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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Day 1 of a No Itinerary Chill Trip in Shanghai

i've said in a previous post that i was not able to finish our itinerary for Shanghai. well, i was able to write something but it was not enough. so our trip was more of an anything goes, but for the first day, i was able to write something and we kinda accomplished it. here's our day 1. i'll try to recount what happened to us, maybe it can help you in some way when you visit Shanghai. and just a note, everything that we visited in Day 1 is worth recommending. visit them also :)

Burger King in Pudong Airport

i have to mention this place. we had a red eye flight. we arrived in Shanghai at 2:30am. there's no public transpo yet, except for cabs. we can't check-in still, so what to do? stay in the airport until 6am. good thing Burger King is open for 24 hours. since it's the only open store that time, it's full. but you can stay at the connected restaurant (The Aviator). you can relax also since some of the seats are couches.

MagLev Train




the fastest train in the world. we were traveling for 301kph. but you won't get dizzy. within 15 minutes, we're in Longyang Road already.

video


and before we know it, we're in the city proper already. and the MagLev is spacious.



it costs 50 RMB for one-way. but if you arrive on the same date, you can have a 20% discount or just pay 40 RMB. just show your airline ticket.




Park Hyatt



i'm not really sure what you can see in the Observatory in the Shanghai Financial Center, but if it is just the view, I recommend you just go to the restaurants of Park Hyatt Hotel (it's just beside the Observatory).

though it's only the 87th or 91st floor, at least you will have a magnificent view



be comfortable (and they have a luggage counter so you can move and relax comfortably)


and great food! we ordered waffle, french toast and hot choco. i love their hot choco. it tastes like tablea. you should order it.


and the most important of all, you can access the networking sites! Twitter, Instagram, Facebook... so if you super miss your SNS, it's a great place to visit.

honestly, with those three food, experience of dining in Park Hyatt, having our SNS, nice view and comfortable breakfast, it's like we were able to save some money compared if  we went to the Observatory.

video



5th Floor of IFC Mall

carrying our luggages, we kinda walked around the Financial Center. and saw the IFC Mall. since there's an IFC Mall in Seoul that is memorable for me, we decided to check out this mall. we saw the directory and saw that there's a roofdeck on the 5th floor. and good thing we did! there's totally not much people and you can view the streets of the Financial Center.

and a good photoshoot spot.



Fuxing Road

it's on our way home. and just as we were strolling, we totally felt that we are in another country (not in the Philippines). hehe. and the old buildings are a nice change. i think it would look better during spring or fall




Xintiandi

our favorite place. it has everything. and it's clean and stylish and really nice. we're always there everyday. not only because it's our neighbor but it's really a good place to visit. you can find everything there, malls, banks where you can exchange your money, good food, everything.





Xintiandi Style

it's a mall in Xintiandi. sorry, i really don't have a picture of this. but anyway, i included this coz in the mall, you can find lots of good stuff. there's a bookstore/cafe where you can mail your future self or other people in the future. just tell them when you want it to be delivered. but i think you have to buy the postcards from them. and i also saw the books Ode to Joy, and When a Snail Falls in Love (with Wang Kai and Olivia on the cover), but it's in Chinese. hehe.


credits to @robellejoyce for this photo
and the mall has a supermarket. honestly, i think this supermarket sells the expensive stuff. hahaha. but! a big but! we've looked at a lot of stores selling white rabbit, and this is where we found the cheapest white rabbit pack. so i suggest that you buy white rabbit there.

and one thing i like again in this supermarket. they sell Rio. hahaha. i just have to buy it coz Yang Yang is endorsing it and you can see it in almost all mainland dramas. though i didn't see three squirrels there..

how to go there? it's just Exit 1 of Xintiandi Station.



Mystic South Yunnan Ethnic Cuisine




literally our favorite restaurant in Shanghai. we ate there 3 out of the 4 nights we stayed in Shanghai. and the reason we did not eat on the second night is because it is closed. the food is great and the servers are friendly and fast. though on the first day we had difficulties in communicating, later on we got used to each other. hahaha. they recognize us already. and the food is not that expensive.

how did we discover the place? before the trip, i searched on top restaurants in Xintiandi and this is in the list. this is on the top of my list but i thought that i'll have difficulty in finding it since it's not in iPhone map. so we tried looking for the second in my list. then we passed by it. and i told my companions that it's in my list so we tried it.



we asked what are the bestsellers and i have to agree that they really are the bestsellers except for one. anyway, here are our favorite dishes that we ordered and i recommend that you order them also. i can't find the picture of the menu, so i'll just post the picture of the food and just put what i remembered from the dish (and we didn't order all of them on the first day. hehe)

cold noodles. my favorite. even if it's winter, it's still refreshing

tilapia. joyce's favorite. a little spicy though

bread
Grandma's Mashed Potato. my sister's favorite. it's 9 RMB

K11 Mall

while i was going around Xintiandi alone, of all the malls there, i don't know but i decided to enter K11. and i think i made the right decision.

what i like about the mall is that parts of it is like an art exhibit. i was not able to explore the other exhibits.  but when i visited, there's also an instruction on how to do a crane, but of course i failed. but i tried coz i want to do this and have my wish come true.


sorry, i don't know where my pictures of the mall are 😐


this had been a chill day 1 minus the luggages. we've been to only a few places but still it's a fun experience and the places we visted in day 1 are places we wanted to go back to.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

How We Survived in Shanghai?



i don't know anything about Shanghai. i have just started a drama filmed in Shanghai, so i really don't know anything. i tried to do our itinerary but i failed. i only did he first day and a little on the second day. my companions are not also familiar with Shanghai and we don't have any Chinese skills. also Google is not working. so how did we survive?

(note: this is not a paid blog, but it just so happened that they're the ones we used and i would just like to share it instead of people wondering what it is. also, i'm an iphone user during the trip so mostly would be based on iphone, just kindly search it on Google Play)

1. Wifi


yes, Google is not working but the wifi helped us a lot in looking for places, talking to our host/car rental anytime and anywhere. as i have previously blogged, we used iVideo and it was fast and really reliable.


2. (iPhone) Map



since Google is not working, we can't rely on Google. Waze is not working well. so i tried using the map of my phone. i never used it before but it became my bestfriend in Shanghai. i depended on it so much. not only on the directions but also on the top restaurants nearby. yes, you can search for restaurants near your location.


3. Subway Card

sorry it won't rotate..
this helps a lot especially if you love to commute coz you can also use this when you ride the bus. i'm guessing even with the other transportation, you can use it. but at least just even with subway, it would save you time and effort of buying tickets. and the card is just 20 Yuan.


4. Metro Subway App



this app also helped us when we try to see how we can go to one place to another. it made life and transfers easier


5. Translator



it's in Shanghai that i realized i relied on Google too much. of course i can't use Google translate which is the only translator app i have in my phone. good thing my sister has the Naver Papago Translate app. it helped us communicate with our driver and others. just type what you would like to say and show the Chinese translation to the other person. and because of the app, our driver led us to a cheap restaurant that is really good.



6. Calculator (on your phone)

so this what i did in Shanghai when asking for prices especially from the street vendors. i just say "Dushao" (how much), then show the calculator in my phone and let them type the amount


7. Rent a Car if you're going to Suzhou

i truly recommend that you visit Suzhou. the parks there are really good to visit. but it's better to rent a car. why? (1) coz it's far. (2) the parks are not walking distance from each other so it's better to rent a car to make your life easier.

we rented a car from ShangCar.com and Felicia who became our contact person is really helpful. i've inquired from a few other sites and she was the one who sent the lowest rate. and the great thing about them is even if it's last minute, they were accommodating and helpful. we decided to just rent a car on the day of our departure. i just messaged her at 9am and we needed the car at 11pm. our car was Buick GL8. just drop them an email at info@shangcar.com.


8. Val, our AirBnB Host

Val was a great host. she patiently answers all my questions, and trust me i have a question everyday (like is there a church nearby). even before we booked, she was already helpful. her place is in a perfect location. 

don't mind our bags. hehe. thanks to @robellejoyce for the pic.
i very well recommend her properties. though the one where we stayed, you should be quiet but it's okay. you can check all her Shanghai homes here . i think all her other homes also have great locations based on the reviews.


9. Whatsapp and WeChat

these two are the popular chats in China. sometimes Viber would work but not most of the time. Facebook messenger, i would receive notifications but we can't open them. so these apps (ad iMessage/FaceTime) are what we use.

what's good about WeChat is that it has a translator, so it makes communication easier.


10. Look to Your Left and to Your Right Before Crossing the Street

even if you're on the pedestrian lane, you still should look (especially to your left) before you cross. coz the traffic for vehicles in Shanghai is.. turn left/right with care






i hope this list would be of any help to those traveling to Shanghai and i guess to other China cities.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Don't Get Lost in Shanghai

I love watching Chinese movies, but i don't know how to speak Chinese. i also don't understand Chinese. The only Chinese i know is "xie xie". This also goes for my sister and friend. So how did we survive Shanghai? Of course by the ever reliable internet! Yeah, we're technology-dependent. hehe. 

In other words, iVideo wifi saved our lives.


Though we still could not access Google and other Google-related sites, it still had been very helpful.

I discovered that my iPhone map can work very well, and it's just like Google map. thanks to the iVideo wifi, we were able to use the map of our iPhones and found the locations very well.

Famous SNS sites, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is not really accessible also. But it's okay, at least we really get to bond and talk to each other. I learned about my friend, Joyce's Englishing skills. Hehe. And she got to hear me talk more. hahaha. But if you are already dying coz of withdrawal symptoms from SNS, you can go to big hotels (ex. Park Hyatt), their wifi is fast and you can access all your SNS.

But chat apps like Whatsapp, WeChat and Kakaotalk, and also iMessage work perfectly well. Though sometimes I had difficulty using Viber and Line app (even if we were in the Line Cafe).

As mentioned, we cannot access Google-related sites with the iVideo wifi.. meaning we also cannot access Google Translate. Good thing my sister has translators powered by Naver, a Korean site. We used that translator and we were able to communicate more easily to the locals.

A downside though of the iVideo wifi is that the battery drains easily. Good thing they have 2 batteries provided. But still you need to have a powerbank ready. What we do is we would turn off the wifi coz there's no SNS sites accessible, and we just turned it on if we need the maps or need the chat apps.

But another great thing with them is that they deliver it fast. We ordered it weekend before our trip and we got it just right before our trip.



Oh well.. I have to admit.. the wifi had been a big factor for us to have an enjoyable and hassle-free trip.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 8

November 8...

A lot of people hate that day. A lot of people would like to remove it from the calendar coz of the news that for that day..

2013: Typhoon Yolanda
2016: Marcos to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery for Heroes)
Trump becoming President of the USA

But you know what? It's not only bad things that happen on November 8. And you know the most awesome thing that happened? I was born on that day.

I was supposed to be born in December. But no, I was born November 8.. coz God said something awesome should happen on November 8.

Nonsense post. Just want to inform everyone when my birthday is.
This is a grand post coz I never announce my birthday

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Miss Photography

Ever since I was a kid, I already love taking pictures. I even got my first ever camera when I was in first year high school.

I still take photos but not that much anymore. Looks weird coz it's easier (our first camera has a separate bulky flash) and less expensive (wastage of film) now to take photos compared to before, but still I don't take that much pictures anymore especially compared to my friends.

But I still love to take photos especially of candid shots of people. I think I just want it to be as real as possible. And I love taking back shots of friends.

Yes, I also sometimes take pictures of sceneries and food (especially for food report) and those usual stuff but I admit that I'm not good at it.

Anyway, I met up with friends who are really active in Instagram who posts really good pictures that they even win contests and have a number of followers. And I suddenly have this feeling to also open an Instagram account for photos that won't include my face. That it would have a certain theme.

But I'm stumped. (1) i don't know what username to use; (2) what would be the contents of the account? I would like to have a theme but I don't have any idea what my theme would be. Food? Scenery? Fashion?

One thing for sure. I don't want my friends to know about it. I want it to be an anonymous account. If ever in the future I will discover that my friends are following me, it would be like I achieved something. It would be like somehow I passed their standards.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Quotable Quotes: Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko

i hate to regret things. but i really do regret not posting in pinterest the screenshots of the scenes/lines that i like from the jdorama Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko. i just saved them in my laptop and during the holy week, my laptop just crashed. sigh.

i just posted two in pinterest. as much as i would like to watch the drama again and screenshot them, i decided to just use it in watching other dramas. hello, i still have a long list of plan to watch. so i will just watch once in a while and post/update this again.

a little about the drama. i kinda accidentally watched it when i saw in my feeds that it was subbed. i don't know why i decided to just try it. and i really enjoyed the first episode. and one big surprise is Narimiya Hiroki was there. i like him as an actor. so i decided to continue and i'm glad i did. i really enjoyed the drama. and Kame as able to prove himself that he could be an actor. i saw him in another drama before, and i hated his acting. hehe. the best part of Kame in this drama? his singing voice. hahahaha.

i also like some of the lines (obviously, why would i have this post if not, right?). here are some of the quotes that i like:





Friday, March 25, 2016

Ebisu Garden Place


i love to watch japanese dramas and movies, so what's the best way to discover japan? go to a place seen in a drama/movie. and perfect drama for it? hana yori dango.

hana yori is my first japanese drama (as far as i can recall). it's the japanese version of taiwanese' meteor garden and korean's boys over flowers.

one of the famous location of the drama is the ebisu garden place (clock tower square). this is where domyouji waited for makino for their date for the longest time and waited for her even if started to rain.



and i'm glad i searched for hana yori dango filming sites coz i didn't see this in famous tourist spots on my research. it's a nice place. it looks an expensive place hehe, but still a nice place to visit. and there are lots of restaurants there.

yes, i have to ask my sister to pose like she's waiting but since it's modern times, she's waiting while playing with her phone. hehe.

so what can you see in ebisu garden place besides this popular tower?


this clock performs a melody and like a mini-COD christmas display performance every 12nn, 3pm & 6pm. we saw the 12nn "performance". it's just small but it's cute. and it's difficult to watch coz it's hot!

if you're into art, i think you'll like the things you can see here




you can go inside a building and in the top most floor, you will see a view of tokyo.


there's even a museum for beer there. but sorry, we didn't go there.

and the tokyo metropolitan museum of photography. i really wanted to visit this place but sadly it's closed during the time we went there for renovation.

we weren't able to explore the place that much. but if you're a hana yori fan, you truly have to visit this place.

so how to go there....

go to Ebisu Station.. find the exit for the Yebisu Skywalk. and just walk/walakalator and walk/walkalator and walk/walkalator... hehe.


then cross the street...


then you're there!