Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shanghai By Night Video

My first attempt to upload a video to youtube and then display it on my Wlog.


This is a view of Pudong and Bund in Shanghai at night as described in my previous post.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Walk in Shanghai!

Well make it two.

P4120014 (1)

The first experience in Shanghai after landing at the Pudong airport shook me to the core. A taxi driver took me from the airport to Pudong city centre in 30 minutes flat - normally this should have taken 45 minutes to an hour. Sitting in a taxi that cuts across lanes with no regard of incoming traffic at 130 kilometres an hour, and with no seatbelts as well as with the windows open (with very loud wind hitting your ears) and a driver talking on his mobile phone most of the times and with full music blasting is indeed a scary experience. But in the remaining three days in Shanghai I realized this is not a regular experience – most drivers drive reasonably.

P4120124 (1)

In preparation for the World Expo 2010, the entire city of Shanghai is going through a major construction exercise. New roads, railway lines and bridges are being built. Old buildings are being brought down, and in their place huge new structures are coming up. The entire city is being greened. Shanghai is trying to show its sibling city, Beijing (which hosted Olympics), that they can do better. With slightly more than a year left for the Expo, things are going to get more and more interesting.

P4140215 (1)

Another noticeable thing in Shanghai is that the traffic was not as bad as I expected from a major city. Even during peak periods, traffic at Pudong is well managed. Not sure whether this is due to the economic crisis, or is the traffic situation managed very well by authorities.

P4140324 (1) I managed to walk along the river side at Pudong on one day (which is east of Huangpu River) and the Bund, People’s Garden and Nanjing Lu (which are on the west of Huangpu River). And these are indeed contrasting areas of the city. Pudong, in the east of the river has all the new tall gleaming buildings where as the Bund area has all the late 19th and early 20th century buildings (there are still many skyscrapers behind these old buildings).


Pudong literally means “East of the river (Huang)”. My Chinese vocabulary has grown by two words - “Pu” is river and “Dong” is east.

P4120057 (1)

Just two decades back, Pudong was mainly farmland. Now it is land of concrete, steel and glass – including some of the tallest buildings in the world. Many multi-nationals have their office in this area and there are also dozens (or is it hundreds) of four and five star hotels. But unlike many down town areas in other countries, this seems to be less crowded. With it ever growing infrastructure, Pudong can match any city in the world. And yes, Pudong has McDonalds, Starbucks, Hagen Daz ice cream parlours and even Hooters!

There is a touristy (read expensive – RMB50 two way) underground sight seeing tunnel with a variety of flashing lights that connects Pudong to the Bund.

P4120045 (1)

People’s Square:

On the opposite end (of Bund) of Nanjing Lu Pedestrian mall, is People’s Park and People’s Square.

P4140150 (1)

This is the area where City Hall, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Arts Museum and Shanghai Grand Theatre are also situated.

P4140157 (1)

Nanjing Lu Pedestrian Mall:

P4140175 (1)

This is the most famous shopping street and Pedestrian Mall in whole of China. It starts near People’s square and ends at the Bund. Everyone in here is selling something. With traffic free wide streets, shops with neon lights on both sides, this is an experience of a lifetime. Thousands throng this street each day to see an experience the unbelievable shopping possibilities.

P4140211 (1)

In my view, this is the heart of capitalism in China. Every seller's portfolio includes (fake) Polo T-Shirt, (fake) Rolex, Friendship, Massage, Sexy Massage and Sex Massage, in that order.

P4140179 (1)

As a tourist, you cannot walk a meter without some one trying to sell something to you – no wonder there is an electric buggy ride from one end to the other. If you do not stop it is a 30 to 45 minutes walk – if you stop, this walk can take for ever.

P4140194 (1)

The old man and a vintage car, which is a rare sight in Nanjing Lu. With the large scale immigration, Chinese cities like Shanghai are becoming younger and younger. Much of the younger generation in these cities also talks at least basic English. This wasn’t the case at all during my last visit 4 years back. What a change.


P4140302 (1) Bund means Embankment (a Hindi/Urdu word!) is on the west of the river. This stretch of the river side which faces Pudong is where many of the colonial era European-style buildings are – which in the early 19th century was the most famous street in Asia!

P4140243 (1)

P4140249 (1)

Extensive renovation is going in this area – and is now very pedestrian unfriendly because of all the diggings and constructions going on. By 2010, this rejuvenated area is expected to be wonderful sight.

P4140295 (1)

On late evenings and weekends the embankment is full of visitors, and 95% of them seem to be locals - I was very surprised there are only few visitors in here. The main (in fact) the only sight is the view of Pudong – as most of the buildings on the side of the Bund are not visible because of the ongoing constructions that are going on.

P4140316 (1)

With the exotic mix old and the new, the two walks were wonderful.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ending the “Win an Autographed Post Card Competition”

I am sure – it is not working. I can’t find a winner for the month of March also. So I have decided to end this competition.

I will think about something new in the coming days. In the meanwhile I have promised myself to keep the Wlog frequently updated to make it more worthwhile for the readers.