18 September 2010

My journey to the Middle Kingdom

Over a month back I sent out an email to Shreshth, Shivani and Ekta that my random searches on some travel websites had resulted in finding a cheap flight option to Shanghai and that we should probably make a trip to the see the architectural zoo on display at the world expo.. they all promptly replied yes and so began planning for my first trip to the middle kingdom. Before the end of the day I had gone thru tonnes of travel blogs/websites, download a few podcasts on Chinese culture, saved a whole much of tourist maps and emailed everyone I knew in china .. all 5 of them :-) ..
Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Like every over ambitious tourist who's gone to China (on a shoestring budget) I too was faced with the difficult task of trying to plan to see as much as possible in China in a very short span of time. Of course by the end of half a day of web surfing it became clear that it's impossible to even see the tip of this gigantic country and I changed gears to plan for a more realistic trip. The new aim was to try see the cities of Shanghai and Beijing in some detail and if we were very disciplined probably a couple of smaller cities in their vicinity.

Pundong district as seen from across the river
How fast a month has flown by....here I am at the end of my first day in shanghai, extremely impressed and puzzled at the same time - Impressed at the quality of the city (it's immaculate infrastructure and global skyline) and puzzled at the ridiculous banter we constantly hear about how China is exactly like India only a bit bigger.. In reality China (or at least this city) is everything that India(n cities) wishes it was... with the lack of political will and rampant corruption that exists back home I doubt if we'll ever get here..

the plaza outside Shanghai railway stationthe omnipresent Pearl TV tower Over the next few posts I will share more photos from Shanghai before I move on to other parts of China.
Photographers clicking away at the Pudong skyline.

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