First of all, thank you Kwun for hosting me. Despite not spending much time together, I greatly apprecaiate the entire trip you planned for me! And since it's not a secret anymore, Kwun is heading to Chengdu in July to be the big boss of that port. She will have two cars and three servants - one of them a driver - and live in a big house with a Panda in the backyard. Okay, I made up the last part. OKAY, I made up all the parts except her moving to Chengdu. =)
Couple of Shanghai observations... if you HAVE to compare it to Hong Kong, here's my assessment. It's less tidy, less clean, less civilized, less orderly, less polite, less international, less expensive. It's also more progressive, more cultured (note: different from civilized!), more dynamic, more versatile. Definitely has a much higher ceiling - in almost everything except for language - than Hong Kong. Or at least that's how I subjectively feel. The less and more comparisons are quite objective! And as I've told Kwun many times, it's basically HK smashed on top by a hammer - everything is a little shorter and a little flatter. The appearance of the two cities - infrastructure and people - are extremely similar!
All in all, comparisons with Hong Kong are, I guess, unavoidable. From Shanghai's point of view, what city can they look up to? It has to be Hong Kong. Anyway, I shall not make any more comparisons. Here's my summery of Shanghai. I liked it a lot. I feel really sad that this is my first time in Shanghai. Had I been there 10 years ago, I could have witnessed the greatest change in a city in the shortest period of time! Although I did all the tourist stuff, I was quite impressed with how the government has done with those spots. Despite all tourists and locals being attracted to the same places, it still felt okay. In China, my experience is that whenever there is something good, the entire city will be there. Maybe that's the case in Shanghai, but I don't feel that way. Still a lot of people though.
Shanghai doesn't have much of a history. So its revolutionary history is rather contemporary. With all the foreigners roaming the city and all commercial/tourist activities kissing up to them, it does indeed still have the 1930s Shanghai Tang feel to it. Sad? Or not? I don't know.
Ooops, running out of gas already. Maybe should do day-by-day trip description... until next time! Oh, I highly recommend visiting former houses of Lu Xun and Sun Chong Shan. Gives me shivers just thinking about what great minds they possessed! Gives me even more shivers on how little I have accomplished with my life at 25. OKAY, 26!