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China Shanghai Maglev Airport

10 May 2018

The maglev update

I have ridden on the maglev again, so thats worth an update. I am also precariously close to posting 1000 photos on this trip, at which point the program I have written that presents all this meaningless text and these pointless photos will automatically delete everything, so I have to be really careful!

I am now sitting in Shanghai airport, my plane is not here yet, but I think I just saw it land, its due to depart in an hour.
It is not the worlds best airport, its a bit dated, like Narita in Japan perhaps, but it is very very convenient to get to because of the maglev. 8 minutes on the levitating train and you are at the airport, fantastic.
Many years ago when I first rode the maglev it was free, its now about $10, and runs at a massive loss. Probably worth it to levitate at 450km/h for a few minutes.

Will this be the last update? I dont know yet, depends what time my flight gets into Singapore and how bored I am and how much life there is left in my failing ancient laptop battery.
Until possibly then, heres a few more pics.

China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - Shanghai has an Ishibashi - the famous Japanese guitar store. Better than that they have an annex store selling secondhand stuff. However it is closed

Shanghai has an Ishibashi - the famous Japanese guitar store. Better than that they have an annex store selling secondhand stuff. However it is closed and from what I could see, extremely expensive. Top tip, buy guitars in Japan, send to China, sell to rich Chinese, oh yeah thats what Ishibashi is doing.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - Have another bund photo, I was up bright and early, just me and the joggers.

Have another bund photo, I was up bright and early, just me and the joggers.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - Here he is, the chairman, all hail.

Here he is, the chairman, all hail.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - There was still time to appreciate a ridiculous mini garden. The guy in the foreground is really really appreciating it.

There was still time to appreciate a ridiculous mini garden. The guy in the foreground is really really appreciating it.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - One last photo of the giant buildings in Pudong, taken from afar.

One last photo of the giant buildings in Pudong, taken from afar.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - Here is a Chinese bookshop. A truck backs up and pours books out. They must be presented this way by law, in the centre of each pile is a bundle of pe

Here is a Chinese bookshop. A truck backs up and pours books out. They must be presented this way by law, in the centre of each pile is a bundle of petrol soaked rags in case an urgent book burning is required.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - Here we have the maglev, magnets, how do they work? I feel ashamed.

Here we have the maglev, magnets, how do they work? I feel ashamed.


China-Shanghai-Maglev-Airport - Bonus maglev photos of the thing the mags lev, the train! the train! Shame levels increasing.

Bonus maglev photos of the thing the mags lev, the train! the train! Shame levels increasing.


Since I probably wont post again, heres my thoughts on my trip. China is fascinating, and has progressed a lot since I was last here, everything is cleaner and more convenient. This is probably best highlighted by the public toilets, which are everywhere. I know Xi made a personal request to cities to improve that situation. I certainly remember the last time I was in Chongqing I thought it was still a bit of a wild frontier, its now a modern city.
Every city has huge green areas that are used by the people, which is great to see. Pollution was also not as bad as I expected or remember, which echoes what is being reported by China and foreign organisations that monitor the pollution levels.
Getting places is easy, hotels are all great, no food made me sick in any way, the food was all great.
I had no issues with the internet at all on my phone or laptop, I made sure I had a good vpn and a sim card that directs internet through Australia. I had a few other tricks prepared but never needed them. I was never without phone coverage.
Also, aside from some visa confusion by hotel check in staff, I had no trouble with authorities. Despite stories about police checks, raids, strip searches, drug tests etc. I never experienced any of that. I think you need to be at semi-illegal nightclubs at 3am for that to occur.

Now the negatives.
Getting a cold was annoying. Very annoying, I still have a cough. Yes I could still wander around cities etc. in a semi stupor but it did cancel a few of the longer day trips I had planned to mountains etc. I fear I have lost a lot of my fitness! And on that note, mountains in China are not as good as mountains in Korea / Taiwan / Japan. In China mountains are all concrete paths with steps, signs, toilets, rubbish bins, cable cars, cafes etc. I never really experienced a feeling of isolation which is one of the reasons I like mountains - if you read my other trips you will see me talking about how I saw no one else for hours, that isnt really possible in China unless you go way way way out west on multi day hikes.

So in summary, China is probably a better destination if you want to relax and look at things in cities, go to big tourist attractions, go to museums (theres thousands I didnt go to) and value having a huge hotel room. A good place for old people who can barely walk to get shuttled around to gawk at things.

That went on for longer than expected. My plane is here but is stuck in traffic waiting to find a park. This will make my departure late and reduce my time in Singapore, so this is probably the last update.

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