Before setting off on my travels Shanghai seemed like an exciting hyper city whereas Hong Kong seemed nothing more than a dirty has been city. I have now learnt that my preconceptions were about as wrong as they could be.
Shanghai is very much standard mainland China, just it happens to have had a technological boom. There are numerous high end shopping streets and
touristy shiny areas but turn down the wrong side alley and the usual China toilet smell wafts into your nostrils. Because the business side of the city has risen so rapidly it is very segregated and perhaps false looking compared to the majority of the city. Although very tall and impressive, the skyline is but one small cluster of high rise buildings still fashioning their Disneyesque gleam as though they may not really be there at all.
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Our intention with Wuhan was to go there for the soul purpose of getting a boat to Shanghai. By the time our train ticket was booked we had realised that it would be tricky, expensive and that the better Yangtze views were in the opposite direction. So by the time we arrived at our hostel, which was quite expensive, we were in a city which didn’t seem to have much going on, feeling under the weather and in a useless hostel which didn’t even provide an area map, ticket booking… or western toilets.
so the first day we had to go out and find a ticket booking agent and managed to sort the train tickets,with this off our mind and the knowledge that not even the hostel staff could understand Wuhan busses we had no option but to wander around. The street scene in Wuhan was the most vibrant I’ve seen so far (with the exception of there not really being much street food). We strolled along the side of a lake and found some windy bridge pathways over an expanse of lotus flowers and a large outdoor swimming pool. When back on land we came upon an open workshop creating large fantastical displays for carnivals and parades.
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