Live Twitter Updates @vinpatholiday11

    Wednesday 14 September 2011

    Day Eight – Salut Shanghai

    Today we leave Seoul with all those usual moving on feelings, we don’t want to go. We’ve gotten settled here. But we must move on. The population of Shanghai is around the same as the whole of South Korea. Shanghai is a MASSIVE MEGACITY with some 3000 skyscrapers making up its iconic skyline. Shanghai is not a city you visit for heritage, museums and temples; it’s a new world vertical city full of neon, people and buildings. By 2020 it will be the worlds biggest and wealthyiest economic region. It’s already Chinas.

    We took a taxi to Seoul Station from the hotel, costing a whole €2, paid with our t-money smart card. The train to the airport took about 50 minutes. This time will dramatically decrease once the proposed magnetic levitated train is built. Shanghai already has one taking 7 minutes to cover the 30km track, at a top speed around 450km/h!

    Vinnie at Incheon Airport, South Korea
    Incheon Airport in South Korea is very organized and beautiful. The only hiccup is the xray scanning for your bags. Once you check in, your bags get scanned. You have to waiting in a lounge area for two minutes. If you are not called, your bag is fine. We didn’t fully understand the process. We waited almost ten minutes, having to ask if we could move on. That could certainly be improved.
    A reenactment royal procession through the Airport!
    Our flight!
    A Guinness Lounge in the airport!
    There are two areas to the airport, connected by and underground train. We got rid of the last of our money buying food and snacks for the flight before catching that train to our gate. We flew China Southern, a regional service. At least 99% of the flight was Asian. There were no safety announcements in English, but the staff did speak it. They even had our vegetarian meal request recorded. The seats were very tight on top of each other. When the guy in front of me reclined my head was within 2cms of touching his seat!
    Reading up on Shanghai on the plane
    It’s less then two hours to fly to Shanghai. Arriving the heat hit us! It’s a lot warmer here. The airport is massive. Our plane landed just under 1km away from the terminal, we took a bus to bring us over. Passport and visa process was very smooth and quick, we did have to buy and apply for a visa back in Dublin a few weeks back. We are being tracked. We’ve 24 hours to register at a hotel or police station if we can’t find accommodation.
    Our new apartment in Shanghai
    We took the maglev into Shanghai before transferring to the Subway and making the way to our part of town. We are staying in another apartment/hotel, the same chain as our last. It did take a little longer to locate the building, as GPS/Data on the phone is very slow here. Shanghai is not as connected as Seoul. As our phones connect via Ireland for internet so we’ve got full unrestricted access, but when we connect via our laptops, all of the websites we use are blocked, including this blog, twitter, google, gmail, youtube and facebook! To cope, we have set up a VPN connection back into the UK, so we are getting our entire data requirements tunneled via the UK. It works perfect.
    Vinnie with the skyline behind 
    Patrick with the skyline behind

    That evening we explored the area, taking a walk down the 1.2km shopping street the Nanjing. It’s full of touts trying to sell you watches, DVDS and worse. We ended up down by the bund with it’s terrific views of the skyline. Taking the metro we crossed the river over to the skyscraper district visited the iconic apple store and stocked up on the grocery shopping. Shanghai is certainly different. It’s skyscraper central. This is going to be fun...
    At the Round Apple Store!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment