October 21, 2012

China Shanghai, Pudong: The Economic Heartland of China

It's the last leg of our China- Shanghai trip with BGB and Alcoholic, and we were absolutely exhausted.

The trip has taken us from the old city of the Bund, to garden city Suzhou, the amazing race around west lake of Hangzhou and the historical city of Nanjing in a 2 weeks spree around central China. I brought along my running shoes but found little chance to use it as we were totally bonked out every morning, trying to explore the night life around the various cities. I dragged myself out of bed on the last leg of our journey while the other 2 refused to "torture themselves on a fun trip". 

We swapped our hotel from Puxi to the new gleaming commercial district of Pudong, so that is where I started my run....
Setting off from our hotel. Budget hotels in China are pretty decent!

The commercial district is deserted on a Sunday morning

Century Ave, the main road that cuts through the heart of Pudong
Other than the gleaming business district North of the Pudong area and the shopping belt further south, most of the other buildings are high rise residential with some convenience store dotting along the road here and there. Honestly speaking, other than the cleverly designed buildings that towers over the horizon, and a beautiful coastline facing the bund, there is not much to see around here.
Shanghai World Financial Center.
Tallest Structure in China.
Also known as bottle opener

Jin Mao Center

A carpet of red flower greets you!

The most famous Phallus building in China
Running past the Oriental Pearl Tower, is a very awkward experience for me. Imagine the hordes of tourists, clustering around the pavements, jostling to get the best vantage point for their "I've been here" picture, and there is this sweaty looking jogger, trying to maintain a decent pace while navigating around the overly excited crowd. I got quite a number of disgusted looks from the tourists, wondering who in the right mind, actually work-out around one of the most crowded tourist attraction in Shanghai. I threw my best "I am Fit and you are Fat" expression back at them...

A short distance from the Oriental Pearl Tower is the waterfront facing the Bund. I was expecting a nice long undisturbed stretch of pavement there, while enjoying the sights of the Bund as a prod along. Nope, I was proven wrong. There is only one small stretch of 500meters which actually have the said scenery, and that stretch is actually part of a small park. Most of the time, the way is blocked by waterfront pubs, restaurants and commercial buildings, which requires you to run around it, along the main route before you can get back to the waterfront again. After enjoying waterfront runs with spectacular cityscape in Hong Kong and Macau, the Pudong waterfront proves to be a disappointment.

The garden that marks the entrance of the Pudong Waterfront

Wooo. Nice view....
Takes a photo first!

OMG Steps!!!

OMG, shops blocking my way at the waterfront!

OMG! the jetty blocking my way at the waterfront!
Ragequit Pudong Waterfront!

A traditional fruit store smack in the middle
of all the modern high rise buildings

All in all, the Pudong run is pretty satisfying. Just a few pointers for runners who are looking for a nice jogging route. Avoid the Oriental Pearl Tower area, unless you are looking to Troll the tourists there and send sweat flying into the direction of the crowd. Century Avenue is a pretty good place to run, but there are quite a few mega junctions further south, which requires you to go via underpass, malls and multiple pedestrian crossings which is totally pace breaking. 

After a nice satisfying run, I got back to the hotel. The room is still totally dark when I entered. The guys were still sleeping... Should I throw the curtains open and hear them scream? Hmmm. Maybe I should just do that....

Location: Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, China


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