Shanghai: 5 things about the city

The view from the Oriental Pearl Tower


Home sweet home! We spent two lovely weeks in Shanghai (and Hangzhou) and a week later we’re still trying to get back into our routines. Actually it’s been full of drama here at home because the day after we returned I realised that Scout and Abacus had a mild case of HFMD! Imagine the fun I had on the returning flight with a baby cranky that she had ulcers? I would feel embarassed, except, I’ve been on way too many flights with cranky babies, so, I didn’t! Ha!


Things I liked about Shanghai:


  • The weather currently: although some days rainy, it was generally dry and not humid. It was usually around 28-29 deg Celsius and even on the day it was 39 deg I wasn’t super clammy like how it is at home. Apparently it gets really unbearable toward the end of July.
  • I would consider it quite a child friendly city in that most people are quite welcoming of kids. Many Chinese people (including us overseas Chinese) can be rather boisterous so you never have to feel embarassed about kids making too much noise. The locals are amused and amazed that we have “这么多宝宝!”.
  • The civility. Most city people will queue in line, readily offer you a seat on public transport. Of course there are times when push comes to shove (literally), just remind them gently to get in line, or channel your inner kiasu self, and you’ll be fine!
  • The history. So much to learn and teach the kids about, but so little time! I could definitely spend more time in this city perusing the museums. But perhaps without the smaller whiney tots in tow?
  • Everyone’s up late. Many shops are open till 10pm, some spas never close. Too and I’m too knackered from a day out with the kids to really live it up!


What I didn’t like:

  • The traffic. Are there any rules to it at all? We mostly travelled off peak hours, so the traffic jams weren’t too bad, but there are always people, motorcycles, bicycles, and other vehicles going in all kind of directions. As a driver, it kind of scares me!
  • The air. When we were there the PMI 2.5 ranged between 74-277. Yuck. Thankfully we aren’t asthma sufferers.
  • The crowds. Ok admittedly for 25 million people in the city I think the crowds at some of the touristy places were still tolerable, but you have to be extra kiasu to get into some places.
  • The toilets. Although they’re now a far cry from the drains I’ve seen in my younger days in China and Hong Kong, many are still very cringe-worthy. Especially when you have kids who also need to go when they gotta go.
  • Too many smokers all over. But this is a problem on the streets of many cities all over the world. I really love not having to choke every time I walk down the street at home. Banish them all to a yellow box, I say!


More to come: Putong Hua Summer Camp in shanghai, and Things to do in Shanghai with kids! Meanwhile, you can also read about our previous trip to Shanghai here and here.


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