Sunday, 17 August 2008

Leaving Shanghai

After a week touring Shanghai it was time to depart and head for Singapore. It was an early morning start - a Sunday morning too - and the roads were quiet as we left our apartment by taxi and headed out to the new airport.

When I arrived in Shanghai I had been aghast at the sight of the airport - not knowing that it was about to be closed as the new one was almost ready for business. What a difference! The new airport was astounding with modern shops and facilities.

It is reported that when the Shanghai government decided some 20 years ago to create the new Pudong Shanghai International Airport and the Pudong business precinct, across the Huangpu River from old Shanghai that a million farmers were displaced. Where once there were farms and small villages is now modern high rise buildings including the new financial district of Shanghai, rows and rows of apartments, and of course the airport. Also from Shanghai city to the Airport is the elevated track for the MAGLEV, the high speed "train".

The modern Airport is a welcome sight after the one that I had seen on my arrival - and with huge walls of glass giving visitors a view right over the tarmac, and beyond where some small farms still exist, and out to the China Sea where many boats ply their trade in and out of Shanghai Port.

We quickly checked in, and had time for some breakfast before our flight was loaded for the journey to Singapore.

A good trip - as is our experience with Singapore Airlines, and after a few hours we landed safely at Singapore and quickly found a taxi to take us to our hotel. The Golden Landmark Hotel - just a little out of the main city area of Singapore - is opposite Raffles Hospital, and not far from a MRT station, which we made use of later in our time in Singapore.

After bookingin we went for a short walk around the hotel - and found we were adjacent to Arab Street, which feataured many small shops selling silk and other fabrics, (mostly described as Italian silk - but it was silk manufactured in China, but dyed in Italy - which we were told was the best quality and the best colours and designs.) As well there were rug shops, and small eateries.

A huge mosque was beside the hotel, and there were several major events on during out time there, so many people came from India, and Pakistan to take part in the religous festivities.

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