Shanghai: 20- 24 February 2012

10
I was in Shanghai for work.

I expected the flight to be delayed, it being a Monday morning flight. I was well-prepared with a paperback version of Great Expectations. The guy seated beside had his pillow on the arm rest, invading into my space. I smiled and asked him whether he could remove it. He did so immediately. He decided to be friendly and asked me whether I am a student, etc. etc. while I was trying to read. I was relieved when he feel asleep as the plane took off, surprisingly on time.

The immigration offers were very friendly. Perhaps it's because there's a "rate me" device on the desk that cries out to be pressed by blinking after each person clears immigration.

I monitored the weather a week before my trip: the temperature was below 5 degrees Celsius. Thankfully, the temperature on the day I arrived was a comfortable 9 degrees.

My colleague had arranged a ride (RMB 200) for my group so we had a comfortable ride in a spacious car to the city. Traffic was smooth so the ride from Pudong airport to Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel (this hotel is closer to Hongqiao airport) took about 45 minutes. If we had taken train the train, we would have gotten to the hotel in 45 minutes too but we would have to walk about 500m to change train once and probably stand on the train if we could get on.

I waited about 15 minutes for my room. The room reserved for me was a smoking room. Apparently, if you are registered as "Mr" they'll assume that you smoke. (It was a company event so I didn't want to trouble the organiser to amend my reservation to "Ms").

The hotel room was nice but the walls were thin. I could hear people talking, doors slamming, water running and the door bell ringing in the next room so I didn't sleep well at all. In walls of the conference room also had thin walls. Like many recently designed rooms, the bathroom can be seen from the bed. The toiletries provided were adequate but they were missing bath salt. If I had a choice, I wouldn't stay here.

Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel (with blue lights)


Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel










Overall, the service at the hotel was good. There was always someone to direct you to the correct lift on the main floors (some lifts don't go to certain levels). The food was just bearable (you know what I think of hotel food). I saw one service staff by the name of Wendy drop napkins on the floor. She then picked it up and used it to wrap the utensils.


There is a mall, Cloud Nine Shopping Centre, adjoining the hotel so we didn't need to put on warm clothing to get food and to shop. My colleagues advised that the things in the mall were expensive (they went there a few months ago) so I brought only SGD200 worth of local currency (RMB) with me on the trip. There was no money changer in the mall.

There are many restaurants in the mall. The food is inexpensive (compared to Singapore).





Fried Xiao Long Bao


Fried Xiao Long Bao


In the basement, which connects to the train station, you can buy cheap food from the food counters. The shop which I bought the beef balls and noodles from had an item on the menu named "Beef urinate balls". (Did they mean marinate?) The counter was too crowded so I did not take a picture but bought myself some urinate balls to try instead.

Beef Balls and Noodles


My colleagues like this snack. One bought the entire stock in the shop the last time! It's nice but not worth SGD1. I bought 10 pieces because there was nothing else to buy.

Tai Yang Bing SGD1


Tai Yang Bing shop


The shops in the mall were similar to those that can be found in Singapore. Prices were similar as well. The only item worth buying were sanitary pads - curiously labelled "diaper". 20 slim pads (China brand) costs only SGD1. In Singapore, we would pay SGD5 for a similar pack of a different brand and in Indonesia SGD2 for an Indonesian brand. It's not condoms, so I think it is fine to use a local brand.

Diaper??


SGD1 for 20 slim pads


On one of the days, we had dinner at a restaurant at Zhongshan Park. It was quite a walk, especially when it was raining and cold! Honestly, I'd rather stay in the hotel and eat beef urinate balls.

On our way back after dinner, we found an underground connection through the mall that could have kept us out of rain for a while longer. There were some shops there but there weren't many customers.

Cloud Nine Shopping Centre


Subway station


Shops at the subway


Shops at the subway


SGD2 for 1 panty





I didn't do any sight-seeing during the trip. My daily schedule was fully packed from 8am to 8pm with work-related activities/functions/meetings/meals (NOT tour).

On Friday morning, the temperature dropped below 5 degrees. Thank goodness it was time for me to return to Singapore!

10 comments:

David said...

Yu-Kym,

Shangahai! One of the world's growing business centers!

I spent the past week in Texarkana Texas, about 205 km east of Dallas and near the Arkansas border.

Not quite the center of business, except for my type of logistic and technical work.

So the hotel would not move you to a non-smoking room, or would that have caused problems. Over here the entire hotel is non-smoking, all the smokers can be found near the entrances and the car park.

Bath salts are common in Asian hotels? I cannot speak for Ritz or Intercontinental class hotels, however Holiday Inn, Marriots and Choic hotels never have bath salts.

BTW I am sorry I did not take an photos on my trip, I found some great BBQ in a humble looking place.

No flight delays, and I was fortunate to get exit row seats for both legs of the homeward bound fligths, making life in coach seating enjoyable.

Good reat you are home again in SG!


David

David said...

Yu-Kym,

I had to laugh a little over your discomfort with +5C temps.

A nice -6C outside and here such a low temp is considered a mild winter day.

The warmest for today? OC!

A forecaste for +5-6C will occur later this week.

Stay warm and comfy!

David

Anonymous said...

Do you see lots of poor hungry people there?

According to Americans, it takes a worker's whole month's pay to buy a MacDonald hamburger!

Anonymous said...

Americans must have smoked too much weed to think tht war!

Anonymous said...

Quote: It was a company event so I didn't want to trouble the organiser to amend my reservation to "Ms".

Yu Kym,

But why is it not possible for you to simply amend your reservation to "Ms" with the hotel reception staff directly?

I didnt detect anything alarming incidents during your Shanghai trip so I am glad that you appeared not to have indulged in your usual walking the tightrope during this trip. hehe

curious cat

David said...

Aaon,

More impudent accusations.

Come to expect that from your comments, along with any due diligence.

For the record here are McDonald's Shanghai prices:

From: http://www.tomschinablog.com/how-is-mcdonalds-in-america-different-from-mcdonalds-in-china/

The Bic Mac Meal is RMB ¥19 or $2.88 (varies slightly by city). The prices for Mcdonald’s in China are generally lower with most meals around ¥15-25 RMB (or about $2.27-$3.80). Some items, such as sundaes are ¥6.5 kuai (almost exactly 1 dollar), and retail for the same price they do the in the States. While these prices may seem cheap, keep in mind that a typical restaurant meal in China would cost about ¥10-15 kuai ($1.52-$2.27), so going to McDonald’s can mean spending almost twice as much as normal. In terms of sizes, you can purchase either a small or large fries and drink in China. No mediums. Portions are also a shade smaller than they are in America.

McDonald's is more expensive than the average most eateries. However the prices are not at the gourmet level.

What is warm? At 43 north 5C is considered pleasant. Many here feel uncomfortable when the therometer reaches 25C, and 30C feels hot to this northner.

BTW, I do not smoke weed!

I really should pay less attention to Anons codswallop ladened post.

David

Anonymous said...

Hey, you should read more old American newspapers to see their reports to Chinese worker's pay that a MacDonald Hamburger cost more than their one month's pay!

Perhaps they have too much stuck up their backside when they make such claim.

Now American newspapers are saying US workers' pay will be very similar to Chinese workers' pay very soon!

How much has the world changed!

Have they been snorking too much cocain?

CBS said...

Quote: The immigration offers were very friendly.

They offered you Chinese citizenship?

Now I know Little Red Riding Hood visited Shanghai...

CBS said...

According to Google:

shang·hai

verb /ˈSHaNGˌhī/ 
shanghaied, past participle; shanghaied, past tense; shanghaiing, present participle; shanghais, 3rd person singular present

1. Force (someone) to join a ship lacking a full crew by drugging them or using other underhanded means

2. Coerce or trick (someone) into a place or position or into doing something
e.g. Obama shanghaied her into his Jaguar and roared off

HELP! Our fair damsel got shanghaied

Anonymous said...

According to google,

Yank means
1. To pull with a quick, strong movement; jerk
2. Slang To extract or remove abruptly

A Yank is also a Yankee – hence they are jerks!