Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This is life 7: Centre of Asia, Shanghai

Does Shanghai has the status of Centre of Asia? This is the question all visitors to this great city should ask. A 2 hour ride train ride from Hangzhou to Shanghai cost RM50($10). It was quite a smooth ride although the female deejay may posed as a nuisance when she suddenly speaks in the middle of the journey. There was a Chinese little kid accompanied by his parents and grandparents who was allowed to make great screams for a large part of the train ride. This reflects some details of China's one child policy.

Once the step out on real Shanghai, immediately the mood change. It was crowded with rushing people carrying heavy baggages. The streets and everywhere were congested. Although Singapore and Hangzhou might have large amounts of people, it would not prepare anyone for this shock. The blaze of the late spring sun just starts to heat things up.

This megatower of Jinmao is the tallest building in Shanghai containing the luxurious hotel chain of Hyatt. Singapore cannot no longer claim that they have the tallest hotel in the world.
A night at Hyatt probably cost at least RM2000 but with the complimentary of this magnificent view of this great city. The buildings stretch as far as the horizon. Construction endless and the cranes are probably taller than any structures in Singapore. Watch as this city changes with every second; an old buildling demolished and new buildling is up.

The city view may not be as clear as Singapore's waterfront. Amid this screen of haze, is the underlying social and environmental cost of pollution of relentless expansion. Singaporeans certainly breathe better air.

Even Capitaland cannot miss the ride on the economic boom of Shanghai. The mutual imports of China and Singapore. Not only does this shopping mall boost the unique name of Raffles City, but this mall contains the favourites of many Singaporeans, like Breadtalk, a foodcourt (managed by Breadtalk with the familar name of Dashidai) and Osim.

With all these massive buildings, the most spetacular view will likely on the Bund or Waitan. This site contains an equally massive number of people; tourists from all over the world and locals collecting plastic bottles. With a 360 degress spectrum of buildings; the modern Shanghai on the opposite coast, the old glorious Shanghai just across the road. As the sunshine starts to diminish, the buildings' lights and the neon advertisements replace the lost light of the night. And every second, the view changes; the world's famous brands of lenova, Toyota and LG, starts flashing their first light for the day.

Perhaps the most iconic of buildings in Shanghai is the TV Tower. It does not take much waves to get this into the mind.

The charm of old Shanghai of European buildings; with both the glorious and at the same time bloody dark past.

Perhaps the only old buildings left standing are these colonial buildings built by the Europeans. An oasis of Shanghai, while the surroundings get torn down and replaced with new ones.


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