We arrived in Shanghai by train early in the morning. Shanghai was already looking like a much nicer city than Beijing or Xi'an.
We took a cab to the hotel to drop off our bags. We figured since it was so early in the morning our room would not be ready. However, when we got to the hotel, not only was our room ready, but breakfast had been arranged for us in our room. It was fabulous and the Waldorf was beautiful! Our room overlooked the Bund with a perfect view of the Pearl Tower and all of the other high rise buildings on the other side of the river.
Shanghai was a big city, but easy to get around by taxi, and the taxis were very cheap.
The first night we walked the main pedestrian shopping street Nanjing, which was very crowded and alive with the upcoming China Day celebrations. We also got some great pictures of the skyline at night.
We also had arranged to do a cooking class while in Shanghai. There were four of us in the class, including us, a girl from Germany, and a girl from France. We had a blast. We first got a tour of a local market, which was a little smelly, to learn about the ingredients we'd be using in the class. After the market we headed to a small apartment nearby where the class would be taught. We made three different recipes (sweet and sour pork, Kung pao chicken, and spicy beef) which all turned out delicious. The only downside was the chef didn't speak any English so all questions and answers had to be interpreted, and the cooking area was rather small for four people.
We also took in an acrobatic show, which was a little hokey, but still very impressive.
The streets of Shanghai were packed on China Day which made getting around a little more difficult, but we still managed to make it to an antique market, Xintiandi Area with lots of shops and restaurants, and squeezed our way through the over crowded Yu Yuan Garden and Bazar.
One afternoon we went across the other side of the river by the underground sightseeing tunnel, which was super hokey, but fun. We wandered around two of the very large shopping malls where we stumbled across a Morton's Steakhouse where we had half price Martinis and free steak sandwiches for happy hour. It was an excellent break from all of the Chinese food we had been eating.
After four days in Shanghai, we packed up and headed to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was much more comfortable for us in the fact that most people spoke English and it was much cleaner. We checked into the Conrad, dropped off our bags and hopped on the next boat to Macau to check out the casinos for the evening. The boat ride was about an hour each way, which wasn't too bad on the way there, but the water was really choppy on the way back (which didn't go too well with my motion sick tendencies).
We decided to go to the Venetian since we had heard it was supposed to be bigger and better than the one in Vegas. We also went to a couple other casinos close by. Scotty hit up some of the black jack tables, but we weren't very lucky. It was worth the trip just to see the lights at night.
The next morning I woke up feeling under the weather, and being the hypochondriac I am (I blame Google and Web MD), I was sure I must have caught the bird flu. Scott was sure I didn't have the bird flu, it turns out I'm still alive so I'm assuming he was right. We spent an entire day in the hotel room since I felt so bad.
After some sleep and some cold medicine, I was feeling much better by that evening so we decided to check out the one place that I was definitely willing to crawl out of bed for…Disneyland Hong Kong! They sell night passes that get you into the park from 6pm on for half the price of a regular ticket. We had a blast at the park, minus the fish balls that were sold on every corner. We'd prefer churros and corn dogs, which were nowhere to be found.
The next day we wandered around the city and through a couple markets on the Kowloon side. The city was great and we would definitely come back. Even though we didn't get to do much in Hong Kong, it was nice to have some downtime and recharge from the previous weeks of going nonstop.