Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Goodbye to Shanghai

I've been enjoying a visit to Shanghai this week to see a friend who works here. The city's skyline is even more spectacular than last time I was here in 2004. We've been spending vast quantities of money in some of the great local restaurants, bars and clubs. Best view so far is from the Cloud 9 bar on the 87th floor of the Jin Mao tower in Pudong. Funkiest club was Friday night electro in Fabrique from a range of sixth-form DJs. Fantastic Sichuan, Nepali and local cuisine in some restaurants whose names I've already forgotten.

The city has big plans for building 8 new Metro lines, 3 new airport terminals, and many more skyscrapers. Apparently though the cost of doing business here is already approaching that of Hong Kong and Taipei. It will be interesting to see if investors start moving elsewhere, perhaps further west.

We also had a fun trip to Nanjing, the capital under the nationalists in the first half of the 20th century and previously under some of the Ming emperors. The mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen (leader of the nationalists and father of the modern state) was pleasant if crowded, and the tomb of the first Ming emperor was interesting to see. The museum of the Nanjing massacre (when 300,000 Nanjing residents were killed by the invading Japanese army during the Second World War) makes it clear why Chinese relations with Japan are still extremely strained. It is hard to understand how the Japanese prime minister continues to visit the grave of war criminals in Tokyo, and how Japanese history textbooks can cover up the incident.

I'm off to Hong Kong tomorrow to see another friend and marvel at the architecture, bars and countryside of my second-favourite city.

No comments: