Shanghai Walk

Thanks to my company, Pernod Ricard, I was able to spend a couple of days in Shanghai last August for some R&R.  As was the case in Jerusalem, I got giddy over the fact that I could explore another great city, full of rich history and booming with  (Yes, that’s 23 MILLION) people.

Though I had been to Shanghai a couple of years ago with my folks, I knew I wasn’t seeing the total picture as guided tours rarely give you the satisfaction of just “hanging out”, getting lost in the place and getting a true taste of the people and culture.

The adventure starts when the taxi driver drops me and my three buddies from work at some “shopping area” (think Greenhills) for foreigners.  Originally, we had asked to be dropped off at Nanjing Road (the central commercial center, think Times Square) but he dropped us off around 6km from our intended destination.

** I think it’s safe to say that among Asian countries, it’s only truly the Philippines where you can talk to ANYONE in English and they will understand you.  If in Shanghai, China’s commercial and business capital, the language barrier is THAT prevalent, how much more for the other cities and country side.  Arriving in the mall, I make a mental note to relearn Mandarin sometime in the future.  (Hey, it’s the language of the future!) **

With that out of the way, I lasted around 30 minutes in the mall before I bid my three buddies adieu as I started my solo walk towards the REAL Nanjing Road after getting some directions from the local HSBC branch. (Hey, being an account holder of HSBC has its cool perks!)

Shanghai is just beautiful!  When people say that it’s a mix of East and West, they mean literally, as they have buildings here that resemble those found in London, Paris and Barcelona while having Chinese characters plastered all over them.  On my walk to Nanjing Road, I saw some amazing sights.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

All I need is a Delorean.. and 1.21 Gigawatts…

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

I thought of Sauron when I saw this skyscraper.

Pacific Hotel Shanghai

If China ever had a Gossip Girl-like show, the Bass family could live here.

Patriotic Chinese Statues

Either a memorial dedicated to the Revolution and Chinese People… or to random Lego Men.

Patriotic Chinese Statues

Not sure if its Chairman Mao or China’s version of One Direction.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Mind you, those trees were purchased from CDR-King!

New World Emporium

Emporium.. a fancy word for department store!

(Voice from the future: made you look!)

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Entrance to the REAL Nanjing Road.. with 1 million of the 23 million people in Shanghai.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Ads for the Philippines all around.. and this was when the China-RP issue was ripe!!

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

The most awesome name for a store ever!! Why didn’t anyone here think of that?!

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

How is the New World Emporium four characters and the word, OPTICAL, six?!

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Beautiful view of Cloud City.  Lando Calrissian would be proud!

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

A real Apple store or one of those Chinese Apple clones? Hmm….

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

A huge-ass chair.  Literally.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Nanjing Road at night with its beautiful lights and Time Square-ish vibe.

A couple of tips for when any of you decide to go for a walk along Nanjing Road.

1.  The normal pickpocket rules are applicable.  Always keep wallets on front pockets!

2.  The number of prostitutes posing as regular folk on Nanjing Road is INSANE.  At least fifteen women approached me with the same script: “Are you a student/tourist?”, “Do you want a masssage?” and after you’ve ignored the last two questions, “Do you want sex?”  Answer yes to any of those questions and actually accompany them and CONGRATULATIONS!  You’re an idiot and have just lost a kidney!

3.  Also beware of people who are offering to shine your shoes, show you a magic trick or give out pamphlets.  Reply with a loud NO and walk-away fast.  One shoe-cleaning lady actually chased me and placed some wax on my shoes to get me to stop! F that, I like my kidney on me thank you very much!

Nanjing Road, Shanghai


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