shanghai/home.html).
The consideration of using Big Bus:
- It provides complete route you can choose, whether you want to explore ‘Traditional’ side of Shanghai City (Puxi), Modern part of Shanghai (at Pudong) etc.
- You don’t need taxi anymore to reach those places. Pay once, you can have a city tour on your own. The bus route will take you to many tourism objects.
- For those who want to hear a story about Shanghai, inside the bus, you can plug in your headset (Big Bus also give each person a free headset) and hear some explanation about Shanghai (in many languages, such as English, German, France etc. I don’t notice whether Bahasa Indonesia is also available :D)
- Bonuses like : Free River Cruise (where you will be taken to cruise and have a short journey at Pearl River + free buffet dinner too), Free entry to Jinmao Tower (go to 90th level and see Shanghai from above, better at night :), and free entry to Jade Budha Temple). I already calculated that if you pay by your own all of those, it almost cost you RMB 300 also. So, yes, I think using Big Bus is economical 😀
Our first stop was at Yu Garden (Yu Yuan, 豫园). It’s like a traditional area, but it contains modern shop/cafe like Haagen Daz and Starbucks too. Yu Garden area is quite big, and the place called Yu Garden is inside of the complex (I only entered once, but this time, we decided not to enter it. Entrance fee not included within Big Bus). Here are some photos at Yu Garden complex.
After we spent some time at Yu Garden, the next stop is The Bund. But, we don’t take a lot of photos there, since our main goals is to join the River Cruise. The meeting point is at the Bund (the Big Bus office will tell you where. Don’t worry, their English is so good 🙂 ). After that, we will go to the River Cruise entrance (at Pudong) by bus who pick us at the meeting point before.
It was like 1-2 hour journey along the Huangpu River, where you can take the photos from upper deck or have a buffet dinner inside of the ship. Here are some photos taken on the cruise.
Finished the river cruise, we went back to The Bund using the same bus which took us to the cruise before. The bund that night was very very crowded. Traffic jam was awful. I don’t know whether that day was a national holiday or what. But the crowd was terrific, an ocean of human.
Some photos taken at the Bund
That’s all for the tiring 1st day :)) Will post about the following day later.