Hello! This was actually a repost from my not so long ago attempt to blog. 🙂 I just have to share it now being the happy traveler that I am! Bon Voyage!!! ✈
Must see sights are the Oriental TV Tower, The Bund, Xintiandi! The lights, the class and modernity of it all is simply amazing. They’re simply feast for the eyes.
- Communication and Transportation
Sadly, it was actually a challenge because with the modernity and class and all, only few locals then tried to speak to us in English. For directions to taxi (going to H&M), we had to ask our guide to write down the place on Chinese. There’s no Counterpart English signs everywhere! I went to buy something (eyelash curler) in the department store…we actually used sign language! Even at the restaurant…to ask for wooden chopsticks, I had to act it out. 😦
|We never figured this out! Store SALE sign in Shanghai!|
In Nanjing Road, which was like the main shopping area is designed like a shopping Street in Germany or our Bonifacio High Street in Manila (only x10 in area), people will be showing you catalogue of imitations/fake Class A (supposedly) designer items, the likes of LV, Prada, Rolex…then they will bring you in an alley, better to know prices in Greenhills or 168 just in case you decided to go along with them.
The Yuan Garden Bazaar for souvenirs and Chinese goodies (ala Aji Ichiban goodies), if you know the prices in Divisoria/168/Greenhills, you can really do hard bargain. Take note, that all communicationr should be in Chinese or there’s always the classic calculator…better have it handy! Luckily, we made it to go to H&M (finally!), I was able to buy my son items not found here even in the USA (Lightning Mcqueen Shirts ala Debenhams for Kids style), although I didn’t get as much for me except for one classic blouse, and some bling bling.
- The Shanghai and Hangzhou Tour
Our tour guide talked about apartments, cost of living for hours and hours, but the other tour guide from the other group was supposedly better and funnier! I wish I took more photos to document my trip. 😦
1. Traditional Chinese Medicine Center – I searched the internet about this place, but I didn’t find any additional information, funny though, since that it’s supposedly a government funded research center. They will bring you in an unmarked building, but will have pictures of government leaders from all over the world who supposedly visited the center. They will divide the group by three (the smallest would be group of 3)…they will let you try the foot bath using bamboo material, explain benefits of chinese meds vs. western, offers bentosa cupping using bamboo cups (which is supposedly be better than glass), then the “doctor” will feel your pulse, ask about your general health profile, then will prescribed you medicines (with prescription and standby credit card machine facility)…take note, I was prescribed meds (for diet and women’s health) worth Php 14000. Good thing we were in a big group, so we were able to manage the intensive sales talk, but the other group (of 3) they were able to buy worth Php 77K of it!
Take note, we didn’t have time limit on this center, the tour guide allowed us to stay as long as 2hrs or as long as there will be people buying! While in Nanjing and Bazaar, we were given max of one hour to shop! Talk about commissions!
2. Jade Store – as expected, No time limit! Typical Chinese Jade Store Tour…explaining quality, authenticity, benefit of jade. Good thing we got a tip from the previous group, from 1000RMB, you can bargain to 100 RMB…talked about the challenge to bring it down to that amount! But true enough, after 2.5 hours of negotiation, 10 steps away from the exit, a 2200RMB jade necklace was sold to us at 110RMB (same necklace is sold in Manila for Php 1300, so it was relatively a good buy)…and the tour guide left the store with a jade bracelet on her and a big smile on her face! Oh well…Lucky her! 🙂
|The Greet Tea Plantation|
3. The Green Tea Plantation in Hangzhou was 3 hours drive from the city …I’m a tea drinker and was one of the first to buy. But overall, after a well-rehearsed selling story, you can bargain to get Buy one big can, take small can coming from the initial offer of buy 2 big cans, free 1 small cans…you can actually ask extra empty small cans if you want to give it away as pasalubong.
4. Hotel in Hangzhou– it’s supposed to be a popular, local hotel along the main road, but take note, laundry bags (in cloth) are not free, you have to pay for them! So this actually caused us delay as some brought them, but they either have to return them for to pay for them if they decided to really keep them.
Overall, communication is a key! There is Ikea, but we were uncomfortable to check it out on our own since we were afraid we will not be able to find our way back…knowing their language is a must! or at least to have someone who knows how to speak, so you can really enjoy Shanghai! It’s really developing very fast as an internation city, as they just hosted the World Expo 2010, maybe they wouldn’t mind to speak in English or even communicate with the tourist (the likes of how they do it in Vietnam,Hongkong, and of course in Singapore).
Well, the experience was all worth it! Some mishaps, charge to experience! =)