August 19th - Deja Vu, 5 Days in Shanghai

"I really like this picture of a Shanghai back alleyway"

Shanghai Adventure ~ 上海的探险

The long awaited Kung Fu School Shanghai Trip!

The Cripple Crew and I left our rural China academy and set out for the big city. All of us had minds filled with things to do, buy, and see during our nine days. 

JD wanted to explore and take pictures.

Philip and Shilat wanted to get plane tickets home.

Matt wanted to see the sights.

Josh and I wanted to eat some good food. (Really, we all did)

So, our trip began with a day of training and a night of riding the train.

"Hidden Cafe, shown to me by Matt and JD"

Secret Cafes ~ 秘密的咖啡馆

My days melded together in a blur of exploring, eating, and enjoying quality time with my friends. I ended up staying at my girlfriend's place while the others found a reasonable hostel in Shanghai. One of the first locations that my classmates took me exploring was a nice hidden cafe. Small, had a secret door you had to knock on, and was in a real quiet part of the city. I believe it was called "1984 Cafe" or something of the sort, either way it was a nice place to begin our day.

"Nice view of the buildings, somewhere in Shanghai"

The other days were spent exploring the areas around various metro stops. Some were quite eventful, with us finding many shops, roads, malls, and small restaurants to explore while others were not so eventful. Construction, rows of identical buildings, or business areas. Even though we wanted to stay away from the "tourist traps" that are scattered about the city, we ended up gravitating towards them. A "all roads lead to Rome" sort of feeling.

"桂圆枣茶, very good tea"

Tea and Coffee ~ 茶和咖啡

A highlight of the trip so far has been getting tea or coffee with the others as we explore. This simple act has proven to be a great way to start good conversations, recover from a long day of walking, or simply a way to find a cool new location. Its also allowed my classmates and I practice our Chinese, letting us learn new characters, words, and ways of ordering drinks/food. One of my favorite discoveries was this "Dragon Eye/Red Date Tea" in Qi Bao's tea house. Four ingredients perfectly combined together and infused with hot water to create a refreshing beverage... I'll have to try and recreate it at the academy for the winter or recovery days.

New Phone and Food ~ 新手机和美食

One thing I wasn't expecting was buying a new phone while in Shanghai but, just before the trip started, my old phone started to have issues. It became obvious in Shanghai that the phone would hinder my adventure and communication between my classmates so, I got a new Huawei Phone. Something so simple as a new gadget for a new adventure really adds to it. Not only am I exploring new areas of Shanghai but I'm also learning how to use a new phone... in another language.

More important than the phone is the food that I've eaten on this trip. Man, it has been delicious. Everything from the cheap street food, spicy noodles, fluffy buns, to expensive hot pot, all of it good. Even the strange Domino's pizza that I've eaten a couple times has been good. (You think pineapple on pizza is weird? Check China's pizza out!) I'm not the only one trying out weird food as well, some classmates have told me about delicious street foods that they've sampled, one has eaten scorpions and spiders! We all appreciate the food that we're finding more because of our "lovely" academy diet.

Hot Pot ~ 火锅

Eating hot pot with my classmates and girlfriend had to be a big event for me. The place we went to was really nice (the english name was "Real Hot Pot") and the food that we got... amazing. Thick slices of beef, fresh vegetables, sweet desserts, and refreshing drinks were just a few ways I could describe the food. Not to mention that we tried this "eel"/fish thing. At first I even was hesitant to eat it but in the end I ate the most of them. It really cooked well in the hot pot, I think I enjoyed it because of how fresh the fish was. Of course, good hot pot doesn't just have good food but also a nice atmosphere where everyone can socialize. If you don't have that then it wasn't a good hot pot.

"A nice angle of Yu Yuan Garden's Koi pond"

Yu Yuan Garden ~ 豫园

A good thing about Shanghai is that you get the old mixed in with the new. Whether its Tian Zi Fang hidden in the side of a busy street, Yu Yuan Garden which stands out among the rising construction, or the various "old streets" that you stumble across while roaming the city. If you like old architecture, you can find it in Shanghai. As we've seen, going to these places during the "hot times" isn't the best way to experience it. Rather, you want to visit these older looking "time capsules" of Shanghai at various times of the day. Each time of the day gives these places a different vibe to it.

"Qi Bao Ancient Street's Entrance"

Qi Bao ~ 七宝镇

The old streets of Qi Bao might seem like a tourist trap when full of people in the hot afternoon but during the cooler mornings or quiet evenings, you really can enjoy how "ancient" the place looks and actually enjoy going into some of the older stores selling real jade,scrolls, fans and not useless trinkets. For me, I had gone to places like Qi Bao, Yu Yuan, and so on before but coming back with fresh eyes certainly was... fun!

Evening Thoughts ~ 晚上思想

Slimming five days of excitement down to one small post with a few pictures seems wrong but I hope that you can get a feeling from all of this. Maybe its a small bit of enjoyment out of the pictures and writing or maybe you even get your own bit of wanderlust from reading about my tales. Either way, just know that there is so much more to explore out there... even if you've already been there once.


  1. Love the pics. So glad you are having a blast. I do miss some of the authentic tastes of the food. Of course not the weird stuff. :D Keep exploring, learning and finding new things. These are memories you will cherish for a lifetime. <3 Mom

    1. I'm having fun here and even discovered some new food. My classmates are even enjoying it in Shanghai. (Some don't want to leave!)

      Thank you for reading my posts~


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