Splendid Shanghai

This is a continuation of my post about Beijing on our trip last November 2013. Right after Beijing, we flew via Ctrip to Shanghai and the flight took about an hour. Shanghai feels a little bit like Jetsons especially if you arrive at night. I always think of Jetsons when I think of Shanghai even before seeing it in actual since I know Shanghai is quite futuristic but nothing compares to seeing it in real. Tall bright lighted buildings in weird shapes and spaceship looking contraptions greet you as you arrive. It’s also sort of like a scene in the movie, Hunger Games, when they show the Capitol. Who knows maybe Shanghai was their inspiration for the Capitol in the book and in the movie. It’s a shame I didn’t take photos of these buildings when lighted. It was hazy when we arrived and it didn’t photograph well.

If there’s one thing that I really love about Shanghai it’s their architecture. They have an impressive mix of the old and the new. All around the city they have modern futuristic skyscrapers. But when you get to the Bund, it will transport you back in time when Shanghai opened to trade under the Treaty of Nanking, and it became a British settlement. First came the Brits, then the French then the Americans. And this part of their history can be seen in the buildings and structures around the Bund. The old soul in me was just so thrilled to see this part of Shanghai! I loved that they were able to preserve the buildings. I loved that it feels like Europe. British and French colonial architecture are what I like best and that’s why most of my first photos are in this area 🙂


Shanghai feels like Europe in Asia.


I love pretty vintage buildings like this one.



Camera tricks from the husband’s phone.



On our first night in Shanghai we had dinner at the M by the Bund. It was a lovely and swanky place with a great view of the skyline and has spectacular food too. Wasn’t able to take photos of our dining experience at the restaurant but here’s a 15-sec vine clip of our first night with clips from M by the Bund.

The Bund, hazy during the day and shining at night.

Shanghai skyline

After discovering old world architecture around the Bund on our first day, the next day we saw the impressive modern skyscrapers around the city. We rode the tour bus which was the best way to see the whole city in full view.

The view of the city from the tour bus.

Shanghai is filled with these swanky towers that loom high above you. They like blue for their buildings don’t they?


Stopping by the mecca that is Apple.


The Pearl Oriental Tower


Shanghai Sunset.


The Pearl Oriental Tower turns into a rocket ship at night.

If I’m all about the architecture and the fashion when we travel, Ken is all about the food :p And for this particular trip to Shanghai, we made a random discovery about the world’s best dumpling according my husband. This was already his second time in Shanghai but it was the only time he discovered Yang’s dumpling. These are huge juicy dumplings made as you order and you can even watch their whole process of cooking. It was full when we arrived and the driver of our bus says its quite famous in Shanghai. Ken was so happy  he just had to take a photo in front so that we will remember when we go back. We all loved it so much we had it for lunch and dinner! 🙂


This is the best part of Shanghai according to my husband :p


Yummy juicy dumplings!

On our 3rd day we were supposed to fly back home already. But there was a fiasco with our PAL flights which got cancelled unannounced. It was a very stressful situation for us and we had no choice but to go back to the city, back to our hotel and catch the flight the next day. Good thing the people at our hotel, Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya was very helpful when we returned. They even upgraded us to a suite for that night!

Grand Mercure Shanghai Zhongya

And so for our extended day we went to explore Nanjing Road which is where the shopping is! It’s a long road that you can explore for a day walking from one store to another. There’s also a tram you can ride if you want to get from end to end without walking.


Ride if you’re tired.


ET phone home. See the weird spaceship on top of the buildings?

IMG_3717 Shanghai07

Shanghai has always been one of Ken’s favorite cities (this and San Francisco are his dream cities to live in while mine is London). And after this trip, I understood why. It’s very cosmopolitan, modern and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This is that one and only place in China that I would want to keep going back to since it doesn’t feel at all like the backward and traditional China we usually know of. It’s very up-to-date or in fact even more advanced and more developed than most cities in Asia. Plus, it has a Europe feel to it. So yes, after this trip, I can now share my husband’s enthusiasm over this city. Shanghai is a booming place that mustn’t be overlooked. Can’t wait for an opportunity to see it again!

*Follow me on Instagram @ellenjoyco or drop a note at hello@ellenjoy.co! 🙂


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