Day 1: Shanghai
We’re back in China! Our trip is book-ended with the same cities as last year (Shanghai and Beijing), but we’ll visit three new destinations in between (Chengdu, Lijiang, and Huangshan). The map below shows our intended route:
Our flight from Chicago arrived in Shanghai in late afternoon, and after another ride on the Maglev train (max speed 431 km/hr, or 268 mph), subway transfer and short walk, we checked into the Peninsula.
We were greeted by Terry Crandall, my old executive chef from Chicago and current executive chef at the Peninsula Shanghai. He graciously offered a hotel/kitchen tour before we went to dinner.
In our slightly jet-lagged state, we opted for familiarity over adventure and decided we’d eat dinner at The Grape, the same restaurant we dined at the first night last year. On the way, we walked along Nanjing Lu, one of Shanghai’s most famous shopping streets.
Dinner at The Grape was delicious: sweet and sour pork, stir-fried noodles, and cucumbers in garlic sauce. Plus, Matt’s favorite: a gigantic bottle of Tsingtao beer costing about $1.25.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel, exhausted but happy. Our first day in Shanghai was easy and comfortably familiar, and we’re looking forward to seeing some new parts of the city over the next two days.