Shanghai, China

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Shanghai was a very easy introduction to China. Yes, I got scammed twice within my first 24 hours – but these turned into a couple of my most memorable moments from the entire trip. Shanghai impressed me – it was a world class city on a very human scale.

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Shanghai Back Streets

Shanghai Street Eats

Probably the highlight of my time in Shanghai was a street food tour with UnTour Food Tours. I had definitely struggled with the language barrier during my first couple of days, and so I was hoping that this might help alleviate that. My guide was fantastic, and captivated our group almost immediately. From hand-picking our own snake, to plenty of Bai Jo, the night flies past all too quickly, with plenty of great tasting food, laughs, and conversation.

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

While looking up day trips from Shanghai, the city of Suzhou surfaced as one not to be missed. Twenty minutes by bullet train, and you’ll find yourself in a city famed for its Classical Gardens and water canals. My sense of adventure wasn’t too strong on the day I visited, and when I couldn’t identify the right bus to take from the train station, I made the decision to walk. First stop – The Humble Administrators Garden – is probably the most famous. The network of pagodas and waterways are a fascinating sight, even if they are busy with tourists bustling around.