Photos by Roy from theshanghaiexpress.com
My trip to Shanghai between Christmas and New Year's was really fun and educating at the same time. I had imagined Shanghai to be almost like Hong Kong - just a little bit more Chinese. I have to say though that it is VERY different and I feel like I got the 'mainland experience' I wanted.
The architecture in Shanghai is very European in places like the Bund where you find massive stone mansions and art deco buildings. The city is much more spread out than Hong Kong but not as crowded we found. It may sound weird but I enjoyed seeing autumn trees so much that line the streets of Shanghai. I couldn't stop looking at them and taking pictures. In Hong Kong the trees we have are always green whereas the golden leaves in Shanghai are simply magical.
90% of the people, even at restaurants, shops and the hotel sometimes, didn't speak English at all or just a few words which was surprising. Not everyone has to speak English of course but for us this made the whole trip more challenging. I can't really put my finger on it but mainlanders seem to be generally different from Hong Kong people. Maybe it's the way Chinese people were brought up in a communist environment. I felt a little restricted in my freedom already just because I couldn't use Facebook, Instagram, Google and my blog wouldn't work (probably because I run it through blogger which is a Google product) but people living there must have much worse restrictions.
What I really liked about Shanghai were the amazing bars, clubs and restaurants. I will prepare some tips for you in a separate post but what I can tell you already, Hong Kong needs a place like Bar Rouge.
It was freaking cold with about 6 degrees while I am used to Hong Kong temperatures that are still up at 18, but I actually enjoyed the cold as it felt Christmassy and there is nothing better than coming home to a warm hotel room or cozy cafe after having walked around in the chilly air. I had bought this huge scarf at a market in Hong Kong to keep warm on this trip. I paired it with some of my favorite basics such as the biker jeans and statement necklace that I both LOVE, my slip-ons, fluffy grey coat and simple blouse.
I know that I could never live in mainland China but for a few days Shanghai is a very fun place, especially due to the crazy nightlife. It was great to get away for a little while and go on an adventure. Stay tuned for many more photos from Shanghai!
Coat, jeans, necklace: Zara
Shoes: Selected Femme
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff