Shanghai was the first city in mainland China I visited and I was automatically amazed at the size and how modern the city was.
I was expecting to find China with ancient architecture, run down, crowded and disorganised like many cities in South East Asia however what I found was not just a modern city but a city out of a futuristic sci-fi movie. The airport was bigger than a small town and everything looked brand new.
I caught the MagLev train from the airport, MagLev is Magnetic Levitation which means it doesn’t touch the rails, it just floats above the ground, the train travelled at over 300 miles per hour and I arrived in the centre of town in less than 10 minutes. I knew after that moment I would never be able to catch a train in my home city without being disappointed as how old and terrible it was compared the futuristic hover trains they have in Shanghai.
I arrived at night and drove through the city with skyscrapers and neon lights as far as I could see. Massive cargo ships travelled up and down the main river 24 hours a day, not gondolas or row boats, Shanghai had the biggest transport ships you could build travelling through the city river as though it was nothing.
This was truly a city on a scale I not encountered before, it made every city I had been to seem like a small rural town. It was like going to Rome at the height of the Roman Empire, you simply could not compare any other city to it, Shanghai today exudes that greatness.
I spent time with a friend in Shanghai who is living there teaching English and he showed me around to all the best clubs and bars to go, the nightlife in Shanghai would stand up to any city in the world. I went to a sports bar with cheap food and drinks where I played beer pong in the bar, I also had drinks at an old lighthouse in the middle of the city looking over the river that had been converted into a bar. I went to some other fantastic clubs but my memory is a bit fuzzy on all the places I went.
Almost all of Shanghai has been constructed in the last 20 years so there’s not a lot of cultural heritage that can be obviously seen walking around the city but there is no shortage of things to do in Shanghai. Going up to the top of the world financial building to see the entire city from one of the tallest buildings in the world is pretty spectacular and a must see when in Shanghai.
I don’t know if the title of “greatest city” can be given to one city only as everybody is going to have a different opinion on why a city is the greatest and every city is going to have something to offer that another doesn’t however Shanghai is certainly one of the most impressive cities. Shanghai however in terms of size and how modern it is really does feel like the world’s most futuristic dominant cities. I felt like I had gone into the future going to Shanghai and I will definitely go back to the future and visit Shanghai again.