Shanghai, China: Skyscrapers & Smog

We were so excited to arrive in one of the biggest cities in the world, Shanghai. Meaning “by the sea” this massive city was a popular trading port for years in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Shanghai is not exactly a budget backpacker’s ideal destination but it is doable on a budget. We took the ultra-modern, ultra fast (250kms/hour) bullet train from Beijing to the Shanghai train station.  We then switched to the MTR line to take us to our hostel where we were greeted with smiling faces and a beautiful courtyard area.  One of the best things about backpacking in China is that the hostels here are some of the best value for money we’ve ever seen. It was late when we arrived so we just unloaded our bags and went right to sleep.

Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
Dariece waiting for the train to Shanghai in the Beijing train station
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
Nick enjoying the luxurious bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
Nick on the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai

The following morning we were up early to start our day of walking all over the city.  It’s a noticeably populated city with cars and people all over the streets and sidewalks.  When we were there it was really hot, humid and quite smoggy; however, we still really enjoyed ourselves.  We found some backroads with amazing dumplings, prepared the famous Shanghai way, and a small side-of-the-road noodle vendor who whipped us up a delicious dinner.

Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank building to the left and the Customs House on the right, Shanghai
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
the stunning buildings from the 1900’s, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
Nick looking out at the skyscrapers in Shanghai – such a smoggy day
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
side of the street noodle vendor, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
enjoying our noodle dinner with a cold beer, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
women making dumplings in an assembly line – typically Chinese! Shanghai, China

During the evening we made our way down to the famous pedestrian street.  Wow, what a sight that was!  All of the beautiful buildings were lit up, people walking and enjoying the evening, musicians playing while people danced and the shopping stores were packed.  We kept walking towards the water and made our way to the Bund, which is a stunning seaside promenade that goes on forever.  Looking out across the water was a view of all the towering skyscrapers lit up; and looking behind us were the stunning, glowing old buildings from the early 1900’s.  It’s a perfect contrast between the old and the modern.

Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
Pedestrian Street lit up at night, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
beautiful glowing building, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
Goats On The Road on Pedestrian Street, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
a group of Chinese women who wanted a photo with Dariece, Shanghai, China
Budget Backpacking Couple In Shanghai
looking across at the skycrapers from the Bund, Shanghai China

We only spent 2 nights in this massive city since we knew we’d be coming back.  We decided to make a move to one of the nearby ancient towns, Tunxi in the Anhui Province.

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Shanghai, China For Budget Backpackers: Skyscrapers & Smog

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Written by

Dariece Swift

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course... travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. She has over 10 years of experience helping others to realize their travel dreams and has worked in numerous jobs all over the world to help pay for travel. Her advice about long-term travel, remote work, and location independence has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes. Learn more about Dariece Swift on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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