Leaving Xi Tang was a sad episode, but we had to move on to our next destination – Shanghai! We were really fortunate to have the Zhao’s as our tour guide and good friends, for without them and their car, we wouldn’t have been able to go around China so conveniently! Driving from Xi Tang to Shanghai should have taken 1.5 hours, but it took us a freaking 3 hours! This is because once we reached the city outskirts, the traffic jam was horrendous! It was crazy, on a weekday at 3pm, to have standstill traffic. I can’t imagine what it would be like in the rush hours. *faint* We stayed at the Shanghai HaiGang Hotel, in Huangpu district, near Pudong.
Shanghai Haigang Hotel: No.89 Taixing Road , Huangpu District, Shanghai 200041, China
The hotel was nothing fancy, very basic and clean. Best of all it’s located within walking distance to the city centre, and to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower. We basically didn’t have to drive the car (except for one occasion) when we reached Shanghai. 🙂
Double bed in the hotel
Once we settled our luggage, it was time to settle our stomachs! *LOL* We went to the Zhao’s favourite restaurant in Shanghai, called Ji Gong Pau. According to them, every time they’re here, they never failed to visit this restaurant!
Ji Gong Pau, Shanghai
The place serves hot pot in a claypot, with flavoured chicken and gravy. Beware, the gravy is awesomely spicy! 🙂 There are many levels of spiciness that you can choose from, and we chose the most spicy of all! In fact, we had so much fun eating it that we asked the boss to add more chillies in the middle of our meal!
Condiments and my favourite transparent flat noodle
The way to eat this is similar to steamboat, except that instead of soup, we have chicken in the spicy gravy. We would firstly eat the chicken first, and gradually add side dishes into it to flavour it more. There were fish paste, beancurd, beancurd sheet, mushrooms and my *love* the flat transparent noodle! Ah, those noodles were heavenly! Springy and firm and chewy, went extremely well with the spicy and savoury gravy in the steaming hot claypot! We had MULTIPLE servings of those noodles.
Chicken in spicy hot gravy
After we had the long and late lunch, it was past 5pm and we were on the streets of Shanghai, taking pictures and having fun. 🙂 Again, skies were getting dark after 5pm, so the pictures looked like they were taken at night!
witch at Shanghai
witch with Zhao Jie and her friend Jar Xiang
Saucer and witch
The Ong’s and the Zhao’s *LOL*
After fueling our camwhoring needs, we proceeded to our next activity. Jar Xiang, who is a huge fan of karaoke, suggested that we should go for a session! Speaking of that, don’t you think she looks pretty similar to Fish Leung? She could sing like her too!
Heading towards Karaoke
When we reached the Karaoke place, we were amazed! There was like an uncountable number of rooms! It was such a HUGE maze walking from one end to the other ok. Definitely puts Red Box here to shame. I could easily got lost in the maze of their rooms. And guess what? Even with that big number of rooms, on a weekday night, it was FULLY packed! We had no reservations of course, and we were told to wait for 2 freaking hours! Can you imagine? *gasp* If you asked me, I would have just left and went somewhere else for sightseeing, but the Zhao’s and Jar Xiang seemed insistent on waiting. So Saucer and I just followed suit and waited for time to pass. Two.hours.passed.by.so.slowly…
Shanghai Gecheng Karaoke
By 9pm, we were shown to our room, and it wasn’t even cleaned up yet! Look at the mess on the table. Those were not our food!
Our karaoke room
The singing session lasted until midnight, where we all went back in the freezing cold weather. After a good night’s sleep, we arose the next morning to the complimentary breakfast provided by the hotel. The breakfast was not much, but enough to keep us warm and full for a couple of hours. 🙂
Breakfast at Haigang Hotel
Our first destination of the day was to visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, about 15 minutes walk away. But the walk was made worse with the constant wind blowing into our face! *brr* Finally, our eyes lit up when we saw the beautiful Oriental Pearl Tower at a near distance!
witch with the Pearl Tower in the blazing wind
Moving from Xi Tang to Shanghai in a day, I experienced some sort of a mild culture shock. It was like leaving from the dreamland to the real world. So many skyscrapers, such loud blaring horns, such rushed and busy people – It was definitely a whole different atmosphere.
Shanghai Pudong buildings
Majestic Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai
We then proceeded on foot to The Bund. Well, to the area opposite The Bund, to be exact.
Three of us walking – look! I had a natural blush on my cheeks! *LOL* It was FREEZING cold!
Taken near the river
I am not kidding you when I said it’s cold, look at Zhao Jie, all covered up! *LOL*
Cold Zhao Jie
We took some pictures from across The Bund, with The Bund as our background.
Saucer and witch
Shanghai Tan 🙂
Ahh I love my natural blush 😛
We then took the ferry (only cost RMB0.50!) to cross over, just for experience sake.
Before we knew it, it was already 12pm. Time for lunch! This time, we’re headed towards a Sze Chuan cuisine restaurant, which was yet another of their must-have in China. Apparently this restaurant is a chain and it’s available all over China, including their hometown Beijing.
As usual, we waited while the Zhao’s placed their orders. They sounded like frequent patrons, throwing orders after orders without having to think. *LOL*
Us at the restaurant
Look at the food that we had! And I can tell you, these were the MOST HOT AND SPICY food that I’ve ever EVER tasted. It was EXTREMELY spicy and numbing, I couldn’t feel my lips and tongue later. And the stomach was screaming of spiciness, not to mention perspiration dripping down from the forehead like nobody’s business. There were plenty of peppercorn used in the dishes, and count yourself lucky if you didn’t bite into one, for if you did, all hell breaks loose. Say goodbye to your tongue and lips – well, at least for the next 2-3 hours.
Sze Chuan food for lunch
Even though spicy, they were delicious! Very appetizing and made us craving for more. Saucer totally had his share of kick. *LOL* After the meal, we had to look for yogurt to calm our stomachs down, or so the Zhao’s said.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking down the Shanghai streets and did some window shopping. Come dinner time, we were to drive to Jar Xiang’s place to pick her up for dinner. Again, the nightmare was relived. Traffic jam was such a nuisance. It took us almost 1 hour to reach her place! *gasp* But it was all worth it when we met her little cute son! (forgot his name)
We left for dinner soon and ate at this food court. The food was just so-so. The dumplings had too thick a skin, so did the xiao long bau. The fried fish was not too bad, but with lots of tiny bones.
The food court – what’s the name?
The place where we had dinner
After dinner, Zhao Lei wanted to fetch us to see the night view of the Oriental Pearl Tower, this time from across the sea. Luckily, it was a much more pleasant drive at night, with bearable traffic. We also passed by some nice buildings along The Bund.
Building at The Bund #1
Building at The Bund #2
This was one of the few night scenes that came out all right. Most of the other pictures turned out to be blur. 🙁 It was also freezing cold, at 3C with wind that night! *brr* We still had one more day in Shanghai, to be continued! 🙂
Saucer and witch with Oriental Pearl Tower in the background