Shanghai feels like a larger city than Beijing, but that may be because the traffic is a little bit heavier in and around it, and all of that vehicular activity and the roadways may give that feeling.
Shanghai has hidden surprises quite different from those in Beijing, from $1 dumpling dinners to the beautiful skyline of the Oriental Pearl Tower, that add to its character.
Some Shanghai areas look like futuristic scenes from the next sci-fi film, while others are low-key and trendy. The people were again incredibly friendly, and the food was just as delicious, but Shanghai’s outer areas may distinguish the city most.
Just outside Shanghai are two areas, Suzhou and Hangzhou, which contrast with the inner city greatly and make it all the more beautiful. Large lakes span what seem to be miles, and the hills are filled with tiny tea leaves bursting with flavor. In Hangzhou, we traveled along a canal so small that our boat often collided with others passing by. Everything was okay, and funny little experiences like that made the trip enjoyable. Stylish people and trendy boutiques make Shanghai feel like Manhattan, but the larger, less dense areas reminded me that I was somewhere new and exciting.
In Shanghai, we experienced high speed trains that travel at over 200 mph and ventured to outside areas that were filled with art, culture, and welcoming citizens. There were marvelous sculptures to see and intriguing factories to visit. Of my favorites were a silk factory and GTL, a product development company that is now the employer of an LIM College graduate. We also visited a knitwear company, Heshan Knitwear, and were able to see the thorough process that each individual garment must go through from fabric to pre-shipment.
Shanghai was unique because I was able to enjoy so many different industries - architecture, fashion, business, and even public transportation. It made me even that more excited to see and explore what the next stop would bring.