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BLOG: Where history meets the future

View 2001 Sabah, Shanghai, Eastern China & Xiamen on alexchan's travel map.

Having just been terminated from the airline industry due to the collapse of Ansett Australia, we felt so pleased to be flying with an airline that is financially-backed by a government, as we winged our way to Shanghai ... even better, an airline backed by a government which hasn't given any vocal support to the attack on Afghanistan ... on an aircraft complete with prayer cards, prayer room and individual TV entertainment that also update you with the direction and distance to Mecca every few minutes.

Now, Shanghai is one great city. The grandeur of a bygone era as immortalised in the buildings on the Bund stand face to face with the 22nd Century style architecture over in Pudong [Pudong-travel-guide-236409] across the Huangpu river. We cruised across the river at night (NZD0.15) and went up to the world's third tallest building (Jingmao) and had drinks on the highest floor (88th) in the Hyatt. Super-posh ... to the extent we felt uncomfortable as we weren't dressed up ... not often we feel that way.

Because of APEC, security was very tight and we were graciously escorted through three different sets of lifts, and radioed ahead by security personnel ... not forgetting X-ray. Over drinks, we hoped that Bush wasn't staying in the Hyatt rooms below as he would surely present a security risk to us.

The new buildings of Pudong are just unreal. Having seen pictures we expected them to be somewhat tacky but they are so futuristic in real life. Lit up like Battlestar Galactica at night.

All the shopping streets, including a reproduction old-city (Yu Yuan) are a buzz to all the senses. We gave up looking for the numerous French and Art Deco houses in the French quarter of the city, and hopped into a taxi to head back to the hotel. But within seconds we saw more than we imagined ... still don't know what we did wrong.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in China

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