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One Year in Shanghai

Shanghai by Night – Picture credit: Business Insider

I have lived a year in Shanghai and two in Kuala Lampur. From my experience, Shanghai is a by far the best of the Chinese cities for an expat like me to reside. Shanghai is the most populous city of China for no other reason. It is one of the fastest developing cities in the world.

Anything and everything is comparatively cheap here in Shanghai let alone the rent for an apartment. I lived in a fairly good but small apartment in an urban area of the city. Everybody here is in a rush. This makes most of them ill tempered. But I was lucky to have a cheery landlord who appears as though he haven’t heard English in his lifetime but never minded me coming home very late in the night or me keeping the apartment messy. Thanks to my real estate agent.

When it comes to the lifestyle of the people, it may seem quite strange to see many people in traditional dresses throughout the day. But that is the case of just people who are still living in the previous century or so. There is a very vibrant and dynamic population too in Shanghai who are up-to-date with the current happenings in fashion and lifestyle all around the world. You can see many people in the streets from various cultures and countries very much like us. So no expats will feel like stranded out in some other planet.

The pollution in the city is the main concern that is puzzling even the officials. It seems to be rising from day to day. The polluted atmosphere poses a threat to the skin. When it comes to skincare, I prefer natural and herbal ways. In a place this polluted, I give safety higher priority rather than beauty. Proper sunscreens or other facial creams are highly recommended. The streets of Shanghai is crowded with people from all over the world alike battling all such challenges.

This pollution has made much problem to the roadside food vendors too. Food from such shops may seem like an unwanted risk in our lives. But if you are into some great international food, there are places that do offer it. When you are planning to stay in Shanghai for a fairly long time, you will come to understand that cooking your own food is much healthier and cheaper. For a foreigner in Shanghai, it might take more than a month to fit into the new-found routine.

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The night life in the city is one rather interesting. Even though the government seem to have certain pre-historic kind of rules and beliefs, the city has got a really active night life. The traffic in Shanghai is nightmare during the rush hours like any other prominent cities. But the city has a well-established and reliable metro and subway system. The metro rails of Shanghai is one of the longest in the world. You can buy almost all items for a fairly minimum price in Shanghai.

There are markets that sell almost anything under the sky. When it comes to fish and meat market, you might see even the most unexpected ones from insects and snakes to even crocodiles! The exact cultural background and beliefs of China is a bit strange and indigestible for expats. But it is quite a relief to see such a large and busy city being friendly to foreigners and immigrants from all over the world.

So, the final verdict is yours to take. Do you believe Shanghai deserves your acquaintance?

Singapour OrganicIsBeautiful

Things I love about Singapore

Singapore is an hour trip from Kuala Lumpur, yet the country was never in my bucket list before. Not sure why since I learnt to love every bits of it across the years. Why? Read below:

Singapour OrganicIsBeautiful
Singapour OrganicIsBeautiful

Stop in Singapore | OrganicIsBeautifulEthnic quarters:

While exploring the city of Singapore, I encountered such quarters:

  1. Little India: From a distance, I could hear Hindi songs being played in a loudspeaker. I was astonished, thinking why was it played in a loudspeaker in Singapore. I walked towards the sound and suddenly the buildings, shops, streets, people and the overall aura of the place changed. I found myself in Little India. I saw shops selling brass jewelry and beautiful colorful sarees. I had delicious Indian cuisine which included roti, daal, crisp potatoes and chicken curry. I experienced India in this beautiful country.
  2. Chinatown: I was excited when I saw yet another country’s quarter in Singapore. I tried the Chinese cuisine. I had the delicious Tian Tian rice and oyster pancakes. I learnt kite making from a vendor there. I wore colorful masks too fully immersing myself in the culture. I also visited the Thiang Hock Keng temple. I loved the intricate designs, elaborately painted doors and the typical Chinese style structure. It felt as if I was transported to China.

Night Safari:

This is one of the most exciting things to do in Singapore. The Night Safari was a special experience for me because this was the first time I was exploring the zoo at night and that too in a tram. I saw quite a few animals such as lions, tigers, hippos etc. The darkness of the night makes it a thrilling and unique experience. One should must experience this especially with their family.

A mall in Singapour | OrganicIsBeautiful
A mall in Singapore | OrganicIsBeautiful

Camping in a deserted island:

This is the most thrilling and memorable experience in Singapore. It is not covered in most of the tourist’s itineraries. There is Kusu and St. John’s islands which are further afield and are accessible by ferry. I went to the St. John’s Island. I took my own food and water as there are no restaurants on the island. The beach of the island is mesmerising and fresh. I had sea bath and made barbeques. Then I spent the whole night star gazing on the beach. The night time had an enigmatic beauty. The twinkling stars adorned the night sky and the whole beach was glistening with silvery moonlight. I was there enjoying every moment to the fullest and adoring the elegance of the Singapore skyline visible from there.

Sentosa Island:

This island is rightly called the state of fun with a huge Merlion sitting on it. There are many thing which can be done there. Some of the best are:

  1. Underwater World: I step on the escalator and it takes me through a huge underground aquarium covering me from three sides having a large variety of sea fishes such as myriads of jellyfishes, rays, sharks and much more. I was astonished to see such a huge variety of fishes. The humongous aquarium had Open Ocean habitat, which made me feel if I am on the cavernous ocean floor!
  2. Songs of the Sea: This is my best experience on Sentosa Island. The world famous laser show happens on the sea side. A beautiful story is shown through laser lights on the water is truly awe inspiring and fun to watch. The dancing lights and the spraying water blend together to form a great entertainment for tourists.
  3. Beaches: Sentosa Islands also offers beautiful beaches.
    Tropical Beach | OrganicIsBeautiful
    Tropical Beach | OrganicIsBeautiful

     

  4. Tanjong beach: This is an ideal beach for people looking for tranquility and peace. It is the romantic beach. The tranquil atmosphere provides relaxation and is away from the hustle bustle of the city.
  5. Siloso Beach: When I went to this beach, it was polar opposite of the Tanjong beach. There is excitement all over the beach. I played volleyball here with random people and made some new friends. Amazing places to eat and bars can be found here. In the night, this beach is wide awake partying. I thoroughly enjoyed the night culture of this beach, thanks to the quality live music being played, good alcohol and wonderful food by the sea shore.

Nightlife:

Singapore has a vibrant and sophisticated nightlife. Some of the best are:

  1. 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar: This is the first thing that comes to my mind. The bar is on the 63rd floor and provides a beautiful view of the city. I found the place very sophisticated and the service was great. Food and booze are of top quality. After traveling for the whole day, I went there at 8 and even though it got late for me but I did not feel like leaving the place. I loved the ambience and one could just stare at the scintillating city forever.
  2. Zouk: I love dance music and Zouk turned out to be a heaven to me. This awarding-winning venue has been at the forefront of the club scene in the city for over two decades. The crowd here mainly consisted of the youngsters. I danced my way through the night having the time of my life. The feeling was ecstatic. It is a must go club for dance loving people.

The nightlife of Singapore has something in store for everyone. The night never gets boring here. Excitement levels touch the sky with electrifying bars, pubs and discos. The perfect blend of beaches, nightlife, entertainment, adventure and fun filled activities makes Singapore one of the most attractive countries in the world.

Thank you for stopping by,

Amanda

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