My venture home started with a flight from Tauyuan to Shanghai. I was able to get a 72 hour landing visa as my departing flight was an onward city…Seattle. I arrived in Shanghai about 9 pm. Ann- a dear friend of mine from college whom I worked with at the Nebraska Tourism Department and met up with in Korea and Omaha, and now China…basically wherever we are at in the world we try to connect and catch up, met me at the airport.
August 31st thru September 3rd.
72- Hour Landing Visa Tips:
*fill out an arrival card (and departure card)
*have the address of the place you are staying in both English and Chinese (it’s much easier!)
*all flight itineraries printed and ready to show the airport police
I had 72 hours to get a feel for the city. (I will be teaching here as a part of my grad school program in 2015).
Here’s what I did…
Walked around…ordered street food in Chinese (the lady understood my Taiwanese dialect) which was exciting for me…you know…speaking Chinese in..China! Went to Coco- had to get my bubble tea fix before officially leaving Asia. Browsed through Old Navy. The shopping here is fantastic! (Other stories…H/M, Forever 21, Gap…etc etc etc.) Wandered around some more. Went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. (Hadn’t been to one of these since living in Arizona!)
I could have done more touristy things, but since I knew I would be back my goal was to just take in the city, feel the vibe, and catch up with my friend!
In the evening Ann and her boyfriend, Kyle and I went to a couple restaurants…one was a great burger place (very westernized), and the other was called Lost Heaven. Lost Heaven is located near the Bund…a famous point of interest in the city- amazing skyline views of the city. Lost Heaven has a seductive rooftop lounge area with an indoor (thank goodness because it was raining!) and outdoor bar. The rooftop is lit with red lights, candles, and the glowing lights of the skyscrapers around. Peaceful. Sensual. Relaxing. In the slight drizzle that started the lights danced off the forming water beneath my feet. I ordered a pisco sour…a native Chilean drink and waited for the two to arrive after work. The cuisine offered on the first floor restaurant is authentic Yunnan (a region of China). And it was delectable. We ordered a vegetable, chicken and pork dish to share.
During my last few hours in the city, Ann and I grabbed breakfast, and I ended up flagging a taxi in the pouring rain just in time! Made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare getting through security and departing immigration lines.
Note: Most places in Shanghai have free wifi, however you need a code sent to your phone. The people I met were kind and let me use their phone to get a code to use the wifi- especially when I was out and about and need to contact my friend and when I needed to contact my family at the airport.
72 hours flashed by, but it was totally worth stopping over to see my friend and the city I will be teaching in next year!