travel junkie goes back to china... and first lands in shanghai

1:30 PM

We, the tampeeps, took advantage of the great Cebu Pacific 10.10.10 seat sale and booked cheap flights to and from China. Funny though, the weeks, holidays, and five months passed by so quickly that I didn’t even notice that our long-awaited holiday was about to begin.

My very short one-week China holiday started midnight at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai. Determined to get on the famous Maglev train, I waited about seven hours in the airport. What exactly did I do to kill time? Slept with other passengers at the departure area where the very comfortable cushioned seats were. Other passengers loudly strode into the airport with their luggage and children around four in the morning and disturbed our sleep. (Damn them.)

departure area, Pudong International Airport, Shanghai China
A second-class seat on the MagLev cost me RMB50 (less than US$10.) It was a bit pricey considering it was just a 10 minute ride but I do believe it was worth it. They weren't kidding about how fast it was. We were whoooshing past everything at around 430 kph.
on the Maglev train from Pudong International Airport

As I got off the Maglev and into the subway, it finally dawned on me how bitingly cold it was. It was the tail-end of winter and temperatures were in the single digits. Mind you, the lower single digits. Needless to say, I was swearing quite a bit in my mind.

Booked my stay at the Captain Hostel through hostelworld a week earlier. (I tried booking through their own website but the booking section was wonky.) There are currently three branches of Captain Hostel in Shanghai and I chose to stay at the one on Fuzhou road. And you know what? I do believe that I hit the jackpot. It was literally just off The Bund (about thirty steps) and they let me check in at around 7:30 in the morning without any extra charge. Isn't that the best?

Captain Hostel, Fuzhou Road

Fuzhou Road, Shanghai China
The dorm was better than what I expected. With cedar bunks, giving off a scent that reminded me of my cousins's homes in Australia, and lockers,  the RMB55/night  price was a good deal. The wet areas are across the building and with freezing weather could be such a b*tch but you do get what you pay for. Also staying in the five-bunk dorm were two blonde beauties - Cristina and Isabella from Sweden. They just started their backpacking adventure in Beijing the week before. They'll be on the road for three months and can't wait to explore the rest of Asia. (Have fun girls and good luck when you start Uni!)

I spent my first day exploring The Bund and Pudong where I climbed up to the middle bauble of the Pearl Tower (RMB120.)

My first glimpse of The Bund

the bund during the tail end of winter

Pudong, Shanghi China

Pearl Tower, Pudong, Shanghai China

From up there, the views of Shanghai were spectacular but I had to elbow my way to a good spot. Domestic tour groups were everywhere and endlessly blocking the views. As I went down from the observation deck, I was ushered to the downstairs deck with glass floors! I guess this was their piece-de-resistance! Quite the wimp that i was, I just stared at the transparent floor with worst-case scenarios rushing through my head. (What if a glass panel breaks? What if a support beam breaks and we plummet to our death? ) I then found myself looking at a blonde guy smiling sheepishly at me.

"I guess we have to do it,  huh?" I found myself saying to him.

"We're here. We have to," and proceeded to glance down, again, at the glass floor.

"I don't know."

"I'll hold your hand then you'll hold mine, " he offered.

"No. I'll hold your hand and then you'll hold mine."

"Okay!" He agreed with a smile.

So that was how Robbie, the Irish, helped me walk across the glass floor. He held my hand and volunteered to take my photo. Here's one of them.

glass floor, Pearl Tower, Pduong, Shanghai China
Afterwhich we further explored Pudong and took the ferry back to The Bund. During which, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were staying at the same hostel.

More stories about my days in Shanghai and the rest of my china holiday on my next post.

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