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From Kota Kinabalu to Bucharest, Romania

After successfully visited two of Balkans countries which are Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia in 2018, I just can't wait to visit the rest of Balkan countries and keep looking forward for it. Once I spotted the airfare with Singapore Airlines to Istanbul was within my budget, instantly I booked the ticket without thinking any longer. Either you take the risk of travelling alone, or you let go the opportunity of grabbing the cheap fare - I told myself. I rather choose the first one as I've been travelling alone quite a number of times. Plus, it's not like always you can grab these irresistible cheap fare, right?   

Just like my first trip to Balkans countries, I began with my flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore with Silk Air. At least this round the in-flight meal served by Silk Air is not disappointing than the one I had back in 2018. For your information, Silk Air has permanently ceased its operation for Kota Kinabalu - Singapore route last year and took over by Scoot, the low-cost carrier of the Singapore Airlines carrier.

Silk Air In-Flight Meal KK to Singapore Flight
#1: In-flight meal for Kota Kinabalu flight to Singapore via Silk Air.

So, what's my plan since I have like 8 hours of transit in Singapore before continue my next flight to Istanbul? Initially, I was tempted to visit the newly opened Jewel Changi which opened to the public less than a month, but sooner, I realised something is more important than this - which is my family. Therefore, I decided to go and visit my sister and my little nephew. Family comes first.

2019 Singapore Changi Airport
#2: Welcome to the most "canggih" airport - one of my most favourite airports.

How quickly time passed and the next thing I know, I need to get back to Singapore Changi Airport again to continue my next long-distance red-eye flight. My flight duration from Singapore to Istanbul took nearly 11 hours. Yes, 11 hours and if not mistaken, this is my first ever long distance flight I ever experienced with. Unfortunately, this airlines which awarded with "World's Best Airlines" failed to impress me cause they were using old fleet for the route between Singapore and Istanbul. Normally I never bother or particular about which aircraft used for any respective flights but when you are taking a long-haul flight, it does matter a lot. Sorry Singapore Airlines, but still, I personally think Qatar Airways is the best one. 

Singapore Airlines Supper
#3: Supper served by Singapore Airlines for flight Singapore to Istanbul

Singapore Airlines Breakfast
#4: We were served with breakfast before landed in Istanbul.

In 2018, I arrived in Istanbul Ataturk Airport but a year later, they moved to the new airport, simply known as the Istanbul Airport. Therefore, everything seems completely new, totally unfamiliar to me and I need to search all directions and information of this new airport. 

2019 Istanbul
#5: Istanbul new airport - Istanbul Airport

Again for the second time, I was dilemma whether should I just stay inside the airport or heading to the town. This is because my flight to Bucharest (capital city of Romania) is around 3pm and I have like 7 hours to kill before proceed with my next flight. Making choice again! At the end, I decided to head to the town cause there's nothing much I can do if I remain to stay in the airport. I will share more about how to get to Istanbul town from the new Istanbul Airport in my next upcoming post. 

Right after I done with a cup of hot coffee and filled my hungry tummy with pasta in one random cafe in the bustling town of Istanbul, immediately I took bus departing to Istanbul Airport for me to catch my last flight of the day. As for my flight from Istanbul to Bucharest, I booked Pegasus Airlines, a Turkish low-cost airlines. I flew with Pegasus before for my flight to Sarajevo (the city of Bosnia & Herzegovina). 

In short, from Kota Kinabalu with 3 number of flights, 15 hours of transit and nearly 15 hours of flying time, proud to announce that finally I arrived in Romania - the third Balkans countries I've been. 

2019 Europe Bucharest Airport 1
#6: Finally I'm in Bucharest - after 3 flights, 15 hours of transit and almost 15 hours of flight from Kota Kinabalu with two transit in Singapore and Istanbul. 

This post served as introduction of my travel adventures to the Balkans countries. So for my next post, it's all about Bucharest, the largest and capital city of Romania. Do watch out for this blog of mine 😉😉

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Second Trip to Lake Kawaguchiko

My first trip to Lake Kawaguchiko was dating back to 2010. My gosh! I can't believe it's like 10 years ago. How time flies? You can refer my old post here. However, when I went Lake Kawaguchiko for the very first time, luck wasn't on my side as I unable to sight any Mount Fuji due to poor visibility and the adverse weather. And because of that, I decided to go Lake Kawaguchiko again last year when I went Tokyo for business trip to see whether I have any fate with the infamous Japan's Holy Mountain. 

Lake Kawaguchiko 01

By Train
From JR Tokyo's Shinjuku Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station. The direct limited express train will takes about 70 minutes and one-way ride costs 2,350 yen. If you want to save money, you can take the local train which one-way ride costs 1,340 yen but the ride will takes about 100 minutes.

Once align at Otsuki Station, hop on to the Fujikyu Railway Line to Kawaguchiko Station. A single ride costs 1,170 yen and the journey takes approximately 55 minutes.

Lake Kawaguchiko 03
#2: Fujikyu Railway Line from Otsuki Station to Kawaguchiko Station

Lake Kawaguchiko 02
#3: Not just comfortable, Japan's train always remain clean and free from rubbish.

We intend to overnight here in order to catch a view of Mount Fuji on the next morning. Unfortunately once again, Mount Fuji was so shy to come out and greet me. Probably wasn't a good idea to come to Lake Kawaguchiko during the summer time and from what I search, the best time to come and see Mount Fuji is during the winter time. Looks like I need to go back Lake Kawaguchiko for the third time. 

And luckily for us, we booked at least the cheapest and affordable accommodation to stay for a night here. If not, it's really wasted to book an expensive and luxury accommodation but ended the trip without Mount Fuji in sight. The boyfriend booked Samurise Kura Hostel - a small and old Japanese inn converted into a hostel and it's just a short walking distance from Kawaguchiko Station. 

Lake Kawaguchiko Hostel Samurice 2
#4: Samurise Office - This is the check-in counter and they keep our luggages for free.

Lake Kawaguchiko Hostel Samurice 1
#5: A small and old Japanese inn converted into hostel. There are 4 different type of rooms with sharing bathroom and toilets. 

From the hostel we stayed, we walked to Fuji Tempura Idaten which is about 5 minutes of walking. By the time we arrived at this restaurant, it's pretty crowded and almost fully occupied but thank goodness, we managed to get seats for two. We sat at the counter bar where it's therapeutic experience to watch the chefs preparing, battering and frying variety of tempuras for the customers.

Lake Kawaguchiko Tempura Restaurant 1
#6: Fuji Tempura Idaten

Lake Kawaguchiko Tempura Restaurant 2
#7: The main star of the restaurant. And good news for the Muslim friends cause they served Muslim-friendly meal.

Due to the poor visibility and adverse weather, nothing much we can do, especially the highlight our activity is to marvelling Fujisan also beyond our control. But because we don't want just purposely went Lake Kawaguchiko and left without doing anything, the boyfriend suggested let's have onsen session. We went for the one in Fuji Yurari Hot Spring (Fuji Chobo no yu Yurari). This hot spring is one of the most popular onsens in Lake Kawaguchiko where you can get a superb view of Mt. Fuji standing right in front of you from the outdoor panoramic bath.

Fuji Yurari Hot Spring Free Shuttle Bus
#8: There is a free shuttle bus from Kawaguchiko Station to the onsen.

#9: Stricly no photos inside the onsen but because I'm the first person to enter, I "curi-curi" bring my handphone. This is where you can get a stunning view of Mount Fuji but then, it's too shy on the day we're there.

Fuji Yurari Hot Spring 2
#10: After rejuvenating almost an hour from the onsen, we went for lunch at the restaurant located at ground floor of the building.

Fuji Yurari Hot Spring
Opening Hours:
10am to 7pm (Admission fee on weekday is 1,300 yen)
                      (Admission fee on Saturday, Sunday and national holiday is 1,500 yen)
7pm to 10pm (Admission fee on weekday is 1,100 yen)
                      (Admission fee on Saturday, Sunday and national holiday is 1,300 yen)
The admission fee includes rental towel and bath towel. There is even a special package for couple where you will be arranged for a private room.

And that's pretty sum up my second trip to Lake Kawaguchiko. If the weather is in good situation especially with a clear day, I believe there are plenty of things we can do here. Probably this means I need to go to Lake Kawaguchiko for the 3rd time. Maybe third time is the charm, like they said. *Keep my fingers crossed*
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Explore Hakone With Hakone Freepass

Marveling the majestic Mount Fuji is one of the most popular things to do and see when one is visiting Japan, particularly Tokyo. But the most common question is which offers the best view of Mount Fuji - whether Lake Kawaguchiko or Hakone? 

I've been both Lake Kawaguchiko and Hakone which I went not just once, but twice. Yes, twice to Lake Kawaguchiko and twice to Hakone as well. Wondering why I went so many times? This is because out of the four trips, only once I've seen this shy mountain with more clearer view without hiding behind the clouds. How pathetic right that I have to make so many trips out of Tokyo just to see Japan's most iconic natural landmark? Therefore, there's no 100% guarantee you can get an excellent view of Mount Fuji regardless which viewing spots or places you went as it is often surrounded by the clouds even on the brightest days. However for me, its the journey that counts, not the arrival. 

#1: Welcome to Hakone, a resort time well-known for onsen and ryokan.

Since I blogged about Lake Kawaguchiko before (my old post here) and hence for this post, I would like to share about my trip to Hakone. Hakone is a resort town on the edge of Mount Fuji which is well-known for offering numerous of onsen (hot springs) and ryokan (traditional Japanese inns). It's popular weekend getaway spot especially for those who live and stay in Tokyo as it is easy travelling distance from Tokyo.

There are four ideal ways to travel either by train or bus from Tokyo's Shinjuku Station to Hakone:
  1. Odakyu Electric Railway (Romancecar) - The fastest way to reach Hakone from Tokyo without the need to do any transfers along the way. The ride by Romancecar from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station takes about 85 minutes. However, it's the most expensive as one-way ticket costs 2,330 yen including the limited express surcharge. Note that the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used on this line as it’s not part of the Japan Railways network.
  2. Local Train under Odakyu Line - This is my most preferred choice by taking an express train or rapid express of the Odakyu Line heading to Odawara Station. The ride takes about 90 to 95 minutes and it requires one transfer at Odawara Station, but then, it costs only 1,220 yen. Odakyu also offers the Hakone Free Pass, which includes the round-trip from Tokyo to Hakone and unlimited use of selected trains, cablecars, ropeways, boats and buses in the Hakone area.
  3. Japan Railways (JR) - If you have JR Pass, you can use it to get from Tokyo to Odawara Station and save yourself some money. However when you reach Odarawa Station, you still need to get Hakone Free Pass to cover the rest of the way. So if you don't have JR Pass, I would recommend you to opt for the local train under Odakyu Line as it is more economical.
  4. Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus - It operates every 30 minutes from the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (Basuta Shinjuku) to Gotemba in the northern part of Hakone, continuing on to Hakone Togendai on Lake Ashi, where you can catch the Hakone Ropeway gondola. The Hakone Free Pass can be used on the highway bus within specific area. 
Hakone Odakyu Line Train
#2: Local train on Odakyu Line - this is the one I always opted for when heading to Hakone. 

It is a discount excursion pass for exploring Hakone which offers by Odakyu Railway. One can use it for unlimited ride of 8 transportation networks, including selected trains, buses, cablecars, ropeways and even sightseeing cruise throughout the Hakone area. It also provides discounted admission to selected tourist attractions on two or three consecutive days. Optionally, Hakone Freepass includes a discounted round-trip between Tokyo's Shinjuku Station to Odawara Station. If you plan to start your trip from Tokyo, you can purchase the Hakone Freepass from 1st Floor, Odakyu Line Shinjuku Station West Exit.

Hakone Freepass

2-day Pass
3-day Pass
Round-trip from Shinjuku Station
5,700 yen
6,100 yen
Purchase from Odawara Station
4,600 yen
5,000 yen
Note: Though 1-day Pass is not available but we just get the 2-day Pass as it is more worth the price and it helps us save a lot from paying each mode of transportation separately.

Hakone FreePass
#3: 2-Day Hakone Freepass which we purchased in 2015

So now we have Hakone Free Pass, what's next? Once we alighted at Odara Station, we catch the Hakone Tozan Train departs from Hakone-Yumoto Station to Gora Station. Hakone Tozan Train is the only mountain train in Japan and during the summer time, you will get to see the hydrangeas along the Hakone Tozan Railway line in full bloom. During this period, the Hakone Tozan train is nicknamed the “Hydrangea Train.” The ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station takes about 40 minutes to arrive at the final station, Gora Station. The funny thing about this train is that halfway up the line, the train switch to reversed travel direction couple of times. Only on my second ride on Hakone Tozan Train, I realised the track was built in Z line, instead of straight. No wonder it keep reversing, then going forward, reversing, going forward and repeating for several times.

Hakone Tozan Railway
#4: Hakone Tozan Railway

Hakone Hydrangea Train
#5: The hydrangeas along the Hakone Tozan Railway line in full bloom during the summer time.

Then in Gora Station, we continue by hop-on into the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Sounzan Station. A distance of 1.2 kilometers, in 10 minutes between Gora Station to Sounzan Station, the cable car races effortlessly up the steep slope, and even the station platform at the top is sloping.

Hakone Tozan Cable Car
#5: Hakone Tozan Cable Car from Gora Station to Sounzan Station. 

Next, we take a ride on Hakone Ropeway from Sounzan Station to Owakudani. Bear in mind in the case when the weather is adverse, Hakone Ropeway will be suspended and that's actually happened on my first trip with my family there. Only on my second trip I able to take a ride on it. Traveling the full length of the ropeway takes approximately 30 minutes and along the journey, passengers can enjoy views of the active, sulfuric hot spring sources of the Owakudani Valley.

Hakone Ropeway
#6: Hakone Ropeway from Sounzan Station to Owakudani

Not just I managed to take a ride on Hakone Ropeway, I was indeed overwhelming when I finally able to witness the majestic Mount Fuji. Like finally! The ropeway ride is claimed to be one of the perfect spots if you are searching for places to see Fujisan, if visibility allows.

Hakone Mount Fuji
#7: Mount Fuji in sight during our ride with Hakone Ropeway

In Owakudani, there are shops and restaurants around the ropeway sation for you to buy souvenirs or even fill your hungry tummy. On a clear days, you can have a good view of Mount Fuji from Owakudani. One thing you shouldn't miss out when you arrive in Owakudani Station is to try the famous kuro tamago, eggs cooked in the naturally hot water, whose shells are blackened by the sulfur and which are said to prolong one's life by seven years.

Hakone Owakudani Famous Kuro Tamago
#8: Owakudani Station and its famous kuro tamago

From Owakudani Station, we continued by taking Hakone Ropeway to Togendai Station to catch a ride on the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise. Although this is my second time for taking this sightseeing cruise, but still I'm very excited. And all these rides are covered by Hakone Freepass. Therefore, it is highly recommend to get the pass before you start to explore around Hakone.

There are three different type of ships; Royal II, Victory and Queen Ashinoko.

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
#9: Hakone Sightseeing Cruise and this is Royal II ship.

Cruises along the Lake Ashinoko is another popular spot to view Mount Fuji in the background of the lake but unfortunately, once we arrive in Togendai, the visibility is getting poorer with the clouds blocking the whole Mount Fuji. Looks like my fate with Mount Fuji is pretty short.

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise 2
#10: Cruise along Lake Ashinoko

From Togendai Pier, you can get off whether at Hakonemachi Pier or Motohakone Pier. We decided to get off at the latter one as it's nearer to the famous red torii gate.

Hakone Lake Ashi
#11: Motohakone Hakone Pirate Ship Dock

Not far from Motohakone Hakone Pirate Ship Dock, we walked over to Hakone Shrine for their famous red torii gate. It's really damn famous that you need to queue up just for the sake of few photos. Again, this is all because of the "Gram" thing. Lesson learned here - it's better to come in the early morning, or book an accommodation close to the torii gate.

Torii of Hakone Shrine
#12: Torii gate of Hakone Shrine

Our trip doesn't stop there as we continued by taking bus to Gotemba Premium Outlets. However, as this route was lead by the boyfriend, hence I wasn't able to give the proper direction how we managed to gett to Gotemba Premium Outlets from Hakone Shrine. But what I know, we need to transfer to other bus in between our journey.

Gotemba Premium Outlets
#13: Gotemba Premium Outlets.

In short, this is our route looks like by using the Hakone Freepass:
1) Odawara Station → Gora Station by taking Hakone Tozan Train
2) Gora Station → Sounzan Station by taking Hakone Tozan Cable Car
3) Sounzan Station → Owakudani with Hakone Ropeway
4) Owakudani Station → Togendai Pier with Hakone Ropeway
5) Togendai Pier → Motohakone Pier with Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
And from Motohakone, you can hop on to Hakone Tozan Bus back to Odawara Station.

A day trip to Hakone from Tokyo is actually doable. But since I have been planning to Hakone for the second time, I decided to overnight there instead of just doing another day trip. Of course at first place I want to book those ryokans comes with private onsen and has perfect view of Mount Fuji where you can enjoying while having hot bath but it definitely will cost me a fortune. Probably wait till the day I hit jackpot and I will book it. And because of that, I booked somewhere to stay that is close to Gora Station.

Hakone Gora Onsen Aoiso 1

Hakone Gora Onsen Aoiso 2

Hakone Gora Onsen Aoiso 3

Hakone Gora Onsen Aoiso
Room Rate: RM354 for Japanese Western Style Room with Shared Bath

Pros: 5-minute walk from Gora Station and a minute's walk to Gora Park. There is a convenience store (Daily Yamazaki) nearby this hot spring inn. 

Cons: The room only comes with toilet but no bathroom. So if you want to take a bath, you need to go to the communal bathhouse where you will bath along with the rest of the hotel guests. Fret not, there's a separation room for gentlemen and ladies. 

But honestly, I do enjoy the onsen especially the outdoor type. For the sake of Gram, I woke up as early as 5am cause that's the only time where no one but just me having my own sweet time soaking in the onsen while enjoying the nature scenery.  

Conclusion, if you are choosing between a visit to Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko the main factors you should consider are the views of Mount Fuji, access, and opportunity to do other things while there. Lake Kawaguchiko might has an amazing view of Fuji, but is limited in other things to do, and may not be convenient in terms of transportation. Whereas for Hakone, besides it is easy to visit and ideally fit into the itinerary, there's no shortage of things to do there, and not forgetting the views of Fuji are pretty good too. Make a wise choice cause it is impossible to cover both Hakone and Lake Kawaguchiko on the same day. 
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Summary of My 6D5N Eastern China Trip - Hangzhou, Suzhou & Shanghai

Summary of My 6D5N Eastern China Trip
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu → Hangzhou
Day 2: Hangzhou
Day 3: Hangzhou → Suzhou
Day 4: Suzhou → Tongli Water Town → Suzhou → Shanghai
Day 5: Shanghai
Day 6: Shanghai → Kota Kinabalu

My Travelogues

My Travel Haul
Nothing much I shop from this trip. Probably due to the cold weather which causing us hard to do any shopping around and both of us are not fancy shopping at the mall. We prefer to venture and shop at street markets more, especially those night markets. But of course, souvenirs like magnets are hard to miss out from my shopping list. 

2014 China Eastern Magnets
Besides magnets, I also bought luggage tag

2014 China Eastern CNY Greeting Cards
Chinese New Year greeting cards 

2014 China Eastern Snacks
Unhealthy snacks. My favourite flavour is the one in cucumber

NOTE: Unfortunately, I unable to trace most of the transportation as well as all the food and souvenirs I spent. I lost the note that I keep track all my expenses. So these are the few things I managed to keep and save in my list.    
KK – Shanghai – KK via MAS
KK – Hangzhou via AirAsia

Victoria Regal Hotel Zhejiang – 2 nights
All Seasons Hotel Suzhou – 1 night
Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai – 2 nights

High-speed train Suzhou to Shanghai

Ground Transportation
A Day Tour with Suzhou









My Trip Back To Kota Kinabalu From Shanghai Was A Disaster
2014 China MAS Shanghai - KK
Before I end this post, I would like to share something happened on the day we're about to fly from Shanghai to Kota Kinabalu. Just when my mom and I thought our trip are going to be smooth and manageable one, our trip ended with unfortunate events. Not one but two and it happened on the same day as well. Earlier on I did mention that I have two tickets departing from Kota Kinabalu - a round trip ticket with Malaysia Airlines to Shanghai but because we found the length of the trip was kind long, I booked another one-way ticket which was to Hangzhou with AirAsia. As for my return, we will stick with our first ticket which is to fly with Malaysia Airlines from Shanghai. Oh boy! It's totally wrong decision that we didn't fly with Malaysia Airlines at the first place. I wasn't aware that once you didn't show or fly, the whole ticket consider burn immediately. I only found out about this when I unable to do web check-in and called Malaysia Airlines call centre. They told me that my whole ticket was burnt and I need to book another new ticket. I have to be honest with you that this is the first time I experienced this in my life. I was absolutely confused and lost at the same time. What should we do now since we're no longer have any tickets back home? I was in state of shock when I search that one way ticket from Shanghai to Kota Kinabalu is about RM1,200. Just one-way! Another option which I could think of at that point of time is to take flight from Hangzhou but again, we need to take the train from Shanghai to Hangzhou in order to catch the flight.

After the long discussion with my mom, finally we agreed just to book another new flight with Malaysia Airlines. Luckily I brought along my credit cards to China. It was indeed pain in the ass to buy new tickets with such a hefty price but it's better than stranded at foreign place, right?

Now we have settled with our new tickets. What's next? Our flight was delayed for more than 2 hours. I bet none of you will enjoy the trip when experiencing any flight delay. Furthermore it's a red eye flight and we're stuck in the airport. Just when this morning I can't have peace of mind due to the airtickets thing, and right now I can't have adequate rest after long and tiring day. Maybe like what Twilight Man said, I should practice the floral bath ritual (mandi bunga) before going for any trip to avoid these unlucky things happen again in future.

On another note, finally I managed to complete all my 2014 travelogues. Now I need to speed up to complete the rest of my travelogues, especially those in 2015. 
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Shanghai, The Paris of The East

I would love to cover cities like Wuxi and Nanjing but due to time constraint, I can only narrow down my choices to visit Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai only. So after 2 nights in Hangzhou and 1 night in Suzhou, both of my mom and I took train from Suzhou to Shanghai.

2014 China Train Suzhou to Shanghai
#1: High-speed train from Suzhou to Shanghai

There are four major train stations in Suzhou: Suzhou Station, Suzhou North Station (Bei Zhan), Suzhou Industrial Park Station (Yuanqu), and Suzhou New Area Station (Xinqu). Suzhou Station is located just north of the downtown on the northern ring-road (Beihuan Lu) and is on the Shanghai-Nanjing mainline. There are frequent high-speed trains to Shanghai, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang and Nanjing. A high-speed train ride to Shanghai takes 25 to 30 minutes and the fare is about CNY20 - 39.5. We prefer the high-speed train as it is the faster way to reach Shanghai from Suzhou.

In Shanghai, there are two railways if you are taking train from Suzhou; Shanghai Railway Station and Hongqiao Railway Station. We prefer to drop off at the first one cause our hotel is more closer than the latter. 

Upon reaching Shanghai Railway Station, we took taxi instead of metro to our hotel. Just when we thought it will be convenient of taking taxi than metro, oh boy the queue for waiting the taxi was pretty long and it took more than an hour for us just to get a taxi. And the ride to our hotel - less than 20 minutes only. Should opt for metro next time.  
2014 China Shanghai Narada Boutique Hotel  1

2014 China Shanghai Narada Boutique Hotel 2

2014 China Shanghai Narada Boutique Hotel 3

Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai Yu Garden
Date Stayed: 24 to 26 December 2014 (2 nights)
Room Rate: RM309 for a deluxe twin bed room (Booked via Agoda)


1) Yuyuan Garden
This is the first place we went as it's very close to our hotel. Not just went once, but we went twice cause there are plenty of souvenirs shops around. Located in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden is an extensive and delicately designed garden loaded with classical Chinese architecture. Yu Garden might be small in size, but it contains all elements that a classical Chinese garden should have. The pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters all have unique characteristics.

#5: Yuyuan Garden - one of the highlights of Shanghai

2014 China Shanghai Yu Garden 03

2014 China Shanghai Yu Garden 02
#7: Yuyuan Bazaar

Outside of Yuyuan Garden is the bustling Yuyuan Bazaar where it consists of countless of small streets and lanes filled with plenty of restaurants, tea houses and shops. No surprise this place is always crowded with tourists where they are enjoying sampling some local snacks and purchase all kinds of souvenirs such as handicrafts, craftworks and jewelries. Some shops allow you to bargain.

2014 China Shanghai Yu Garden NanXiang Steamed Bun
#8: NanXiang Steamed Bun - must try this popular local delicacy when visiting Yuyuan Garden

How To Get To Yuyuan Garden: Metro Line 10 and get off at Yuyuan Station. Leave from Exit 1.
Opening Hours: 8:45am to 4:45pm (Closed on Monday, except national holidays)

2) Nanjing Road
Shop until you drop on China's premier shopping street of Nanjing Road. It's one long street stretches from The Bund east towards Hongqiao, with Shanghai's centerpoint People's Square in the middle. This pedestrian street is always packed with people on weekend and holidays, so beware with your belongings when visiting here.

2014 China Shanghai Nanjing Road 3

2014 China Shanghai Nanjing Road 2

2014 China Shanghai Nanjing Road 1

How To Get To Nanjing Road: Metro Line 2 runs under Nanjing Road for much of the way, intersecting with Line 1 and line 8 at People's Square.

3) Xintiandi
Situated in the center of Shanghai City and south of Middle Huaihai Road, Xintiandi is a fashionable pedestrian street comprised of old-style Shikumen residences with modern architecture. It retains the antique walls, tiles and exterior of the Shikumen residences of old Shanghai while embodies a totally modern world in its interior. Wandering here, you will get experience and explore of both Shanghai in the 1920s and the modern lifestyle of urbanites of the 21st century. This is absolutely an ideal spot if you are looking for the sake of the "Gram".

2014 China Shanghai Xintiandi 1

2014 China Shanghai Xintiandi 2

2014 China Shanghai Xintiandi 3

How To Get To Xintiandi:
1) Metro Line 10/ Line 13 to Xintiandi Station. Get out from Exit 6 to Madang Road, then walk a bit to the north; OR
2) Metro Line 1 and get off at South Huangpi Rd. Station. Get out from Exit 3 and walk southwards along South Huangpi Road.

4) The Bund
No introduction needed for this place. Like they said, if you haven't been to The Bund, then your trip to Shanghai is definitely incomplete. Whether it's day or night, I will recommend you to come here at least twice for different kind of experience and exposure.

2014 China Shanghai The Bund 02

2014 China Shanghai The Bund 01

2014 China Shanghai The Bund 04
#17: Western-style architectures along the Bund

2014 China Shanghai The Bund 05


How To Get To The Bund: Metro Line 2 or Line 10 to East Nanjing Road Station. Then walk along East Nanjing Road for about 10 minutes.

Due to language barrier, I prefer to take the metro which is fast, cheap, air conditioned and most importantly, fairly user-friendly with most signs and station arrival announcements bilingual in Mandarin and English. The trains can get packed during rush hour and be mindful of pickpockets who may use this rush to their advantage. You can even catch metro on Line 2 to Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

2014 China Shanghai Pudong International Airport
#20: Shanghai Pudong International Airport 
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