theolynn

Exploring Shanghai – Day Two of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Uncategorized, World Expo 2010 on July 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm

We eventually arrived in Shanghai at 1030 and after a surprisingly efficient immigration check, collected all our bags. Yes, all of them. We also encountered the ubiquitous Haibao for the first time, the World Expo 2010 mascot. He resembles some toothpaste and is literally everywhere in Shanghai.

Rosemary Clancy, Niamh NicClamha, Joe Cullinan, Nic Opris, Tanya McNamara. Dr. Theo Lynn (sitting on) Andrew Bonello with Haibao (the World Expo 2010 Mascot) at Pudong International Airport, Shanghai

Rosemary Clancy, Niamh NicClamha, Joe Cullinan, Nic Opris, Tanya McNamara. Dr. Theo Lynn (sitting on) Andrew Bonello with Haibao (the World Expo 2010 Mascot) at Pudong International Airport, Shanghai

Without Neil the Navigator, we struggled but eventually found the MagLev station and while waiting for the train experienced the incredible heat and humidity of summer in Shanghai. The MagLev was the first commercial magnetic levitation train and is one of the fastest operational public service trains in the world with a top speed of 431 km per hour.

The MagLev hits a top speed of 431 km per hour

The MagLev hits a top speed of 431 km per hour

It is an impressive ride but only scary when another train is passing by! It’s a bit weird but the train is a tourist attraction in itself and a great way to start our adventures in Shanghai.

Andrew Bonello competes with other passengers to take a photo of the speed display on the MagLev as it hits the top speed

Andrew Bonello competes with other passengers to take a photo of the speed display on the MagLev as it hits the top speed

On arrival in Shanghai, some members of the group decided to go native and get the metro to the hotel; others gave up and got a taxi! The metro was an adventure in itself and gave us an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere but also get to know the train system and how to find our hotel.

Sean Cullivan on the Metro to the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

Sean Cullivan on the Metro to the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

As it turned out, our rooms weren’t ready so we ended up taking over the lobby where Rob delivered his sermon on the future of religions. Some headed off for food, others to the bank…..and eventually, Rob gave up. Our rooms were eventually allocated and were a pretty good 4-star standard. We had booked tickets for the Big Bus Tour via email and exactly on time our Red Bus contact, Titan, turned up as good as his word and not only gave us a good group discount but a 48 hour pass. This pass was pretty good value and recommended – it gave us hop-on/hop-off access to two tour bus lines crossing the city, a river cruise and access to the Shanghai Museum, Madame Tussauds and some other attractions. After distributing the passes, the group split off to explore the city.

Sarah, Micheal, Andrew and I decided getting food would be a good idea. After hailing a taxi, we headed off to Renmin (People’s) Square. This was an adventure in itself. It became apparent quickly that wearing a seatbelt in a taxi was considered bad luck (or insulting) and after several attempts, Andrew gave up and rode beltless. After an unsuccessful attempt to even understand the menu in a Chinese food court outlet, we resigned ourselves to eating our first meal in Shanghai in McDonalds…it tastes the same….

And so at 3pm we got our bus tour on the red route. Like Dubai last year, this is a pretty good way to be introduced to the city showing and explaining the architecture and history of the city quickly and professionally.

Siobhan Buckley soaks up Shanghai on the Big Bus Tour

Siobhan Buckley soaks up Shanghai on the Big Bus Tour

In an hour, we got a birds eye view of Renmin Square, the Shanghai Museum, Xin Tian Di, Huaihai Road (Shopping), the Jade Buddha Temple, and the Bund. Unfortunately, the combination of heat (30 degrees), humidity and fatigue did hit us and sometimes it was hard to keep the eyes open. Luckily, we weren’t the only ones!

Fellow Big Bus Passengers Take a Rest, Shanghai

Fellow Big Bus Passengers Take a Rest, Shanghai

While the others continued on to the Yu Gardens, Madame Tussauds and the River Cruise, Andrew and I had to jump out to confirm M on the Bund, our restaurant for Friday night and meet Xiaoxia Wang, DCU’s China Representative.

Martin Hennig, Beatrice Metzler, Wafa AlMuhamma and Nic Opris and Jackie Chan at Madame Tussauds, Shanghai

Martin Hennig, Beatrice Metzler, Wafa AlMuhamma and Nic Opris and Jackie Chan at Madame Tussauds, Shanghai

At 7pm, a group of us had dinner at the Lost Heaven restaurant on Yan’an Dong Lu near the Bund with Deirdre Walsh (ChinaGreen) and Ciaran Lally (Saon Group China). Saon Group have acquired a number of recruitment companies in China, for example MyJob, and Ciaran outlined the challenges and opportunities of growing the business in China. While the cost of everything is an eighth of Ireland so is the pricing so scale is important. Deirdre and Ciaran also gave us great insights in to living, working and staying in China. Don’t expect people to work through lunch too often and don’t answer any unexpected knocks on the hotel door at night! The food was excellent and recommended. I am not sure what we were eating but it apparently was a “mix of dishes from northern Thailand, Yunnan, and Burma (self-described as “Mountain Mekong” cuisine).” I think we were spoiled for our first night and only 25-30 euros per head including drinks.

After a short walk along the Bund, where our two blond twins (Sarah and Micheal) got stopped for regular photos by Chinese tourists visiting Shanghai for the Dragon Boat holiday, we embarked on another mini-adventure getting a ride back to the hotel on the back of the motorised version of a rickshaw. Sarah and Micheal fared better than Andrew and I – they worked out to bring down the bar at the back that held you in to the seat as Andrew and I were knocked all over the place by every pothole in sight!

Chinese people enjoying the Bund during the Dragon Boat holiday, Shanghai

Chinese people enjoying the Bund during the Dragon Boat holiday, Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Three to follow….

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