1130am: The plane took off from Singapore Changi International Airport. The weather was perfect. The service was great. It has been more than 10 years since I flew on Singapore Airlines, Asia’s leading airline. The gadget under my nose kept me occupied for most of the 5-hour flight. It was a movie player. a nintendo, a telephone and an information kiosk. I have been to Shanghai before, but this electronic device told me more about Shanghai than I knew (or never bothered to ask for the tour guide's translation 2 years ago).
5pm: Arrival at Shanghai (上海) Pudong International Airport. We were greeted by local representatives. With me were the organisers, the media people and my assistant. We were whisked away in a little van to the hotel.
What's the icon of Shanghai?
The Oriental Pearl Tower (东方明珠塔).
Where's the hotel we were checked in?
Right next to the icon!
A videographer's dream come true. A video opportunity right at the doorstep... and also at the hotel room window.
What is the other icon of Shanghai?
The Bund (外滩). I would refer to it as the original Shanghai. The historical site. A must see.
Where is it?
YES! Right behind the hotel! We were just a few steps from Huangpu River which separates Shanghai's classic historical site and the dazzling futuristic city.
After dinner, I spent the whole night rolling my new Sony HDR-SR8 high definition camcorder with a tripod, absorbing the breathtaking scenes on both sides of the river.
I think I recorded too much. But I didn't care. There is 100GB of hard disk space in the camcorder. That's 22 hours of high definition video recording. I can go back to the hotel later to delete the clips I do not want to keep. (which I did... but kept most of the clips instead... they are too beautiful)
I was so engrossed recording videos that I forgot this baby can snap photos too.
The spectacular city lights dazzled till 10pm. The Pearl Tower stopped blinking. The running coloured building lights over the other side shut off.
I guess it's time to call it a day and prepare for tomorrow's big event.
BUT WAIT! What is that I see? Mooncakes selling at half the price of Singapore's mooncakes... and they're from Shangri-la Hotel!
To be continued...
TIP: When visiting Shanghai, stay at the Pudong Shangri-la Hotel for the best views of the old and new city... but until 10pm though.