Happy Chinese New Year
Fireworks exploding 24 hours day, bright blinding lights, streets constantly bursting with people, yep it’s that time of year. Happy New Year!
So with that said where best to spend it? In one of the busiest cities in the world? It has to be done, Shanghai here I come.
This was my first time in China for Chinese New Year (also known as Spring festival) and to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew there were going to be lots of fireworks as any foreigner that stays in China for more than one spring festival will remind you constantly how you will not sleep for a week, they just don’t stop. I have to say that what these people say is very very true. However I was going to let fireworks stop my celebrations.
Hello Pearl of the Orient
After being crammed in to a very busy train for 4 hours and fighting my way through the packed train station I was finally in Shanghai. This was my third time coming to Shanghai so I kind of knew where to go. As soon as we left the train station and made our way to our hostel we were quickly back out for a walk by The Bund. There was a strange excitement this time round, people were very happy and in good spirits. Red lanterns decorated every street that you could see, was an amazing memory to capture. Me and my group of friends decided to get our sight seeing out the way before we started our own celebrations. We visited The Bund and took a ferry to Pu Dong. After that we travelled through the older parts of Shanghai which were the most crowded streets I’d ever seen apart from walking out of Old Trafford on match day in Manchester (these came close though). Once we had done some shopping and eaten some very well deserved western food (in my town we have one McDonald’s) it was back to the hostel to get ready for our night out.
Once we were cleaned up and downstairs we decided to have a few drinks in the hostel, Rock & Wood Hostel. This hostel is great and we have stayed here every time we come to Shanghai. It’s a great place to meet other teachers and travellers and I recommend staying in hostels to anyone. Cheap, clean and very friendly and you meet some very interesting people. Cold beer in hand, glad rags on we were ready to go out. On the agenda tonight, an organized pub-crawl whilst driving round Shanghai on a beer bus. We gathered more interested people from the hostel and went to the first bar. FREE OPEN BAR. After drinking there we went to bar after bar on a bus which was actually great, lots of westerners under one roof and seeing parts of Shanghai you wouldn’t usually see just walking round. I won’t go into the barcrawl into to much detail but there were lots of drinks and lot’s of interesting conversations.
A Monkey on the Head
Nights out with my friends usually end up with us walking till early hours in the morning and this one was no different. There were 4 of us left at 4 am so we decided to go watch the Man Utd V Real Madrid game. On the way however (and this is what I love about China in general) we see the most random thing walking round the corner. A monkey. Now I feel strongly against animal cruelty and would usually be concerned if I saw a man walking the street with the monkey back in the U.K but this is China. Anyways the end of my Shanghai Spring festival ended up with me having a photo with a monkey on my head. One to remember don’t you think?