Ended up coming back to the hotel last night instead of the Long Bar. The Korean BBQ finished us off. We still have two other opportunities to get there so no matter. This morning I am packed and ready to move hotel.
Today I’ve noticed I’m getting a lot of ads for VPN services. Also spoke to a local last night who said they used a VPN to access their gmail account. It must be pretty prevalent. Just goes to show what a waste of time the UK government is expending wanting to watch our every online move. I may well continue using the VPN I’m using in China when I get home – see if I notice any difference in performance. Internet access from this hotel is just 2Mbps symmetrical but there again I am using the free Hilton Honors version rather than the paid premium job. I don’t normally bother with the premium service unless the free one is grinding to a halt.
It’s an odd feeling being awake and up in the hotel room but without anyone to talk to. Everyone in the UK is asleep. I seem to recall we said we would head out to buy some tea at 10am. Checkout is noon. We are heading over the river to the Shangri La after we have checked out.
STOP PRESS. Have just read my emails. We are now staying at the Intercontinental Puxi. Whilst I am disappointed not to be staying at the Shangri La (never having stayed at one) the Intercontinental is perfectly acceptable. Anne and I are staying at one in Madrid in October and it at least brings with it IHG points. Good job I looked innit. Rich has also seen the email so would have gone to the right hotel anyway.
Now that I have a little more time to reflect on yesterday there are a few things that stood out in my mind:
The woman sat in the shop front trimming hair into shape on a wig
The trikes with huge loads
The bloke selling stuff from a scooter who was stopped in the middle of the road by another guy on a scooter who wanted to buy an umbrella off him
The beggars in the food court
The girl stood in the middle of the road with a selfie stick
The bamboo scaffold poles
My credit cards not working in the restaurant
The bar on the 39th floor of the hotel
24million population of shanghai
Hundreds of really tall apartment blocks – buildings are either v tall or just 2 storey
Taxi driver hooting horn every other minute
Taxi driver in tourist areas not wanting to use meter
Made it to the Intercontinental Puxi. V nice. We have incredible rooms in the “Club Building”. The main body of the party arrived between 11am and noon. No time for lunch as the tour was starting. This turned out to be going to the same place we were yesterday. We went along anyway and I had KFC for lunch (sorry).
The others then shot off to go up Shanghai’s tallest building whilst Rich and I went to pick up our clothes. Boy are they impressive. Jackets were around £86 each and shirts £32. Not bad for made to measure stuff. Was chatting to a Huawei guy who suggested it was a good price. Ordered two more (linen) jackets and three shirts which will be delivered to the hotel Wednesday night. I had to be strong and not order any more than that otherwise I’d end up needing a second suitcase.
Out in the evening for drinks in the terrace of “Bund Panorama” where we got truly amazing views of a very colourful Shanghai night scene. Food turn out to be an all you can eat buffet. Won a Huawei watch in a quickfire quiz. Unfortunately it has Chinese language firmware but still looks cool even though it’s a woman’s watch. Afterwards we went to the Waldorf and drank cocktails and Remy Martin XO until we were sufficiently well oiled that we slid off back to the hotel.