Day Ten – Shanghai
I arrived in Shanghai in the morning on the overnight express train from Beijing. After checking into the Hua-dong hotel (華東), i took the advice of the subway assistant by taking the bus to Cheng-huang temple (城隍廟) directly. I was not really clear on what Cheng-huang temple was all about prior to arriving there. I thought Cheng-huang temple was only a temple. I found out that it was more than a temple. The Cheng-huang temple area included tons of commercial stores, the temple was only a very minor part of it. I saw global companies like Starbucks and Coca-cola there. It really was not what i had expected. It was not what i had intended to see.
While i was there, i had lunch at the Lu-bo-lou restaurant (绿波廊酒樓). This restaurant is supposed to be a really famous one – according to the pictures on the wall, i saw the English Queen, Bill Clinton and a few others. At first, i was led to a small room with people smoking at multiple tables. So i requested to move to a non-smoking area. The waitress brought me to a “non-smoking” area – a bigger area with less smokers. I ordered the grilled squid, stir-fry local veggie and the shanghai fried noodles. The grilled squid and the veggie were pretty good. The shanghai friend noodles came a little too late – i was extremely full.
As it was a pretty hot and humid day, i did not stay at the temple for very long. After spending about an hour an Nanjing Road, i went back to the Shanghai station. I wanted to go to Hangzhou (杭州) the next day so i went to a travel agency recommended by Wendy, the Shanghai SiHai Travel Service (上海四海旅行社). Because i only wanted to go to Xihu (西湖) and the Lou-Wai-Lou restaurant (樓外樓). The restaurant is supposed to be the most famous restaurant in Hangzhou. Because i was only going to the lake, the travel agent told me it was not necessary to take a tour with them and all i had to do was to take the train there. Since she had spent so much time discussing the trip with me, i felt bad not taking the tour with them, so i bought a tour to go to Suzhou (蘇州).
Getting the train ticket to go to Hangzhou at the Shanghai train station was another one of my bad experiences in China. People cutting in line, people yelling and screaming around me and people standing too close behind me. I am so used to my personal space in Seattle. I feel so uneasy with so many people standing around me.