I was in Shanghai few times in my previous business life and I was always disappointed about. Yes it is a great city in terms of buildings and skyscrapers and technology, but I always had the feeling that the progress doesn’t belong to the people.
Also when travelling for business you tend to see a different life, more correct, than in holidays where I always went so relaxed and with my eyes opened only for good memories.
But I always had the time to visit a bit and especially to get in contact with the people working there and get off the beaten touristic paths. So here is what I never liked in Shanghai:
- there is a big difference between classes and this I cant bear as a tourist. I can’t see old people struggling for life and trying to survive selling street food and small things in the streets between the 5 stars hotels near Bund. There is no social security system in China.
- it is so crowded that walking in the streets is a torture. What could you possibly like about that, what can you sense….
- the amount of fakes sold in the shops and even in a dedicated shopping mall is overwhelming.
- the pollution is at it peak in China and especially industrial cities like Shanghai. When landing I never saw the city but a yellowish fog covering the skyscrapers.
- there is no real traditional sites to visit in Shanghai. Other cities in China might be more suitable for a visit from this point of view.
- the real Chinese food is disgusting according to my taste, except the duck, and so different from the Chinese one in Europe. The European wok is just a rice with vegetables or chicken and a little bit of soy sauce, that is why we love it.
- even KFC has a different taste, and comes with rice not fries!
- i find the habit of selling wild endangered animals in pharmacies as supplements powders, a outrageous one. I understand tradition but we must evolve in thinking that tiger powder could increase your sexual performance.
- they are loud in the streets, they kind of lack a sense of respect, and they have a bad habit to spit. When I was eating in the streets it was very disturbing.
- it is still a communist country, very regulated and strict.
- everything is gold covered- furniture in hotels, signs of cars…..it is a Chinese thing.
What I loved the most were dumplings, ducks and Maglev train. Also the view from the 32nd floor of my hotel over the bund.