I find China to be an intriguing country. Home to some of the greatest dynasties not to mention incredible cuisine, China has always been a country I’ve wanted to visit and thanks to an opportunity with Sri Lankan Airlines I finally did. China reminds me a lot of India ( where I come from ), it’s seeped in tradition yet embraces modern technology at a faster rate that one can comprehend. A majority of the population is spiritual and superstitious but the younger crop are more practical and pragmatic.
Where there are structures of grandeur that date back to a couple of centuries, there are ritzy glitzy modern construction that just reminds you how much of old China has blended with the new. I went to two cities, Beijing and Shanghai and this stark contrast of old vs new couldn’t be more evident. Beijing is what I like to call an old soul. It’s home to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall Of China among other historical structures. Each monument is more grand than the other and there is an intricate opulence that I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere else. It’s home to some superior fine dining options which I had the pleasure of indulging in as well as what I like to call cheap and cheerful Chinese style bargain shopping. I’m told the nightlife here rivals some of the best and is the perfect stomping ground for a party animal. With just two days to explore, I can’t really do justice to Beijing but I get a sense there is a very funky side to this city which I shall explore the next time I visit.
Shanghai on the other hand is all about it’s modernity and you’d be hard pressed to find anything remotely historic. Tall towering sky scrapers, an interconnecting web of highways and freeways and a view across the harbour lit up in glittering colours at night is what you first encounter in this city. Arguably one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan city it reminds you of Singapore or Hong Kong yet vastly different from Beijing. Shanghai is dotted with various eateries catering to all price points but it’s ruled by it’s grand malls and shopping outlets. Its French Concession neighbourhood gives you a slight flavour of Europe and it’s just such a great city to enjoy on a holiday.
I have great memories from this trip and it really made me want to re visit China in greater detail but till then, I hope you enjoy this photo diary as well as my other China posts I’ve linked below 🙂