In this June 2018 blog round-up, aside from blog and travel updates, I’m sharing my recent favorite Shanghai coffee spots, amusement park, and more discoveries around the city.
I booked my flights for the summer, and it was the worst experience ever!
If you’ve followed my Instagram and Facebook, or if you already subscribed to my newsletter, you knew that I’m going to Singapore, Bali, and Yunnan, China in July. As usual, I booked it through Skyscanner. The site is simply a search engine, and it connects you to their partner booking sites. Skyscanner connected me to eDreams, and that was my first and last experience booking with this site. You can read all about it in my post.
I complained on Twitter and sent the post to them after I finished it. They double checked my flights and said everything was set and apologized. I got a 40-pound voucher as compensation and thought that was the end of it, but more hiccups happened afterward. Sure, everything was resolved at the end, but heck, booking a flight should never be that stressful with today’s technology. I urge you to watch out for this company if you book through a flight search engine!
— New places visited —
I washed Jim’s passport and went to the Swedish Consulate
I accidentally washed Jim’s passport in the laundry, so he had to replace his China visa and passport (which was expiring soon anyway!) I tagged along to the Swedish Consulate when he applied for his new passport and surprisingly found out that the Chinese teller didn’t speak any Swedish or good English. Jim thought the consulate would make him feel at home, but he even needed my help to read some signs. They had one Swedish supervisor who came out to help after Jim got agitated speaking to the Chinese teller.
Swedish embassy, get your shit together.
Happy Valley Amusement Park (歡樂谷)
We realized we couldn’t go anywhere that requires Jim showing his passport, which involves trains and staying overnight at a hotel, so we took the metro as far as we could, and we went to Happy Valley.
Happy Valley is an amusement park that’s (almost) reachable by Shanghai metro. Happy Valley was IT for Shanghai locals before Disney opened. If you love roller coasters, you’d love this place. I went on to a really scary roller coaster because I thought it didn’t look that steep. Well, I was wrong. They also got a really cool aquarium with all kinds of jellyfish! We found it better than the Shanghai Aquarium. (I mentioned how much I disliked that place in my April round-up.)
All in all, we thought Happy Valley is a pretty okay place for thrill seekers. The entrance fare is 220 RMB. There’s also a water park that requires a separate ticket, and it’s only open for July and August.
? Line #9 to Sheshan Station (佘山站). You can either wait for the free shuttle bus that’s on the other side of the overpass or walk for 20 minutes.
Shanghai Natural History Museum
Located in the city center, Shanghai Natural History Museum has a good collection, and the entrance fee is mad cheap – only 30 RMB! It was crowded when we visited, but it was bearable. The museum got robotic dinosaurs, which was pretty awesome.
?next to Jing An Sculpture Park (靜安雕塑公園旁) | ⏲️Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 – 17:15 | ?Metro Line #2 Nanjing West Road Station (南京西路站); Metro Line #1 Xinzha Road Station (新閘路站)
— My new Shanghai coffee spots —
Ever since my favourite coffee shop closed unannounced in May, I began to search for new spots to work, and I found a few new favourites – They all have some things in common: Power outlets and decent healthy food!
A popular chain bakery, Baker & Spice has long been the love of the expat community in Shanghai. I’ve come here before but not as a regular, and now I got their membership card. If you live in Shanghai, get it! They got the best perks including free coffee and discount coupons. I love their detox juice, beef curry, croissant, and breakfast combo.
?$$ |?195 Anfu Road (安福路195號) | ? Metro Line #11 Jiaotong University Station (交通大學站); Line #1 Changshu Road Station (常熟路站)
If you hate dogs, then you probably shouldn’t come to Moka Bros. Otherwise, Moka Bros is a pet-friendly eatery, and they got an unlimited coffee refill until 10.30am when you order a large cup with breakfast. I also love their kimchi Salmon energy bowl, Thai beef salad, and spinach artichoke dip! Oh, and their bathroom is super clean.
?$$$ | ?South Xiangyang Road next Xiangyang Park (襄陽南路襄陽公園旁) | ? Metro Line #Line 1, 10, or 12 at South Shaanxi Station (陝西南路站)
Paras on Shaanxi South Road
Paras got pretty decent food and coffee, but I don’t go there often mainly because of their awesome interior design. Yap, you didn’t read it wrong – I love their interior design, and so does everyone else, so it really annoys the hell out of me when other customers constantly walk around the floor taking selfies. However, their avocado eggs benedict is divine!
? $$$ | ? No, 55 South Shaanxi Road near Xinle Road (陝西南路55號，靠新樂路) | ? Metro Line #1, 10, or 12 at South Shaanxi Road Station (陝西南路站)
BONUS is a gelato shop that has several branches around Shanghai, and they got some adventurous flavors. I’ve heard about their famous salted duck egg ice cream and been wanting to try it for a while. I know it sounds strange, but I was hooked after I had it once! I also crave for their Earl Grey tea flavor – it smells so good, and you can taste real tea leaves inside. It’s definitely one of my favorite gelato places in Shanghai if not the most.
? $ | ?39 Ruijin Second Road near Middle Huaihai Road (瑞金二路39號靠淮海中路) | ? Metro Line #1, 10, or 12 at South Shaanxi Road Station (陝西南路站); Line #13 at Middle Huaihai Road Station (淮海中路站)
New Blog Posts, IGTV, Instagram highlights, and YouTube videos
I worked really hard in June and managed to produce a new post weekly! As I mentioned before, I am now a Backstreet Academy ambassador. Backstreet Academy is a for-profit peer-to-peer travel platform that offers more than 1200+ experiences and classes for travellers to take around Southeast Asia. One of the company’s goal is to raise awareness to give back to the local community when we travel. This Backstreet Academy Review: Medieval Knife Making in Siem Reap, Cambodia (Vlog) was my first ever Backstreet Academy experience.
I went to Seoul, South Korea in May, and here are my two parts short travel tips for 2 days in Seoul.
I chat about my first impression of Seoul in my Facebook video and IGTV. You can watch it below:
If you can’t see it, most likely, you are in China and need a VPN. Use my favorite VPN service and get 1-month free!
If you don’t know what is IGTV – It is a new video function on Instagram. I’m still skeptical about it because so far, I find its user interface not very friendly. We’ll see how it goes.
I’ll be off to Singapore and Bali in a few days. Make sure you’ve followed me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so you don’t miss an update!
Also published on Medium.