Our 10 Favourite Photos of Shanghai and Guangzhou

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Photos of Shanghai and Guangzhou

Guangzhou was the first city in China (outside of Hong Kong) that we visited and it definitely chewed us up and spit us out on our first night.  We tried in vain to find the train ticket office close to our hostel with broken english instructions and the address in Chinese to show locals to help us.  Well, after 2 hours of wandering trying to make out Chinese characters and trying to ask for help from the locals who all pointed us in completely different directions and none of whom spoke a lick of English, we realized ok, we are officially in China now and it’s time to start earning our stripes.

Shanghai was not our favourite city in China but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Alyse was very sick and while we were there the pollution was horrendous. We know we need to give it another go sometime in the future as it is a world class city.

The walk along The Bund at night time is spectacular as the entire area is lit up beautifully, and the view of the Pudong skyline is absolutely world class.  You can sit on the boardwalk for hours just people watching which is a night’s entertainment all in its own.  I think if you love metropolitan living in a city that never sleeps, then Shanghai is your place.  For us we didn’t care for it for a number of reasons. In a very general sense, we did not find the people to be particularly friendly or warm.  Like other major cities, people tend to be in their own little world, focused on making money and not on much else. The smog from pollution was without a doubt the worst we have ever seen. Visibility was so poor that we could barely make out the Pudong skyscrapers from across the river.  Our eyes and throats hurt and we both ended up getting sick while staying her. To us the city had a soulless feel to it, it seemed to lack any culture or history even in the historic French Quarter (which we later learned was in large part due to the Cultural Revolution).  Our favourite part of Shanghai ended up being the day trip we took to Zhujiajiao, an ancient canal market town an hour away which has been termed, “The Venice of the East” by Marco Polo because of its many waterways running throughout the city.

Here are our favourite pictures from our time in both Guangzhou and Shanghai:

10) “Hey bro, got a light?”

smoking child Shanghai

9) There’s no slowing down China’s economic engine and Shanghai is the financial heart of the country

Shanghai financial district

7) Guangxiao Temple in Guangzhou

Guangxiao Temple

6) We wanted to post one picture showcasing how bad the smog is in China.  This is the view from the Bund to Pudong around lunch time

Smog Shanghai

5) Zhujiajiao,”Venice of the East”, was only about one hour away from Shanghai and was definitely worth the trip


4) Shamian Island in Guangzhou. In the 19th century the island (a very important trade hub) was divided into two concessions and given to the British and French, which makes for fascinating architecture

Shamian Island

3) The Canton Tower of Guangzhou is the tallest structure in China (600 m), and was the tallest structure in Asia until the Tokyo Skytree surpassed it in 2011, the lights were mesmerizing

Canton Tower of Guangzhou

2) Wandering around Shanghai’s back alleyways we stumbled across many local markets where you could find ANY part of the pig you wished to buy, and the smell of ‘stinky tofu’ is unmistakeable

Pigs feet China

1) The infamous Pudong Skyline as seen from the Bund

Pudong Skyline



Ross and Alyse



Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.

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