Semester in Shanghai. My favorite places: S. America, the Baltics, the Balkans... +China? Soon to find out.

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Top 10 Places to Visit (before academics get crazy) in Shanghai

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, Shanghai, 14. Tips by Mark3 Comments

A few days after arriving in Shanghai, the city becomes daunting. It’s a massive metropolis with endless recommended places to eat, drink and sightsee – and that doesn’t even consider the possibility of a weekend trip to Beijing. There’s a lot on the web on this, and Smart Shanghai is your best research: just search what you’re looking for directly …

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Ancient art in Shanghai made yesterday; Modern art made tomorrow

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, 10. The Art of Place, Shanghai by Mark3 Comments

Art has an interesting role in China, which I am still exploring. The first book I read for this class, Riding the Iron Rooster, by Paul Theroux, and my current book, Oracle Bones, by Peter Hessler, both touch on the odd relationship this nation has with its antiques. The cultural revolution of the 1970’s sowed the destruction of many of …

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How many lifetimes, in bureaucratic hours, does it take to get into China?

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, 9. Troubles, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

If there’s one thing I can hardly stand about travel, it’s the bureaucracy. Every country you go to has different regulations and procedures for immigration and it seems to me like every time I go someplace new, it gets a little harder. I recall with envy the easiness of South American bureaucracy. In many countries there is no process to …

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Ten Essential Transportation Tips in Shanghai

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, 7. Free topic, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

Arriving in Shanghai soon, or looking to increase the effectiveness of your travel around the city? Here are the top ten tips to effective transport, from arrival at the airport, to everyday commuting. Pudong Airport – Mag-lev high speed train Travelers often commandeer a taxi or take the metro when arriving in Shanghai for the first time. A taxi to …

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Theroux’s China

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, 6. First Book, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

In the past when I have returned home after a months-long trip, friends and family have always asked: “What’s the craziest thing that happened?” I’m always caught off guard by this. It forced me to consider whether nothing interesting had really happened, or perhaps I was just a bad storyteller. As I read Riding the Iron Rooster, by Paul Theroux, …

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Non-communication is beautiful, will it remain?

In 3. Communicating, The Art of Travel Spring 2018, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

During a two-week trip to the Northeast last February, I remember being particularly sensitive to the fact that I felt like a foreigner in my own country. As odd as it sounds, after many months in Bulgaria and Romania the most bizarre part was being able to understand what everyone was saying, all the time. The unnecessarily personal conversations unfolding …