Saturday, June 30, 2018

Day 4 - Transfer to Shanghai Marriott City Center, and the Bund!

Day 0 - Depart Singapore to Hangzhou (Scoot Airlines), Arr. Hangzhou 2135hrs
Day 1 - Hangzhou, got a driver, tour the city, including West Lake and Ling Yin Temple
Day 2 - Depart from Hangzhou to Wu Zhen (water town), and then transfer to Shanghai Courtyard Marriot near Disneyland
Day 3 - Shanghai Disneyland! (One full day)
Day 4 - Transfer to Shanghai Marriott City Center, the Bund and Hai Di Lao Dinner!
Day 5 - Private day tour to SuZhou
Day 6 - Shanghai Free & Easy
Day 7 - Home sweet Home - Shanghai to Singapore on Singapore Airlines (Business Class)

Day 4 of our 2018 China trip. After a fun day at Disneyland, and a good stay at the Shanghai Courtyard International Tourism and Resorts Zone, it was time to head to central Shanghai for the last segment of our holiday.

We hailed a taxi using the Didi app, to take us from Courtyard Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone to Marriott Shanghai City Center.  The distance was about 30km and it took us about 45 minutes to get there.  Fortunately, the highways were quite clear, though there was minor congestion closer to the City center.

Multiple Mobile Phone Array
A highlight of the journey was the taxi driver's array of mobile phones.  He had 4 facing him, plus an additional phone in this pocket!  He told me that in the past, he had 8.  Why so many?  To access all the various ride hailing apps, to snatch for business as fast as he could.   He also told me that the Apple iOS phones were a tad faster than the Android ones.  His apple phones got the notification about 1 second earlier than Andriod phones, so he used old Apple phones to snatch business.  Fascinating. In the video below, you will hear me trying to converse with the driver in my poor Mandarin.  At least he understood most of what I said, and could tell us long stories about Shanghai.

The video also shows you some of the scenes from our ride into Shanghai City Center.


Here is a picture of the driver looking at one of his phones.  This being China, the taxi drivers won't speak English.  You need know some Mandarin to be able to communicate with them.  We went by the metered fare, and the total fare came up to around 150RMB, or 23USD for a 30km ride.  Already, taxi fares in Shanghai are considered the most expensive in all of China.  For those of us who are used to taxi fares in Western countries, such a fare is still very reasonable for the distance travelled.

Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Center
We chose this hotel because of its location, near Nanjing Road.  Also, the reviews were excellent.  While not exactly the cheapest, the hotel offered a Family Suite, and we could add an additional pull-away bed so that all of us had proper bedding.   And we certainly had no regrets!  The Family Suite was awesome, as shown in the video below.  The suite had a separate living and bedroom area.  The living area could take 2 super singles, and still have room to walk around.


More pictures below of the lobby area.  It was a grand lobby.  It was also a bustling lobby.  Very busy at times, especially during the peak check-in hours.

They had 5-6 general counters opened. The line could get long, but things moved along fine.  Efficient service.

Internal water feature, next to the bar area, which served drinks and food.  Welcome to Marriott Shanghai City Center!

Walk to Huang He Road 黄河路 for Lunch
After putting our bags and washing up, we decided to take a short walk to Huang He Lu (黄河路), literal translation is Yellow River Road.  It was about a 5 minutes walk (500M) and there was plenty of local food on this street.  We headed to a famous chain called Yang’s Dumplings 小杨生煎
(http://www.xysjg.com/), as we had read a lot of about it.


Pan-fried pork buns (生煎包)
The patrons were largely local.  Most were eating the Pan-fried pork buns (生煎包) Tasty, moist pork wrapped with half-soft, half-crispy dough, Shanghai pan-fried pork buns, traditionally served as breakfast, make a great party food.

Some food pictures.

57 RMB for Our Lunch (4 pax)
Here was the bill.  The total was 57RMB (or 9 USD) for 2 servings of Pan-fried pork buns (生煎包), 2 bowls of soup noodles, one bowl of soup and one Pepsi Cola.  That's quite a lot of food for under USD 10.  Each serving of 生煎包 came with 4 pieces and only cost 8RMB.

Dessert at McDonald's
It was a good lunch.  After that, we took a walk back to the hotel, and beside the hotel there was a McDonald's!  Time for some dessert.  We had two Sundaes which came with Fried Dough Sticks, a layered cake, and some coffee.  The fried dough sticks looked like Churros.  Well, maybe they were!  Certainly they were fried, and made of dough.  Dip it into the ice-cream, and the dessert became very filling! 


Nanjing Road Shanghai 南京路
It was time to do some walking!  It turned out that Nanjing Road was just a stone's throw away, 3 minute walk max.  Wow.  This shows you how centrally located this hotel was.  We would try to walk all the way to the Bund.   It was a very pleasant walk, and the street wasn't very crowded during this time of the day.  Very nice.


Shanghai Bund
It didn't take us very long to get to the Bund.  The viewing area was awesome!  Check it out! There was a couple taking wedding photos.  Happy marriage!For a century, the Bund has been one of the most recognizable symbols and the pride of Shanghai. The architecture along the Bund is a living museum of the colonial history of the 1800s. You've never been to Shanghai if you haven’t seen the Bund.


We took the touristy tram back, on a one-way ride, along Nanjing Road.  The cost was 5RMB per person.  Saved us a lot of walking!  Let's go!


Later that evening, we had dinner at Hai Di Lao. I spotted the restaurant by chance as we were heading back to the hotel from the Bund.  This was my first time at Hai Di Lao.  This chain has also expanded to Singapore.  Thanks for following along!

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