We had a great time exploring The New China in Shanghai. We spent a month there and could have enjoyed much more time. We did some successful shopping and some unsuccessful shopping.
Buses are everywhere and cheap. DM figured them out but the stops are few and far between. The metro system is user friendly and very good. And we did a lot of walking.
Our apartment building had a gym so we'd go there 3 times a week. On other days we'd take walking tours or explore farther afield.
In 2007 our friend Ernie DeCelis wrote this to us:
"Regarding China, don't bother, it is the most boring place I had gone to, I was in china for 13 months in 1962 going up and down the coast carrying soya beans when I was a seaman and thought that things would have improved, but no, apart from a lot of new buildings, the people are still the same, hygiene is not very comon [sic]either over there.
"After having done all the touristic things, Tien an men square, Summer palace, Temple of Heaven, the great wall, etc.....I was looking forward to go back home. The main problem is that in restaurants, taxis, department stores, or even police, nobody speaks english [sic], I don't know how the tourist are going to cope with the Olympics in Beijing. Just to give you an example, I had a shopping list of electronic goods I wanted to purchase, they were extremely cheap reading the prices but nobody could provide me information in english about them, even the manuals were all written in chinese, so I decided not to buy anything electronic.
"It is very different to other asian countries, language is an extremely big problem if you don't converse in Mandarin.
"If you want to go and stay 6 months over there, make sure you have a good psychiatrist when you get to your next destination."
Frankly in the first couple of weeks we were pretty frustrated. Few people spoke English and (especially after our experience in Hong Kong) everything was difficult. We might have agreed with our friend Ernie's assessment. However, we gave it a chance and starting having fun.
Audre will write more about our life there when she has a chance.