Over 24 hours travelling and a 13 hour time jump saw us arrive in Shanghai for our first ever visit to China. Since it was fairly last-minute, we didn’t have time to sort out the correct visas, but found that we could get a 144 hour transit visa as long as we were flying on to another country and didn’t leave the Shanghai area.
We have friends in the city so were lucky enough to have someone to show us around and we were able to go to restaurants where no English was spoken. Getting used to being in a big Asian city after so long in Latin America was pretty crazy, especially with the jet-lag and the fact that it was Golden Week so the whole country was on holiday! We had a great few days seeing the sights and eating amazing food.
One evening we went for a hotpot. The concept is simple, a pot of simmering broth is placed on a burner in the middle of the table. You then order plates of meat, seafood, and vegetables, all prepared and ready to be cooked in the broth. You can choose the spiciness of the broth and make up your own dipping sauces. Hotpots in China are known for some pretty unusual ingredients but we kept it quite ‘normal’ – although we did try bull frog and cow stomach!
We also visited Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, which takes around an hour by bus from the centre of Shanghai. The water town is connected by narrow lanes and unique bridges over small rivers and streams. A very pretty place for a day trip.
After a whirlwind few days, some karaoke at the KTV and still not quite over the jet-lag, we flew onwards to Bangkok agreeing that we would definitely return to China.