Layover Life: Shanghai, China

My life is one big adventure, and the time I got to spend in Shanghai, China definitely reinforced that! A week or so ago, I asked you guys on Instagram to tell me what I should do there because it was my first time visiting the country. Tons of suggestions poured in; Old Town, Yu Garden, Jing-an temple… but the most common response I received was The Bund!

I couldn’t disappoint you guys, so I went with a colleague shortly after we landed in the early evening. It was quite busy, but the view made up for the large crowds. As soon as we got there though, we could tell we were in for an interesting night- people kept staring at us and asking us to take photos with them!

After walking around the area for a bit, we tried to find a place to eat. There weren’t many restaurants where we were and when we did come across one, we couldn’t read the menus or communicate properly with the restaurant staff. The customers inside each of the places we checked out laughed at us, but we couldn’t blame them for our inability to order food. We were laughing at ourselves too!

Two restaurants and a 20 minute walk later, we stumbled upon a place called TongLe Yuan YuJia (I probably spelt that wrong). Using random hand gestures, pictures and google translate, we eventually placed our orders and received what we hoped was chicken and pork. With only chopsticks to eat with, you can imagine how out of place we looked. While you’re at it, try also imaging my facial expression when our server showed us to the toilets after we ate. There’s a first time for everything, but I never thought I’d ever have to squat and use a porcelain hole in the ground!

From there we went to grab ice cream at the Bund before heading back. The problem? It was 37 °C out, and the ice cream melted in our hands as soon as we left the parlour. We were covered in chocolate and vanilla, which drew more stares and laughter from the locals. Oh boy!

We decided to call it quits shortly after that, but then ran into the issue of grabbing a taxi. It took us a while to find someone who knew where our hotel was. The first cab driver we tried couldn’t understand us, but he did put the radio on and joined us in belting out Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” while he made a few calls. We were in stitches.

The following day I met a bunch of our crew in the lobby of our hotel. We decided to go to the “underground market” together. Similar to the shops in Bangkok, Thailand I found myself negotiating prices for things I didn’t need and ended up walking away with a pretty decent Emirates Airbus A380 model aircraft for 3x less than its price in Dubai. While it was a steal, fitting it into my suitcase was a real challenge. Moral of this story? Pack less clothing on layovers!!!!!!

The rest of my day was spent sleeping before the 9 hour flight back to Dubai and taking in the view from my hotel room. Oh the places I get to go!

Next Stop: Manchester, United Kingdom

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Layover Life: Hong Kong, China

I’ve only been to Asia twice, so when I saw Hong Kong on my roster this month I was thrilled! The city is known for its skyline and natural harbour, and is one of the world’s most densely populated metropolises.

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My flight arrived in Hong Kong fairly late in the evening on a Friday night, so the first thing the crew decided to do was head to the hotel bar. Our Captain was celebrating his birthday, which gave us the perfect excuse to go out for a night on the town.

There are plenty of clubs in Hong Kong, but we decided to head to Central Soho to a place called Drop. It was recommended to us by other crew, and ended up being a lot of fun. The venue was classy and had a cool, laid back vibe. The music ranged from nu-jazz, garage and classic house, and the crowd was fairly young. Needless to say, we had a good night!

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The next morning, we hopped on the tram and ventured to one of the cities most renown tourist locations- The Peak. It is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Although it was foggy and we couldn’t see the city in it’s entirety, the view we did get was still gorgeous. On a good day, you would normally be able to see skyscrapers, Victoria Harbour and the green hills of the New Territories. Unfortunately, the only view we got was some rolling hills. Oh well!

Following this, we ventured to the Man Mo Temple– a Taoist temple in downtown Hong Kong. Built in 1847, it is said to be the oldest temple in the city. Visitors are able to purchase incense, light them and place them where they’d like in the temple. It was a cool experience.

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If you go: The Peak is always busy, but I don’t recommend going on a Saturday like we did. Fortunately we went early enough that we missed the massive line-up (around 9:30AM), but I’m pretty sure we got lucky. I also wouldn’t recommend going on a foggy day like we did!

With regards to the temple, I wouldn’t recommend it to those who do not like smoke. There are a lot of incense burning throughout it, and it sticks to your clothing.

Next Stop: Amman, Jordan (turnaround) then back to New York!

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Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB

Facebook: @LipstickAndLuggage

Instagram: @LipstickAndLuggage

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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company. For the safety and security of Emirates staff, the name of the resort Cabin Crew stay at has been withheld.