Shanghai Day #1 (Part 1)

Hello there! I am finally back to Brunei and it is time to face the reality. The one week holiday was a much needed break. But sadly, it is always hard to pull yourself back to work the next day after you came back from holiday. I should have applied for an extra day off as I had only landed Brunei yesterday evening. The flight was delayed by an hour at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) but we landed Brunei only 10 minutes behind the expected time of arrival.

Anyways, I know I had promised that I will be doing scheduled posts throughout the time when I am in Shanghai. But I was a little bit tied up with work previously and some of the blog entries ended up hanging midway so I decided that I will not do scheduled post and only update them when I am back from Shanghai.

10th September 2014

I reached Brunei International Airport (BWN) about an hour and a half before my flight to Shanghai was due to take off. The flight was completely full and I couldn’t get the check-in staff to arrange another seat for me. Thankfully, I online checked in the day before and arranged myself an aisle seat so that it wouldn’t be bothersome when I needed to go to the washroom. I used to like the window seats but not anymore.

With extra time to spare before boarding, I headed over to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) at the Departure Hall for a coffee break albeit I just had my breakfast at home before heading to the airport.

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Double Chocolate Latte | B$5.80

As I mentioned previously, this flight was completely full and boarding was a complete pain on the neck. There were several tour groups from China and this was their flight back to Shanghai.

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BWN is currently under major renovation whereby certain parts of the airport had been renovated while the rest were still in process. The boarding gate however was a new one compared to the last time I flew via BWN. The design of BWN is pretty much similar to Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) in some ways.

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Part of the crowd waiting for boarding.

Arrived PVG roughly 10 minutes behind the expected time of arrival. I would normally increase my walking speed as the queue at the immigration counters is usually horrendous for foreign passports. But thankfully, the queue moved rather quickly as many counters were operating to serve the huge demand. By the time I am done with immigration clearance, my luggage was already out on the conveyor belt.

Instead of having Sister picking me up from PVG, I took Maglev train on my own to Longyang Road (龙阳路) and then Metro to People’s Square (人民广场). The entire journey from PVG to People’s Square took roughly half an hour or so. The usual journey duration from PVG to People’s Square is roughly an hour and a half if you took Metro Line 2 but interchange at Guanglan Road 广兰路. The journey from PVG to Longyang Road via Maglev train is 8 minutes as the train moves in an extremely fast speed, like 430km/h.

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See? I am not kidding at all about the speed!

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The ticket fare from PVG to Longyang Road or vice versa is RMB40, single way if you present either boarding pass or travel ticket itinerary. Normal ticket fare for each journey is RMB50. Just present your boarding pass when you are at PVG Maglev train Ticketing Counter or your travel itinerary when you are departing from Longyang Road. Upon arriving at Longyang Road, I took Metro Line 2 to People’s Square. That’s the area where I was staying throughout my time in Shanghai, apart from the time when I was in Nanjing.

I managed to find my way out of People’s Square and to the Exit 14 which Sister asked me to look for. The distance from People’s Square to Le Royal Meridien Hotel, Shanghai is about 5 minutes or so. Checked myself in and waited for Sister to come back from work before we head out for dinner. She showed me around so that I know my way around the next day when I am on my own.

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First dinner in Shanghai was at 苏州汤包. We had their original version of 小笼包 for RMB7 per basket.

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鲜肉汤包 | RMB7

You will get 6 pieces of these dumplings in a basket for RMB7 only, which is roughly about B$1.45 when converted to Brunei currency. This is one of the cheapest food that one can find in China.

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Juicy and tender filling with flavorful soup oozing out from the dumplings when you took a bite. Beware that the dumplings are piping hot when served. Take a small bite on the dumplings and then suck out all the soup before popping the dumpling into the mouth. That’s the proper way of eating a dumpling.

Directions to 苏州汤包: Walk to Exit 14 at People’s Square Metro. Walk up the stairs at Exit 14 and turn right at the top of the stairs. You will come to see Haagen Daaz on your left side. Walk straight ahead and you will pass by Raffles City on the way. There is a traffic light right next to the entrance of Raffles City. Cross the road and walk straight ahead. 苏州汤包 is on your left side. If you can see Lilian Bakery, then you’ll find 苏州汤包. Both of them are located in the same shop.

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