Noilly Prattle: China - Winter 2016 (A pit stop in Shanghai)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

China - Winter 2016 (A pit stop in Shanghai)

the Maglev topping at a mere 300 kph
     We got up at the crack of dawn in order to catch an 8:50am flight to Shanghai and arrived still half asleep at Pudong International Airport around 10:30am. Took the Maglev and subway to downtown Shanghai. I was a little disappointed with the Maglev because it only went 300 kph instead of the breathtaking 450 kph experience I remember when we took it eight years ago. Oddly, for such a high speed train, the Maglev only runs a short distance to the Longyang Road subway stop where you have to change trains. The subway entrance isn't clearly marked so it took a little game of hide and seek before we finally found it with the help of some equally confused locals. You can also take the subway all the way from Pudong Airport to downtown Shanghai, but it takes about 40 minutes longer than the Maglev, and you still have to change trains at Guanglan Road since Line 2 (green line) doesn't go all the way to Pudong Airport, but you can change trains on the same platform making it less confusing.

Radisson Blu tower in the background
Shanghai seems to be perpetually shrouded in smog
        The Radisson Blu Hotel, where we were staying for a one-night stopover in Shanghai had a pleasant surprise for us. We chose the hotel for its convenient location on Peoples Square. The two subway lines that we intended to use crossed conveniently at Peoples Square easily accessible from the hotel. When we checked in the desk clerk informed us that we were getting a room upgrade to a Junior Suite on the 29th floor with a lovely view of smog enshrouded Shanghai. It was still early afternoon so we went down to the pool and jacuzzi for a pleasantly relaxing hour.

beautiful piece of sculpture of dragons carved in Jade in hotel lobby

Zapatas restaurant in the French Concession
       Since we had to stay in Shanghai overnight, we planned to go to Zapatas, one of our favorite Shanghai haunts, for dinner and drinks. Zapatas is a Mexican food restaurant in the old French Concession. We found it through TripAdvisor the last time we were in Shanghai and fell in love with the place. The main attraction, for me, was their Margarita Supreme. It was the most wonderful of alcoholic concoctions based, of course, in Tequila and served in a “glass” the size of a small goldfish bowl. 

Margarita classics at Zapatas
       We took subway Line 1 (red line) to the Henhshan Rd. stop and walked about 500m along Hengshan Road to Zapatas. The building hadn't changed a bit and, the place being empty on a weekday night, we were able to sit at our favorite table. The Margarita Supreme, alas, was no longer on the menu so we ordered classic Margaritas instead. The Fajita I ordered came with a shot of tequila on the side which I added to my dying classic and revived it. The air was warm when we left Zapatas and the buzz from the revivified Margarita made for a pleasant stroll back up Hengshan Road and the subway back to the hotel and a good night's sleep before our flight to Dali.

Line 1 (red line) subway

Shanghai seems smog enshrouded day and night

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