I promised I’d share some stories about our Shanghai trip. Here they are in spurts. I’m still sifting through my gazillion photos. I was really happy that I brought my Olympus PEN EP3. It makes a world of difference not having to lug around a DSLR when you’re traveling.
We flew to Shanghai on a whim. It wasn’t really part of the plan. But I knew Patrick had always wanted to see that city so when I found a seat sale in PAL’s Twitter feed, I bought two tickets to Shanghai. The price was too good to pass up. I’m loving all these cheap airline flights. Most are offered only online and not through travel agents. So check the airlines’ online promo announcements.
It was our first time to go to China, so our travel agent Claudette Vitug of CV Travel recommended we choose a good hotel chain – safer that way. She offered the Waldorf Astoria on The Bund and the Four Seasons, both at a great rate. We chose the Waldorf Astoria because it’s in one of the restored buildings on the Bund and we’d have a great river view of Pudong and the beautifully lit Bund at night.
I feel I have to say this before anyone gets judgmental, this trip was in no way sponsored. It’s a personal vacation and I am sharing as much and as little as I can. Special mention must be given to Claudette’s CV Travel for finding the best solutions, best prices and for assisting us with visa processing. You’ll find her contact details below.
Here’s the first part of my little travel diary. This is all about our hotel. It was so beautiful and service was impeccable, I felt it merited its own blogpost. Am seriously in awe of the Waldorf Astoria service. Spoiled now…
First of all, let’s get this out of the way. You will see me wearing the same thing in all photos – this feather down jacket from Muji. Shanghai was cold. Temperature was between zero to 5°C, which I know is like springtime weather in Canada. But I’ve been living in the tropics too long. This jacket was awesome – lightweight and warm. Not the most stylish, but I didn’t care. I’m really glad that retail chains carry winter clothes in Manila now. Again, for transparency, I bought this.
Everyone told me to go to The Bund. Ofcourse, how can anyone miss The Bund. It’s Shanghai’s showpiece. And our hotel was in one of these buildings. The Bund (meaning “embankment”) is the waterfront promenade lined with historical buildings that used to house banks and trading houses from the UK, Germany, France, US etc. in the early 20th century.
Shanghai was positioned as the financial hub of East Asia. I’ll skip the history lesson, you may read more about Shanghai’s history here.
Click “More…” to see the rest of my travel diary.
Basically in the 1990’s, Shanghai government began its massive plan of reviving Shanghai as the city of the future, building landmark skyscrapers in Pudong and restoring the Bund to boost tourism. (View from our room)
The Long Bar at the Waldorf Astoria. Called the Long Bar because it was the longest bar in the world in what used to be the the private members’ only Shanghai Club in 1910. Hard to believe this bar was once fully gutted and turned into a KFC. Glad that the Waldorf group got the property and restored it to what it once was.
Our bathroom – I loved how old-world glamorous it looked like and yet it had the most modern amenities including a toilet seat that was fully automatic (heated, washing, and everything you can think of).
I realize this is mostly the western part of Shanghai. Next stories… the local food, shopping and streets. I loved it in Shanghai. I would go back again.
CYNROS Building, 3F Suite 301-302, 513 Alonso Street, Malate, Manila 1004
telephone: (63) 2 253-0043