02 June 2006

Day 1 - Kuala Lumpur to Shanghai

The whole family was up at 5.00 a.m. to get ready for our trip to the airport for the check-in at the airport. We have hired a van from a tour company to send us to the airport. The van arrived and the whole family was on the way to the airport with our luggage. We arrived at about 6.50 a.m. where we meet with the tour leader and other guest who were joining us on the trip. There were 12 other people joining us (excluding the tour leader - Ivy Teo), all couples. It was just nice to have 18 for a trip and all of us are young and eager. The oldest member being my mother-in-law and the youngest being my son.

The flight MH389 took off from KLIA at 8.30 a.m. and the flight was for about 4 hours. Nearly reaching Putong airport, the weather was raining there and the plane have to circle around for almost half and hour before we touched down.

We were greeted by the tour guide, Mr Liew, a Chinese chap who took us to the coach which was awaiting for our arrival. It was rainy and cold. We managed to board the coach by 6.24 p.m. and was on our way to Shanghai city.

Mr Liew the tour guide (a.ka. Siaw Liu as he called himself in Mandarin)

I was very impressed with the scenes along the highway on the way to Shanghai. Nice cars, nice highways, tall advertisement boards all along the way. But it was soaking wet.

When we reached Shanghai, wow, flyovers were few level high and the highest about 10 storey high near a bridge. The traffic was heavy due to the rain.

High rise flyover where many criss-cross each other and some are about ten stories high.

The tour guide spoke in Mandarin where I could only grasp a few of his word since I am not too familiar with Mandarin. The first stop was to the old market place at Xiang Yang Road. The coach stop us along a road but it was raining where were forced to buy umbrellas. It cost about RMB5 (RM2.50) for an umbrella which was not a good quality but it served its purpose of keeping our head dry.

The first thing we did at was to have our self some Dragon Dumpling at a famous and best restaurant in Shanghai, called Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant.

The best Dragon Dumpling (Siew Lung Pow) in Shanghai

According to the tour guide, if we would eat at the restaurant it will cost about RMB50 for 10 pieces of Dragon Dumplings, but we could also take away a the Dragon Dumplings for RMB20 for 10 pieces but the quality of the dumpling served at the restaurant and those taken away are different, that explained for the cost. We have also tried the steamed bun with crab ovary stuffing (see photo),
Steamed bun with crab ovary stuffing (delicious)

which cost RMB25 each, we had 4 of those. The soup require to be sucked out of the bun using a straw, streaming hot when it reach our mouth. The soup tasted delicious.

After walking around the market place (still raining heavily) for a while where there's lots of things for sale, we have to make our way back to the coach. Again, even with the umbrella in our hands, our shoes and bags were wet.

The coach took us to our dinner restaurant near the river. The restaurant was a dragon boat floating on the river banks. After dinner, we were taken a ferry ride on the river. The river separate the older Shanghai and the new Shanghai of Putong. The building were lighted up and the tour guide inform us that the lighting cost the city about RMB80,000 a night. It was cold and windy but the rain has stopped. The foggy condition did not allow me to take good photos of the city during the ferry ride.

The brightly lighted Shanghai skyline

The cold and windly ferry ride did not dampen my children's enjoyment

The view of the Pearl Tower taken during the ferry cruise

From the ferry ride, we were taken to the Pearl Tower, the world third highest tower and one of the showcase of Putong. We went up to the tower hoping for a grand night view of the city but to our disappointment, we were unable to see anything due to the fog.

At about 10.00 p.m. we were taken to check in to our accommodation for the night. Guess what, it was called Motel 168 and was situated quite a distant from the city. The most frightening thing was that the bed was hard.. it was a thin layer of cotton on a piece of plywood. We found out why was the bed so hard fro the tour guide the next morning.

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