A specific example comes to mind which goes like this:
Dad: Hey, I found cheap tickets to Tokyo, who wants to go to Tokyo for a week?
Us: Uh, this is rather sudden.
Dad: Come on, who knows how long these tickets are going to be available.
Us: Um, oka-
Dad: We're going to Tokyo.
And for years I personally have been hoping for another "good deal" to Tokyo.
The reason why I'm bringing this up is because my Dad is trying his hardest to have another trip to China. I'll be honest, we went there for a month last year so going back so soon is a bit sudden for me. We were on tours mostly and allow me to summarize my trip for you.
Dirty, grungy area. Locals litter everywhere and relieve themselves in the streets. Historical buildings are everywhere but it doesn't matter. They'll crap in the middle of the Forbidden City or leave cigarette butts on the Great Wall if they want. Don't bother coming here unless you're into seeing dirty historical monuments.
I loved this place. Easily my favorite city in the entire trip. Nice, urbanized area. Lots of Asian shopping malls and stores. Also, the Terra Cotta warrior exhibit here is amazing. The pictures you see online or in books? Doesn't even compare. This is something you need to see in person to appreciate.
I want to see some Asian hick try and take a dump in there...
The "cruise" down this river was the longest three days of my life. We sat in our cabin for most of the time with nothing to do. And we were supposedly on the largest boat on the river too. I can only imagine how boring it be on the smaller boats.
Like Beijing except way cleaner, much more urbanized and no historical monuments. If you don't care about history, come here instead of going to Beijing. I will forever refer to Shanghai as the Improved Version of Beijing.
My Mother was born and raised here and we have relatives so there's some sentimental value to this city. It's like, a mix of Asian and Western culture. If you're scared of being overwhelmed by Chinese culture and products I'd recommend stopping here for a bit to ease your transition into the rest of China.
I would also recommend NOT coming here in the summer. I nearly got heatstroke multiple times. The relatively close 7-11's saved me. I have never been more grateful for air conditioning in my life.
My inner thoughts in Hong Kong.
A few general notes. Food and clothes are really, really cheap there. I was buying fairly nice dress shirts (because all I wear are dress shirts) for like, $10 Canadian. My brother would go to McDonalds and order a chicken burger meal with fries and a drink PLUS 20 chicken McNuggets for $8 Canadian. You spend $2+ for a vending machine drink here, I spent less than half of that over in China. The prices are crazy. Oh, and there are ways around the Great Firewall. I was on Facebook the entire time updating my statuses and making photo albums.
But even with 1 month, you can only see so much. Hence my Dad's excitement to go again. It all hinges on whether the jobs my sister and I get. Assuming I get a job...
If there's enough interest I can go into further detail of any singular part of my trip. Leave a comment and feel free to ask anything.
And repeated again for those who only look at pictures.