Wednesday, August 10, 2011

24 hours in Shanghai

It was an interesting 24 hour stop over in Shanghai.

A modern city and impressive by it's growth, and the old and new architecture along the Bund give the place some interesting character, but despite the 23 million (or so) population, in my opinion the city seems to lack the buzz of many other "capitals".

I have passed through Shanghai a few times en route to other places on North China, but this was the first time I had a chance to stop and take a proper look.

I stayed in a very impressive Ritz Carlton which is attached to the new IFC shopping mall. All the top global boutiques are there (as you would expect), and none showing any sign of a recession or "slowdown".

Indeed it also hosts a very impressive Apple Store and walking in there, it was clear to see why Apple credits their latest (and future) success on the Chinese market.

My day of arrival was warm and humid and I planned a stroll around the next day ... which was a downpour!

I had to take cover in a nearby mall, and it was an experience to see the crowds swarming in there. Not dissimilar to a busy train station, or indeed The Emirates stadium on a Saturday afternoon!

The town and the shops and the restaurants were all busy, but they lacked a certain buzz that you can tangibly feel in cities like London or Hong Kong for example.

I had a late drink at the rooftop bar of my hotel. A stunning view, and a stunning venue. For me it was accompanied by a nice Macallen, but it was a clear example of buzzlessness (compared to Sirocco in Bangkok for example).

I left early the next morning and will no doubt be back again. I look forward to see how things develop there ... Which I have no doubt they will.

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