Now that I am sitting here waiting for my flight back let me share some interesting findings in Shanghai.♪───Ｏ（≧∇≦）Ｏ────♪
Shanghai is a very busy city. But unlike other big cities, most of the shops are very quiet even at this point of time.
This is how quiet Zara is in Shanghai…
The main reason is that people rely on online website called taobao.com to do most of their shopping. From food to cosmetics to baby powder or eletronic devices or tickets, as long as you can name it you can find it on taobao – with very reasonable good price. For example this bag is only 178RMB (less than 40AUD). I’ve seen this bag myself and its definitely worth the money. Moreover, those shops allow you to return the product if you are not happy, and in customer reviews it has pictures from real customers. You can hardly go wrong online these days.
Actually most part of life has gone online for young Shanghainese. They pay by WeChat Pay most of time (similar to Apple Pay but is used very widely); almost every shop offers ‘Groupon’ on an app similar to Zomato or Yelp and everyone buys it. Even with limited access to those global tools, people are using local apps which provides even more functions so no one misses or cares about Google or Facebook or YouTube or EBay. I felt like I come from Jurassic when I went out with my friends and still pay by cash or credit card…⁄(⁄ ⁄ ⁄ω⁄ ⁄ ⁄)⁄
The transportation in Shanghai is also very different (at least from Melbourne or Sydney). Almost all shopping centres is assessable by at least one metro line. If you wonder how… well this is how Shanghai subway looks like. ↖(^ω^)↗
People also need card to access public transportation (like Opal or Myki). For buses coins are still acceptable but for trains you must tap the card to enter the station. Once you are in, you don’t need to tap on/ off to change lines. During peak hours the train comes every 2 mins without delay (compared to the train at Normanhurst in Sydney comes every 15 mins and Carnegie in Melbourne around 5-7 mins). The only annoying part is at every station there is a security check (bag scan). So annoying!!!(´･Д･)」 Especially the staff are very unprofessional and most of the time don’t even look at the monitor. Nevertheless they almost force you to go through this check at every station!
Before I came back there was an accident in Melbourne Flinder station where someone fell off the platform. This will never happen in Shanghai. Not because people there are very disciplined and optimistic – on the contrary because such accident happened so many times, that the government had to build a ‘gate’ in front of every platform. The gate will only open when train arrives. So there is 0 chance for anyone to fall off… it is very considerate isn’t it?
Lastly FOOD! In Shanghai there are two types of food – restaurant food or street food. Restaurant food is basically international price. A meal for 2 can easily go 100-200 RMB (20-50 AUD) depending on where you go. I am a fan of street food though – even it’s known as not hygienic and not recommended for non-locals. Eating street food is basically one of the biggest joy of going back! (((o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o))) As the name indicates, street food can be found in small lanes in old business districts and mostly known by people in the same area. The trick is talking to local people or visit dianping.com, search by key word and sort by price + popularity (it’s Chinese Zomato or Yelp).
Typical breakfasts – cost around 4-8 RMB (1-2 AUD)
Hmm not sure if it’s helpful but here are some typical Shanghai street food which you can use as key word. Try copy and paste and there are plenty of reviews on Dianping.com or picture reference on Google!
- 鸡蛋饼 (Ji Dan Bing) – crispy thin pancake with egg
- 糍饭团 (Ci Fan Tuan) – as above pic 1
- 生煎 (Sheng Jian) – as above pic 2, round one. Pork inside
- 锅贴 (Guo Tie) – as above pic 2, long one. Pork (or beef sometimes) inside
- 馄饨 (Hun Tun) – woton
- 汤团 (Tang Tuan) – dumplings. Normally with black sesame or pork inside
- 小笼 (Xiao Long) – this most people knows
- 菜包/ 肉包 (Cai Bao/ Rou Bao) – bun with veg/ pork inside
- 花卷 (Hua Juan) – steamed bun with chives
- 大排面 (Da Pai Mian) – noodle with pork ribs
- 辣肉面 (La Rou Mian) – noodle with spicy mince