being a tourist for a weekend

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Studying or working abroad implicates the risk to miss out on being a tourist and do some sightseeing. Before going abroad I always like to buy some travel guides to be fully prepared for my new destination. I had two for San Diego and now I have one for Shanghai. I also wanted to buy a travel guide for Slovakia but the lady in the book store told me that they don’t have them in stock, but that I could have one for Slovenia instead. I still try to understand why I should buy a travel guide for Slovenia when I was going to Slovakia. Very strange sales approach. Anyway, I just love to look through those guides – to feel my excitement rising with every page. Then the day of traveling comes and the guide is hidden somewhere save in my suitcase. Unfortunately, it stays at that sacred place for far too long.

Going abroad for studying or working usually means that you will spend more than a couple of days in a new country. In my case, it was one year in San Diego, two months in Slovakia and now 3 months in China. So what happens is you arrive at this new place and decide to settle in first before doing all this crazy (and exhausting) sightseeing stuff. Then, you suddenly realize that you only have a few days left and you have to admit that you barely saw a thing. At least not the things you were reading about in your little travel guide. That’s usually the point when I start to panic a little bit and dig out this little book. The best thing that can actually happen in such a situation is to have a very good friend visiting you. This time I got lucky! Not only my friend was planning a 3 day stopover in Shanghai, but also my uncle was coming for one day, as he had some business in another town close by. Small world, right?  So, I had 3 three days to fill with Shanghai’s hot spots. Oh, and HOT is the keyword here. That weekend was the hottest weekend since I’m here. No, I think it was even the hottest weekend in my whole life. The temperature was somewhere around 38°C, which feels like 45-49°C. What doesn’t burn you makes you stronger, right?

Another advantage of having a friend over is to have a reason to sleep in a nice hotel in the downtown area. We chose the Radisson Blu Hotel at People’s Square. Just a few steps from the subway station. Oh, I’m still dreaming of their breakfast buffet and their beds. We ate and slept very very good. But the most impressive part of the Radisson is the Skybar in the 45th floor. Unfortunately, we discovered it on our last day, so we did not get a chance to see it at night. It must be amazing! This is my insider tip for everyone who is looking for a nice view over Shanghai. From there, you can see EVERYTHING! And the restaurant is turning. How cool is that? Ok, enough about the hotel. We also did some other things besides eating and sleeping. Practicing our negotiation skills at the fake market is only one example. We also went to the ‘Shanghai Circus World’ to see one of their acrobatic shows. Unfortunately, taking pictures and making videos was strictly prohibited. The show was just incredible. Not sure if incredible good or incredible insane. I think I go with the latter. Let’s say, there was more than one moment where we had to look away because we were too afraid of people getting seriously injured.


Check out the pictures below to get an impression of our little sightseeing adventure 🙂

Shanghai Tower: with 632m the 2nd highest tower in the world. The entrance fee was 160 RMB which is quite high. There are better places to enjoy the view for less money.

Tianzifang: area with lots of souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.

Xintiandi: small boutiques, restaurants and modern art. It also locates one of the famous Paulaner.

Vue Bar: famous and exclusive sky bar (Hyatt Hotel on the Bund). Of course, exactly on that day, Shanghai decided to save some energy and switched off the Pearl Tower.

Yu Garden: classical garden with traditional pavilions, old tea houses, little lakes full of koi-carps, and not to forget a lot of tourists.

Skybar within the Radisson Blu Hotel: very much recommended!

It was an awesome weekend and it meant a lot to me to show my friend where I spent the past two months. I really appreciate her visit.

Living in another country has a huge impact on one’s personality. At least I believe it does have on mine. Today, it is so easy to share photos and to stay in contact with your friends and family while living in a different country. Of course, that is a great thing. Still, you cannot communicate all the experiences you make – good AND bad, the places you see, the people you hang out with. This is why it is kinda big of a deal to visit your friends and family abroad. At least if you really want to understand what they are going through – why they come back as a slightly different person. This is something facebook, instagram or snapchat simply cannot do for you. And not to mention the fact that it gives you a great opportunity to explore the world! Take that chance! You will not only make your friend/family very happy – it will also enrich YOUR life!


Author: mariadventures89

aventurer - traveler - friend - sister - aunt - daughter - TV-show junkie - food - fitness - shopping - photography - music - books

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