I recently travelled to Shanghai in China for the first and revisited Bangkok on my way home. Shanghai really surprised me and blew away my expectations. From the moment we arrived at Pu Dong Airport there was a sense of class and cleanliness. As the story goes, 20 years ago most of Shanghai was rice paddies and farms. Today it is a high rise mecca where the world’s 2nd tallest tower is currently under construction. The people are polite andeverything is kept very, very clean. Everywhere I went I felt very safe and welcomed by the city. I stayed at the Westin Bund, which is in the main tourist area near to Nanjing Road famous for its shopping. Don’t forget to take a walk down to the Bund at night to see the city lights, the sight is amazing. The hotel was fantastic and has some world class restaurants. Rooms were large and
comfortable and mine even had a great city view.
I wanted to get away from all the new sky scrapers and find the China that I had in my mind before I left and it’s not hard to find. The French
concession has some great little market areas and the Yu Garden was a great insight into Chinese beliefs and heritage. You will no doubt find yourself in one of the many tea houses all throughout China and a night out on dumplings is a must. Visit the ERA show for a taste of cirque de soleil-esq Chinese acrobatic entertainment. The weather in August was warm and a little humidity hung in the air but it was much more comfortable than Melbourne weather at that time of the year!
After a pleasant surprise in Shanghai it was time to revisit an old friend, Bangkok. This city never stops pumping out the surprises and it is so full of life. Every street has something new to offer, a new smell, a new market, a newfriendly “Sawasdee” and bow from a local. I based myself at the Centara Watergate near Central World. If you like shopping it is perfect. I lost count of how many shopping malls were in
walking distance, there was the wholesale mall, the central world mall and some I didn’t even get the names of.
The hotels and restaurants in the area are abundant and fantastic. Visit the roof top bar at the Centara Central World for some amazing views.
This area is serviced well by public transport with the skytrain and rail network offering easy access to all the cities major sights.
Both cities contrast each other, both surprise and excite and should make it onto anyone’s must visit list.
Written by Reece, a member of our Mentone Team
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