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  • Day2

    They see me rolling...

    September 28, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    After almost 24 hours solid of travel we have just checked into our hotel in Shanghai, the Park Hyatt. It's the second highest hotel in the world and we're on the 79th floor with a great view of the other skyscrapers and the Huangpo river, but it's not the tallest building in town. Shanghai is massive by every scale. Americans need to come here to see what they're up against. It's simply awe inspiring, but I digress.
    Our flight from Auckland to Hong Kong took just under 12 hours and was uneventful. The Air New Zealand service was its consistently good standard, but their hard product is really lagging behind other airlines. The lie flat beds and the personal screen size and entertainment options are more Economy-like rather than Business Class. It seems churlish to complain when most people are just happy to get a trip, but when you're paying serious money for your flights you deserve more. Anyway, like I said, the flight was uneventful. We touched down in Hong Kong a little earlier than scheduled at 7:10am and then hot stepped it through the endless walkways of the Arrivals hall to find the transit area. After one more security screening we found the gate for our Shanghai flight and luckily only had to wait about ten minutes before catching the bus that took us to our Cathay Dragon A330. Turning left again towards the Business section we eased ourselves into the luxury of wide seats and endless legroom. Before we'd even sat down the hostie was round to offer a drink. This time I threw caution to the wind and had a smoothie. Now even though this was only a 2 hour flight they still managed to serve a two course breakfast, including delicious dim sum. Woohoo! There were also only 10 people in Business Class, in a section that could seat 42. In no time we touched down at Shanghai's Pudong airport and taxied towards our gate, and taxied, and taxied. You get the picture. Pudong is vast, like the line at an all you can eat buffet vast. I swear it felt like we taxied longer than we flew. Finally we reached the gate and then surged towards immigration where we gave up our fingerprints and eventually made it to the Maglev station. This was one of the things I was really excited about for this trip. I like trains normally, but this one moves by magnetic levitation and zips along at 300km/h so I was giddier than Simon Bridges at a speech therapists as I rode it.. I'll post video of it soon. It's 24km from the airport to the city, but the train does this in just 7 minutes. Once we reached the inner city Longshang station we then had to get from there to our hotel. I was going to use Didi, the local Uber ride-sharing app. However, as I walked out of the station a local taxi tout spotted my foreign-ness and pounced. I had heard about unofficial taxis and to be wary of them, but I haggled this guy down to 100 Yuan, which is about 20 bucks, so the devil may care risk taker in me said "I'll roll those dice!" 20 minutes later he dropped us off outside our magnificently impressive, vertigo inducing hotel. After picking up our jaws we sauntered in to check-in and now I am surveying my Chinese kingdom.
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    Cathy Middleton

    Always love your trip journal. Looking forward to the next installment. That train sounds amazing.