The ferry was a fun experience and driving into Shanghai was relatively nice, with well paved and divided roads. Despite the taxi drivers being quite obnoxious, overall the drivers in Shanghai seem to be alright. Now, with the first half of the driving over it was time to be a tourist. We took a train to visit Nanjing and Suzhou and spent a day or two in Shanghai before hitting the road again.
Labeled as Paris of the East, the Whore of the Orient, and haven of opium dens, this city has been a rich tapestry woven of gamblers, adventurers, gangsters, and sailors alongside missionaries trying to save their wicked souls. A vigorous and energetic international metropolis, people from all over the world come here to enjoy its special atmosphere.
We marveled at the back street night markets, the new Shanghai Museum, and the mind-blowing contortions of the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe on stage at the classic Lyceum Theatre. Just picture five motorcycles racing around at high-speed, inside a 20 foot diameter steel cage sphere, without crashing. We were continually amazed by the diversity that makes China a destination like no other.
Back to where we started from. The Great China Loop is done! We go for some last-minute souvenir shopping and celebrate our successful trip with an elaborate dinner before heading our separate ways. Keep looping!
Our first stop is this sprawling metropolis with its relentless advance into the heavens. The Paris of the East, the Oriental Pearl. The city with a pulse. Shanghai will toy with you like no other place has ever done before. And trust me, you won't mind.
Home to almost 20 million people and expanding at a feverish pace the city blends the old and the new with practiced ease. Our 5 days here will be spent mapping Shanghai like the locals do. We take to the city armed with nothing but a map, a Shanghai Metro Card and good shoes.
We will cover everything from the city's many street-markets (Dongtai, marriage-market) to intriguing museums while stopping by at the major tourist sites along the way. We'll climb bridges (Lupu Bridge) at sunset and practice Tai Chi in the early mornings. Delectable street food after hitting the many bars in the city is also on offer!
Later in the day we drove to the exciting metropolis of Shanghai where we stayed at the ultra-modern Waterhouse at South Bund, a stylish boutique property located at Shanghai’s Cool Docks hotspot.
On our final morning in China, we took a sidecar motorcycle for a glamorous exploration of Shanghai’s key areas. We visited a modern art district, a boutique shopping area, the former French Concession and a local park. In the evening we took a walk to the opulent House of Roosevelt, located on the Bund nearby before heading out to the airport for our flight back home.
The next day we flew to Hangzhou and upon arrival immediately went to the Banyan Tree Resort, located in the picturesque XiXi Wetlands. Here we saw the stunningly beautiful “Impressions Hangzhou” show in VIP seats. We also had dinner at the fantastic Dragon Well Manor restaurant, arguably one of China’s best. The next morning we visited the beautiful Lingyin Temple, followed by a walk along the “9 creeks, 18 gullies”, a peaceful path connecting pristine forest and tea plantations.