Arrived at Shanghai Pudong International airport in a cold Sunday afternoon of 5 degrees Celsius; slightly colder than in Nagoya. Our local colleague wasn’t around when we left the exit hall and decided to take a seat at one of their meeting points. It appears our custom processing were much faster than the norm with us clearing it in just 20 minutes, thus our local colleague came slightly later than what he had anticipated. Anyway, we still have to wait for another 2 hours more for our next colleague to arrive on another flight.
The airport offers free wireless internet access. But as the wait continues, the cold starts to seeps in. By around 3.15pm, the airport is getting real cold. The international exit gates are crowded with hordes of people, many holding sign boards indicating the visitor name. We waited an additional hour for our colleague to arrive who was delayed by the exceptionally long waiting time at the customs, aggravated by the synchronized arrival timing of the flights [Multiple alighting passengers at the same time].
When we left the hall to the carpark, the extreme cold just shook us. It is really the icy cold that left us astounded; many times colder than Nagoya a week back. Heard from our local colleague that the cold is aggravated by a south-bound winter wind from the north and the rain. We got on the company bus and took an hour bus ride to the Haiyatt Hotel.
Along the way, we noticed there are dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists. It is left-drive in this country.
When we got up to the hotel floor, we were amazed by the posh ambience and class living. Here is how the corridor looks like.
A sneak peek into the room and the toilets:
Thereafter, we took a 10 minutes walk in the cold to Tian Lin (田林). The first sight that greeted us is Trust-Mart.
We proceeded on to a local Chinese culinary shop for dinner which consists of noodles and tim sum. We were famished since we skipped dinner and happily savour our first meal in China. The Chinese enjoy taking vinegar and it is readily presented in huge amounts in this shop.
We did some shopping for winter clothings and thereafter proceeded on to Trust-Mart for grocery shopping.
Day 2 (Monday)
Here is my daily morning breakfast diet:
Day 3 (Tuesday)
We went to Xujiahui today. The name derives from the christian name St Ignatius which is the name of a old cathedral here. Xujiahui is considered to be outside the main city centre of Shanghai but it is bustling with vibrancy and life. The picture below show Xujiahui main centre:
First thing first, we started looking for a place for dinner and settle for a Hong Kong style restaurant.
The meal is alright and the prawn dish below is the best, but the salted favourings is one of the most extremes we have tasted. It is too salty to be edible.
Thereafter, we proceeded on to shopping around Xujiahui, exploring its computer shopping malls. The IT products here are priced slightly the same or more expensive than in Singapore and Taiwan. So it is largely window shopping throughout.
There is a Singapore style food court and BreadTalk in one of the shopping mall.
Day 4 (Wednesday)
We went to a very famous market this evening. Will elaborate more in the subsequent updates as we will be coming back to this market on a weekly basis. It is here where my fellow Singaporean colleague paid quite an exorbitant sum for mini terracotta warriors. It is our first encounter with the Chinese Infamous Vendors.
Day 7 (Saturday)
The plan for today is to begin with the exploration of  YuYuan Garden (豫园花园), thereafter proceed to the  Shanghai City of Books (上海书城), take a stroll through  People’s Square (人民广场), go for a shopping spree at  Nanjing East Road (南京东路), sightseeing at the  Bund (外滩), cross over to the  Pudong side of the Bund for some phototaking and to round off the day at  Xin Tian Di (新天地). We will walk from 1 to 6 and finish the journey from 6 to 7 by cab.
And now it begins, we took a cab from our hotel to YuYuan Garden, costing only 37 RMB (S$8 divided among 3 of us) and a half hour ride only. All the cabbies in Shanghai have a protective plastic cover which protects the driver from the passengers.
We were greeted by an array of ancient chinese architecture when we arrived at the old Shanghai city.
We walked down the street to a narrow pedestrian walkway. The scene is really breathtaking, round the turn from the busy motorway street into an alleyway back in time. The buildings are all shaped in the traditional Ming and Qing dynasty design. People swamped through the narrow alleyway but the beauty of the ancient splendour is spoilt by the modern glass panes of the shops that line the entire passage to the Gardens.
The whole area is invaded by hordes of tourists with vendors touting their goods by the streets. We walked through the Nine-Curve Bridge (九曲桥) to the garden. The population mass on the bridge has reached its critical mass, making it impossible for anyone in for a quick photoshot.
We got to the ticket booth to the garden entrance, paid the 30 RMB per person and got inside, leaving the horde behind. A huge stone writing greeted us at the main entrance. It is signed by the former President.
Within it showcase a traditional Ming and Qing dynasty garden. This entire compound is owned by a high ranking official in the past. The design is very elaborate with deep considerations into Feng Shui and Zen serenity. Dragons images line the wall parapet, koi fishes watered through the ponds, with many pavilions dotting the gardens for visitors to rest their wearied legs.
The garden is indeed beautiful, best experienced by being there personally, and resting amongst the many pavilions or garden seats.
We left the garden after an hour stroll in there. Next stop is the City Temple (城隍庙). Before there, my friend had another encounter with the Chinese Infamous Vendors. He was captivated by a handicraft mannequint shop which sells figurines from the 3 Kingdoms and the 108 Heroes. The price on display is 3000 RMB initially and was offered at 1200 RMB to him. We refused and decided to leave. He requested that we stopped and asked how much we would like it to be. I quoted 500 RMB and after some discussions and we decided to leave again, this time he agreed to the price. After a moment’s respite, we reoffered 400 RMB and the vendor was infuriated, refusing to continue any more negotiations with us. This is Chinese Infamous Vendors Part II encounter.
We went on to the City Temple which cost 5 RMB to enter. Mostly tourists visit it and pay visit to the local deity which worship a great General who is said to live during the Yuan dynasty. With deep respect to the local religion, I refrained from taking photo in the temple.
After the temple visit, we walked through the old shanghai shopping street to our next stop,  Shanghai City of Books. The walk takes 20 minutes in all, a pleasant journey down the busy street to the Book City. It is a tall 7 storey building with hordes of readers in there. The books are remarkably cheap and almost all in Chinese. I got 3 books from there at just 60 RMB. Only managed to clear the first 3 storeys in all. Will be back there again in the future.
Once we left the Book City, the perennial drizzle has turned into a persistent drizzle. It is already 2.15pm and it is lunch time. We headed to a food shop by the street which sells curry food. A palatable meal at just 24 RMB.
Headed to the people’s square in the rain which really dampens the mood. Made a round through the garden and proceeded to the Nanjing East Road. No more photos is taken from this journey on as it is impossible to hold a camera in the rain.
We saw the first major shopping centre on Nanjing East road and entered it. Providing us with much needed shelter from the rain. It is 5pm when we left the centre and the rain don’t seem to be getting any lighter. We decided to put a stop to the visit and go straight to our last stop for the night. There seems to be no cab at this time and decided to take the MRT a stop down to HuangPu Nan Road.
Xin Tian Di is just a 5 minutes walk from the station. The whole place is quite similar to Mohd Sultan we have back in Singapore. Mostly expatriates and the richer Chinese hang around here. We stopped by Coffee Bean to warm up. The drinks come up to around 30 RMB per person, similar to Singapore’s Coffee Bean by extremely exorbitant by the local standards.
We walked through the street and came upon a Crystal Jade at the end. Heard some Singaporean accent from the Chinese leaving the restaurant.
Had dinner at a Shanghai Tony Restaurant where all its dishes are red hot chills favour. Ordered too much again…
On the way back, we have a paranoma of Shanghai’s city scape. Some of the buildings design are remarkable and fascinating, with laser lights flooding the night sky and some having neon lights dancing through the skyscrapers.