The voyage to paradise

Shanghai

Planes

The longest leg of my voyage to Bali was the trip from Montreal to Shanghai. It’s a 14 hour flight, with a +12 hour time difference. Pro tip: do not connect through Shanghai (or probably anywhere in China for that matter) with less than 5 hours of layover. We had 2.5 hours to transfer, and we missed our flight. They probably scanned our bags a dozen times, took our fingerprints, asked us questions, searched our bags countless times. It's a hectic place to be. The next flight out to Bali was 24 hours later.

It’s definitely disappointing to miss your flight and have to spend a whole day in a place you aren’t supposed to be, but we wanted to make the best of it. Hey, anything is an adventure after all. We left the airport, checked into a hotel, and passed right out and didn’t wake up until morning. That was a great sleep, and I think we kicked jet lag in the butt.

Trains

Now we are in Shanghai with about 8 hours to explore before we head back to the airport. We hopped on the maglev train from the airport to Longyang Station, then onto the metro to East Nianjing.

The maglev is awesome. It’s super fast. We hit 300kph and it barely felt like we were moving. The metro to East Nianjing was fun too. Being a minority on a train is an interesting feeling.

The Bund

Next we hit up the Bund. If you're in Shanghai, this is the place to see. It's amazing to see the architecture of the city divided by this very active waterway. This city is constantly moving.

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Lunch

The Bund was a nice site to see, but now we're getting hungry, so we headed back to Nianjing Road to check out the local eateries. I wish I could tell you where we stopped to eat, but there was no English signs anywhere. That's probably why we stopped, might as well go full authentic. We ordered shrimp dumplings in soup, spicy meat noodles, Suzhou style dumplings and stir fried noodles. The food was unreal: Delicious and flavourful.

The longest taxi ride

We were crunched for time, and had to head back to the hotel to grab our bags before checkout (don't worry, we were still good for our plane, but checkout was at 2pm, and it was already 1:30pm). We took the metro back to Longyang Rd, but the maglev wasn't going to be there until 2pm.

We definitely needed to grab a taxi instead. So we found a taxi stand and we hopped into one. It took 5 mins for us to even explain to the cab driver where we wanted to go. This was a painful cab ride... The language barrier alone was killing us. At one point, the driver decided to get out of the car to pee on the side of the road. We eventually got back to the hotel, about an hour and a half later. It was now almost after 3pm, but thankfully, the hotel was kind enough to not charge us any extra fees.

With all the interesting hiccups that happened in Shanghai, this might be my favourite "Saving Grace" story: My travel buddy Kumar and I grabbed our bags from the room, and Kumar left a couple of things in the room that he didn't want to keep anymore. We go downstairs to checkout, and a little Chinese woman ran downstairs yelling at us and bringing Kumar his belongings. In the moment, it was hilarious.

Off to the airport! Bali here we come!

Bali

We finally hit Bali at just after midnight on the 3rd. Hung out a bit, slept a bit, got up and got on some scooters and toured the city. I've been told that you can fit anything on a scooter, and boy they were not kidding.

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The food

Dragonfruit smoothies for breakfast, Mie Goreng Ayam for lunch, Satay dinner at a BBQ joint on the beach. What could be better than that?

Stay tuned for beaches, surfing, more delicious food, and other unknown adventures!