"Bustling Shanghai, with its modern buildings along the Bund and steps away from traditional tea houses and Chinese open markets, it has something for everyone. Shanghai and much like most of China is an exotic treat to all of the senses."

With as big as China is, it's impossible to really get a sense of the sheer size and variety it offers. Even in Shanghai, I couldn't help but feel like there was still much to be seen. Nonetheless, a long 16-hour flight from New York later, I was literally on the other side of the world. Pretty impressive how far air travel has come if you think about it. Shanghai was interesting, as its traditional roots sometimes directly clash with the money and modern aspirations the city has. I'm not sure if that is a good thing necessarily. While not the cheapest of Chinese destinations, it's still a bargain if you are willing to venture that far. To be fair, if I was going to go back, I would probably pick a flight with a layover in SFO or something, I found 16 hours on a plane a bit brutal. You run out of stuff to think about, movies to watch, etc.

Let me go ahead and state the obvious. Pollution is a problem in Shanghai. It's as smoggy and hazy as people say it is. With the amount of people and cars here, I don't see this ever being resolved.

For those with a taste for the more traditional. Shanghai has a ton of open markets with lots of locals wandering down the pedestrian streets. The language barrier at the time I was there, was a challenge so if haggling is your thing, then learn some Chinese.

Shanghai comes alive at night. Particularly near the Pudong River. Boats draped in neon and the ever-present Oriental Pearl paint a pretty skyline.

The Great Wall of China

As with most my trips, they are very short in length. We had this crazy idea to take a day trip to see the Great Wall of China in Beijing. Surprisingly affordable, but man flying over and driving over there, taking some photos and literally dashing back to catch the last flight back was insane and I do not recommend it, ha ha! Stay a few days in dusty Beijing, take a leisurely approach to the wall. I don't regret going nonetheless, the Great Wall, at any of its vantage points is super impressive and totally worth it. Some of my favorite photos from my trip to China came from visiting the Wall at Badaling.

The 1.5hr flight from Shanghai was a bit unpleasant. The plane was old and made weird noises. After we jumped on a bus to the Wall, which took an hour, and WAS pleasant.

Once you arrive at Badaling, it's a short cable car ride up to the Wall. From what I remember, you can walk up there. But we are lazy Americans and also didn't have time for that.

A bit of an ordeal to get there, but we made it to the Great Wall of China!

From what I've been told, Badaling is supposedly the least impressive of the vantage points of the Great Wall. It was fine for me, maybe we are easily impressed. I didn't find it too crowded and it was easyish to get to. My favorite photo of the trip was of the guy reading his paper with his back to one of the most amazing views on the planet!

The steps are steep in some places, and I imagine very slippery if its rainy.

Travel Journals

In my spare time, I like to travel and write about it!