Shanghai; where the East meets West

“So how do we get to our hotel from here?”, asked my niece, Wanda, upon arriving the Shanghai Pudong International Airport last November. Wanda had always wanted to follow me overseas and I said she could follow me to Shanghai under few conditions; partly pay her flight tickets and have her own pocket-money as this auntie was broke. Luckily she works to support her study, while having her own money to buy what she wants. Very independent girl.

“Ha, ha, I have no idea! I thought you did the research on how to get there?” I asked back. “Haha, I did not. Been busy with my A Level exam, remember?” was her reply.

We apparently had not done any research on the ground transportation in Shanghai. So both of us went around the airport looking for a way to get to our accommodation at Zhizaoju Road, Luwan District, Shanghai. We saw that the Maglev train would cost us ¥50 each, so I decided that we should take the cab. I was lazy to go through the hassle to get on the train and then get  on a bus to a place that is unknown to me; I mean how do I know where to get off? Taking a cab is much easier anywhere in the world as all I need to do is get in the cab, hand over the printed address to the driver, sit back and relax, and enjoy the view.

We arrived at the hotel about an hour later with ¥140 poorer. That’s RM70, and I thought it was not bad after all as I had to pay the same from Ampang to KLIA.

We were both very tired and the room was not ready even when I requested for an early check-in. We had to wait for about half an hour for the hotel to clean a room for us and we got to the room, it was not even like what was shown on the internet. Talk about ‘for illustration’ purpose only!! I should have known better. That would had not been the case if I had the money to stay in one of the hotels under the moonlit sky with many stars on the other side of the river in the heart of the city. This hotel that I booked was shining dimly under a couple of stars. I was broke, I certainly could not lavish on anything above than that.

I could see the disappointment on Wanda’s face but I told her that we wouldn’t be spending much time in the room as we would be out the whole day for 5 days. We just need a place to dump our things and beds to sleep at night.

The main reason for the trip was for me to attend Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) for 3 days and the other 2 days for us to explore Shanghai.

On the day we arrived, we slept until 3pm and decided to go out to find something to eat. It was cold and windy and we had no idea where to go. From Zhizaoju Road to Xietu Road, then Mengzi Road, then across Xujiahui Road to arrive at Madang Road Station.



walkluwan3Top two photos were taken around 4.30pm while the bottom one around 5.40pm. 5.40 was like 8pm already.

It was around 4pm but it was getting dark because hours of daylight are getting shorter with the onset of autumn. We thought of taking the train to Shanghai City Center but then scrapped the idea as we would be having the same problem of finding a place to eat at the city as we did not have a map or guide of places to eat; in our case the halal ones. So, we just walked aimlessly out of the station to Madang Road. We walked about 10 minutes before we saw a bakery shop, and a sushi restaurant few doors away. We bought some breads for later and had Udon noodles, Shrimp Spring Rolls, Chinese tea at the sushi restaurant.


We did not even know the name of the restaurant; we asked but the waitress replied back in Chinese. Luckily the menu was in English/Chinese. So we knew what to eat. Phew. Oh, the place seemed to have WiFi and once again we had a problem asking for the password. I just handed the phone to the cook (who went out for the kitchen to help us as the waitress had no idea what we were asking about) to type the password. Voila! We were connected back to the world known to us; Instagram for me and WeChat/Whatsapp for Wanda!! I posted some photos while eating. One must be wondering how on earth did I got on Instagram as it was blocked a month earlier following a protest in Hong Kong. A ‘little bird’ told me to install an app from Google Play before I leave for Shanghai and so I did. And that led me to share photos of beautiful Shanghai with Instagram friends.

On the second day, we went to the CCBF located at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, Guo Zhan Road by cab.



The second edition of the CCBF was held from 20 to 22 November was a feast of children’s publications for industry professionals and young readers to enjoy. Supported by the official Chinese publishing-related bodies, the 2014 CCBF offered a rich agenda of activities and opportunities to meet key players at all levels of the publishing industry with the aim of stimulating international rights trading, opening up new sales and distribution channels for children’s publications and, ultimately, expanding partnerships in the global market. I met with a Chinese publisher to show some of the work done for their future books and quickly got the deal. It will be launched in Singapore around May 2015.

After the book fair we went to the River Mall located across the road. We thought of looking for a place to eat but could not find any suitable ones, so we headed back to the hotel. After taking shower, we walked around the hotel to look for something to eat. We were always hungry as we walked a lot and that the weather was cold. We found Carrefour Express few blocks away from the hotel and guess what we found? Mamee Chef!!! We we laughing like crazy all the way to our room.


With a full tummy, we got ourselves connected to the Internet afterwards to keep up with home and to upload photos. And then slept. I woke up around 5am and stared on the ceiling. Used the time to draw some.

It was the same routine the next day and we went to the book fair. I did some side income there drawing for people. Sold some of my painted bags as well. Within few hours I became ¥500 richer.

After the book fair, we went back to the hotel to keep my drawing tools and then took a cab to the Old City of Shanghai. We paid ¥14 as the old town is situated on the same side of the river. Our main transportation here was cab as we do not want to get lost and spend our time finding our ways around. It was an ideal choice for an old aunt and her niece.

oldcityOur photo was photo-bombed by this Pakistani couple. LOL.

The Old City is the area inside the ancient walled city of Shanghai; it is one of the most picturesque areas of the city, with many buildings in traditional Chinese style. The city began as a walled medieval town at least 1000 years ago. The walls, built mainly for protection against Japanese pirates, ringed the city around what are today Remin and Zhonghua Roads. The walls however, have been demolished.

We bought something for people at home as well as something four ourselves; Cheongsams to wear on the last day of the book fair. It costs me ¥340 for both cheongsams! And I was broke again. Anyway, I made same plan again for the last day of the book fair and thought I could be rich again if I draw more. We discussed and wished that we could make around the same amount or maybe a bit more.

It was around 9pm that we decided we spent enough. We hailed a cab but was not successful. One cab asked for ¥50 but knowing that the fair was much cheaper, we decided to walk out from the area a bit. We walked pass a market and to the main road.


After unsuccessful waiting for half an hour and being overtook by some locals, we decided to cross the road and quickly got ourselves a cab.

viewfrompbView from the pedestrian bridge.

Come the last day of the book fair, our wish came true. I made ¥1200!! Yippee! It was a great experience as I had never done that before. I should be doing that a lot to cover my travel cost, kan? But seriously, it was tiring. I took a break few times and told the people that I will be back in half an-hour but before it was even half an-hour, they were already queueing.

medrawAll these were sold. I was out of paper!

We set aside for our fare to airport and spent the remaining to visit Tianzifang and The Bund on our last day in Shanghai.

Tianzifang is a renovated residential area in the French Concession area of Shanghai, China. Also known for small craft stores, coffee shops, trendy art studios and narrow alleys, the place has become a popular tourist destination in Shanghai, and an example of preservation of local Shikumen architecture.

Tianzifang is largely hidden from the neighbouring streets, as it grew from the inside of the block outward and has more than 200 diverse small businesses such as cafes, bars, restaurants, art galleries, craft stores, design houses and studios, and even French bistros.


The Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The area centres on a section of Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road) within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong, in the eastern part of Huangpu District.

The word “bund” means an embankment or an embanked quay. The word comes from the Persian word band, through Hindustani, meaning an embankment, levee or dam (a cognate of English terms “bind”, “bond” and “band”, and the German word “Bund”.

The Bund houses 52 buildings of various architectural styles, generally Eclecticist, but with some buildings displaying predominantly Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, Renaissance Revival, Baroque Revival, Neo-Classical or Beaux-Arts styles, and a number in Art Deco style.

bundWanda walking at The Bund.

bund2Shanghai buildings seen from The Bund.

bund3One of the classic buildings at The Bund.

We were both tired from walking and decided to go back to the hotel around 5pm. We had a rest before walking again to the sushi restaurant. We packed our things to leave for home the next day.

We took a cab to the nearest Maglev station, had coffee, paid ¥100 for the Maglev ride, reached the airport in 10 minutes!, checked-in, had lunch and coffee again, walked to the security area and boarded the flight. And that wrapped our trip in Shanghai.


Shanghai, till we meet again.  Zài huì!

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  1. ” I did some side income there drawing for people. Sold some of my painted bags as well. Within few hours I became ¥500 richer.”

    wah.. seronoknya Kak Em…. hehehe,,, dapat duit tabung on the spot…

            1. haha.. kalau muka mcm artis, mungkin la ada org nak layan 😛 tapi silap2 kena hantar balai polis pulak sebab dok minta sedekah.. baru je tgk kat tv berita semalam org dok buat operasi tangkap pengemis tepi jln..

                1. masuk penjara dan masuk paper.. hehe.. from nobody to somebody famous.. ok la juga tu 😛 new & exciting experience! lol..

                    1. yela kan.. famous buat benda baik baru syok.. bertambah ramai yg syg.. hihi.. silap2 sampai ada kelab peminat lagi.. 😉

                1. hehe. sampai dah beruban pula.. try la new & variety skills mcm kak Em.. drawing, colouring, knitting, crocheting, all forms of art and whatever necessary things to learn.. kalau setakat nak tunggu je, mmg tak akan discover la sampai bila2 😛 saya pun baru nak start belajar lukis more seriously.. semalam beli buku utk belajar lukis portrait of flowers, fruits and.. lupa apa lagi satu..

                    1. hehe.. betul jugak tu.. saya mesti nak tulis sampai penuh satu poskad.. tapi kecewa bila kita dah tulis panjang berjela, dpt pula poskad yg ada 1-2 ayat je.. hampeh.. -_-“

                    2. imasha: libby tulis postcard ikut mood, kalau mood bagus tulis panjang panjang….kalau mood tak ok..memang say hi and bye jer…dan tulis besar besar

              1. eh, bila masa alia komen ni? baru je perasan.. hmm, how many time we should practice before we become perfect? that’s something to ponder upon.. >.<

      1. utk org yg jarang travel mcm saya, reading other people’s travel journey is always fun! sgt berguna utk panduan di masa depan if I manage to travel oversea 😉

            1. rasanya, baca pengalaman org masa travel lagi membantu dari baca buku travel guide kot.. sebab biasa mesti ada je tips yg tak didapati dlm buku2 yg jual kat kedai.. 🙂

      1. tu la kan.. dah ulang cakap mcm tu seribu kali kot tapi tak jugak berpeluang nak pi oversea.. harap2 la murah rezeki satu hari nanti dpt pusing seluruh negara..

  2. Shanghai is also one of the places I visited during 2013 with travel agent. I visit The Bund at night, very beautiful lighting.

    p/s: next time bring me along, I can help you translate 😛 haha

            1. yela tu jaja nak angkat brg.. silap2 nanti org yg kena angkat jaja.. dah kurus keding ada hati nak jadi miss porter pulak 😛

                  1. mana ada rezeki nak kerja under travel agency…pergi under travel agency jer..itupun kawan dapat free dari travel agent dia sebab dia ada amik package lain..huhu

                    1. apa maksud dpt free tu? hehe.. pantang dgr perkataan free, terus interested 😛 hari ni harga pasport dah kurang jadi RM200. So, siapa yg baru nak buat pasport tu, jom pegi! (saya je kot yg takde pasport kat sini >.<)

                    2. wah, best juga tu.. dpt tinggal hotel berapa bintang? baik juga kwn libby mau bagi.. dpt save byk juga tu sebab tmpt tinggal biasanya tak murah..

                    3. sama la.. kalau benda lain tak kisah sgt.. tapi bab toilet mmg susah kalau tak bersih.. blh hilang mood holiday dibuatnya >.<

                    4. sebenarnya, rasa toilet kat Malaysia la yg paling teruk especially tandas awam.. ramai org yg tak reti jaga kebersihan dan menyusahkan org lain.. sad but true.. 🙁 negara dunia ke-3 mmg problem bab toilet (dan prasarana lain juga la).. kalau pegi negara membangun, rasanya ok je kot..

                    5. sebab libby pernah ke china dan taiwan jer… pengalaman libby, tandas taiwan memang top …kat tengah bukit pun tandas nya teramat bersih..salute

                    6. semalam baru terbaca satu blog dimana orang itu bertravel ke Jepun, wow…sekeliling yang ditunjuk…sangat super bersih

        1. oh, mcm tu sekali ya.. tapi mmg tekak org melayu tak berapa sesuai dgn masakan korea kot.. nasib baik la maggi ada import ke sana kan.. hihi.. eh, ke export.. tetiba jadi confuse >.<

          1. Hujan emas di negeri orang, lebih baik di negeri sendiri….
            Kadang mee segera ni dah yakin halal, mudah, murah dan memang kena dengan selera dah.

            Masa dok asrama dulu, memang dok rendam megi ja keja. Tapi tak elok la makan selalu. Rambut pun gugur ja. Tapi kalau pi jalan2 ka, camping ka, haaaa wajib la ada megi 😀

          2. jangan kata tekak orang Melayu, masa Libby travel kat China 5 hari itu..memang rindu sambal malaysia,…wakakka…rasa masakan walaupun cina tapi tetap lain rasanya….huhu

            1. Tiap-tiap hari makan sambal, memang kalau tak ada… aduhhhhhhh tak puas makan.

              Tapi kan, kalau kat China kan, sate kambing dia memang terbaiklah… sedappppppppppp!!! Sebelum ni saya tak suka makan kambing. Tapi lepas makan sate tu, memang favourite lah!!!!

              Aikkk dah tertukar cerita kambing pulak heheheheheh

                1. eh, ada sate kambing ye kat China? bestnyaaa.. saya mmg suka sate kambing 😀 selalu suka tgk rancangan yg ada tunjuk masakan2 terkenal di China dan Taiwan.. bila la dpt merasa pegi sana..

                    1. plannya mcm tu la.. tapi bila boleh pegi sana tu yg masih tiada kepastian.. huhuhu.. >.< buku travel islamic style dah berlambak dpt dari MATTA Fair.. cuma tunggu masa je nak merealisasikan hasrat ni..

                    2. yela.. tapi nak plan pun, money come and go.. next year much better kot financially.. or maybe bln 7 ni sebab dpt duit kutu.. hehe..

                    3. thanks libby 🙂 kalau jadi travel, mesti akan pos poskad punya pada kwn2 kat sini.. tu jela ‘kenduri’ yg mampu nak buat.. hehe..

              1. oh, kiranya maggi mmg takde jual kat korea la ni.. kena request kat mamee or nestle minta import produk mereka ke sana 😉

        1. saya pun dulu suka maggi tomyam.. tapi dah lama tak mkn.. mkn tomyam yg beli kat kedai mkn je sekarang.. haha.. pernah try mamee chef tapi tak berkenan dgn rasanya.. lagi suka maggi tomyam jenama nestle..

            1. hehe.. tak promote.. cuma share pengalaman.. lol.. saya baru juga beli maggi spicy beef korea tapi tak try lagi.. sebab tgk komen org kata pedas dan mcm best je.. tapi harganya blh tahan mahal.. biasa saya mmg tak beli flavor pelik2.. tiba2 pula hari tu rasa nak try flavor yg satu ni padahal sebelum ni tak pernah mkn pun masakan korea.. next blh cuba perasa itik pula 😉

              1. Libby tak makan beef, tapi macam mana pun flavor biasa contoh curry is always the best…bubur sebiji telur jer..dah puas hati. Contoh kalau pergi pizzahut, the best yang Libby suka pun Hawaian pizza..huhu

              2. Imaisha, saya dah makan maggi royal beef korea tu…
                Honest saya cakap, langsung tak best.. hehehe
                memang pedas.. tapi pedasnya tak macam pedas cili malaysia…
                lebih kurang macam wasabi.. pedas tapi tak kena dengan cita rasa melayu saya…

                saya ni memang peminat makanan super pedas… tapi maggi royal tu x SEDAPPPP…
                rasa sup dia macam air biasa2 je….. tak rasa rempahnya…. tak macam maggi kari or asam pedas…

                1. iye ke jaja?
                  eh dah sebut pasal korea ni, saya nak tanya la. Siapa penah makan kimci? sedap tak? Rasa mcm mana?
                  Saya suka test perasa baru. tapi suami tak suka. Jadi tak pernah masuk restoren korea lagi…

                  1. Saya tak tahulah kalau magi royal orang lain suka. Tapi bagi saya memang tak sedap..pastu mahal. Saya yang kimchi Korea tak pernah makan. Yang jepun je makan.

                  2. glory: Libby pernah makan kimchi…rasa ok jer..acceptable. Kawan Libby kata kalau masak maggi , masuk jer kimchi (boler beli dari pasaraya) dan tak perlu letak perasa, memang sedad…tapi Libby tak pernah try…huhu

                    1. tgk dlm drama korea diorg mkn maggi campur kimchi mcm sedap je.. tapi saya pun tak pernah try lagi mkn kimchi.. tak tau tekak ni blh terima ke tak.. kwn2 saya yg pernah mkn mknn korea ckp diorg cuma blh terima satu mknn je masa try kat seoul garden ke mana tah.. tupun dah lupa apa nama makanannya..

                    2. harga murah ke kat seoul garden? sampai mkn byk pula.. hehe.. rasa mau pegi la try.. nak tunggu merasa mkn kat korea, rasa mcm lama lagi kot baru ada peluang.. huhu..

                    3. oh, libby kuat mkn la ni? hihi.. puluh puluh kira standard la utk restoran.. bln dpn blh try masa chinese new year 😉 tunggu holiday baru syok mkn besar..

                  3. Jane, saya pernah makan kimchi dan….. saya suka!!!

                    Saya suka makan kimchi kalau saya kat Korea. Kalau balik Malaysia, sambal belacan jugak yang saya cari…
                    Kat sana, saya selalu order nasi goreng kimchi… lepas tu makan ngan kimchi lagi…. heheheheh

                    1. eh, ada nasi goreng juga ke kat sana? Daebak! 😀 wah, byk juga pengalaman Syuq melancong ye.. dah boleh buat travelog la mcm kak Em 😉

                2. alamak, lambat la jaja bagitau.. org dah terbeli.. blh jual blk tak sbb tak sentuh satu pun lagi.. huhu.. >.< hmm, nampak gaya kena letak bahan2 tambahan bagi sesuai citarasa.. ceh, menyesal pula tak try masa ada promoter bagi tester kat giant hari tu.. aiyoyo, siapa suruh gatal nak cuba perisa baru -_-"

                    1. Imaisha.. cuba la dulu. Kadang citarasa lain-lain… sebab tu seronok jugak cuba makanan-makan yang baru.

                      Kegemaran semua mestilah perasa kari, ayam dan tomyam… yang lain tu boleh cuba la kan. Megi Kari yang adabi punya sedap wooo…

                    2. ok, nanti esok nak try. harap2 la rasanya tak seteruk yg digambarkan.. huhu.. esok dah cuti, jadi kalau sakit perut ke apa, ada masa nak recover sebelum masuk kerja 😛

                    3. dah try dah sampai 2 kali.. haha.. first try makan maggi saja.. ok la rasanya.. tak la seteruk yg dibayangkan.. blh terima cuma tak rasa nak beli lagi.. huhu.. second time try campur telur.. tak sedap pula.. kepedasan berkurang.. pastu kuah rasa mcm pelik.. kesimpulannya, this is the first and last time to buy maggi korea royal spicy beef 😛

                    4. imaisha: kadang kadang normal favor is the best….ni makin lama makin banyak choice, tapi libby balik balik pun beli curry , ayam, and vegetarian jer..kekek

                    5. betul tu.. normal flavour juga yg lebih sedap dari perisa2 baru.. pelik la.. org RnD ni patutnya cipta rasa yg lebih sedap dari normal, tapi yg terjadi adalah sebaliknya.. huhu..

            1. adoi, lapar dibuatnya semua dok cakap bab mkn je.. saya pun suka asam laksa juga terutama kalau buat style maggi goreng.. blh tambah 2-3 kali.. hihi.. kalau mee sedap, saya biasa beli maggi soto ke apa nama tah..

                1. haha.. panjang pula perbincangan pasal mee segera 😛 tak sangka kwn2 byk pengalaman mkn mee segera.. lol. tapi kami ni mmg dah biasa keluar topik.. kak Em tak terkejut punya 😉

      1. saya paling suka mamee chef tomyam…
        lain orang lain citarasa… hehehe
        tapi 1 je tak best… mee mamee tomyam kenyal dan tebal… tak sedap makan..
        tapi perencahnya bestttttttt…

    1. betul tu… meggi mkn sejuk2 best woo…
      saya kalau pergi waterpark, lepas mandi2 sejuk2 tu perut lapar memang beli meggi cup je kat sana 🙂

      1. saya rasa masa saya daki gunung kinabalu pun, ada bawa maggi juga.. tak ingat ada masak ke tak.. atas sejuk yg amat kot.. nasib la ada restoran.. tapi nak mandi dan buang air, mmg payah..

    1. kalau ada teman takpe la.. kalau sorang2 kat tempat org, mcm scary la pulak jln mlm2.. nanti sesat ke or jadi apa2 yg tak diingini, buat naya je..

    1. busy sgt dgn mcm2 hal.. hari ni ada ramai pelawat dtg.. dari pagi tadi lari sana sini.. sekarang baru blh relax sikit walaupun diorg tak balik lagi.. >.< penat sungguh la..

        1. hehe.. saya pun curi masa sikit.. esok lusa baru free kot.. tapi byk lagi benda nak settle kan.. tiba2 dah nak habis bulan pertama dlm tahun baru ni.. cepatnya masa berlalu.. ok je, libby dpt no. 1, saya nak no. 2 ya 😉

                1. haha.. mesti jaja komen lagi byk tgh mlm nanti.. saya akan pastikan saya dpt no.2.. so, no.3 dan no. 1 tak kisah la siapa pun..

                    1. entah2 kak Em combine hadiah sekali dgn bulan dpn kot.. mesti kak Em tgh busy ni.. post baru pun tak ada lagi.. esok dah last day untuk bln januari..

                    2. huhu.. dah agak sunyi blog kak Em ni.. semua dah kembali menyibukkan diri dgn kehidupan masing2 ya.. kena komen sorang2 la nampaknya.. >.<

            1. yela kan.. nasib la next week ada cuti Thaipusam.. pastu raya cina.. boleh la rehat dan catch up on writing postcards plus other personal things to do..

                    1. libby cuti CNY berapa hari? kalau my Chinese friend kat ofis ni, CNY mesti cuti lebih kurang seminggu.. lama juga.. saya cuti raya pun biasa 5 hari je.. nak cuti lama2 pun, duit tak ada.. huhu.. maklum la, kalau raya, kita kena bagi duit raya kat org sebab dah kerja.. kenapa la tak blh ikut Chinese style.. selagi tak kawin, blh dpt duit.. kan best mcm tu.. lalala..

                    2. hihihi… amboi, imaisha ni berangan nak dpt duit raya banyak la tu….
                      Tak apa, nnti CNY minta angpow dari libby 🙂

                    3. haha.. tau takpe jane 😉 yela, money easy come and easy go.. tu yg terpaksa harapkan angpow dari org lain..

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