Departing for Shanghai China – Day 1

Here we go!

Here we go!

China day 1 began with a drive to the airport (about 2 hour drive) which went without too many hitches, left the car with Purple Parking, passed quickly through check in (as had checked in online), security and were in the departures lounge before we knew it. Time for some breakfast and a quick browse round the shops before we had killed the 3 hour wait and were off to the departure gate.

Quick pre holiday snap

Quick pre holiday snap

Where is the plane

Where is the plane

This was the first time we had flown Premium Economy with British Airways so we were excited to see what the mini-upgrade would bring. We (well I) am a loyal customer to British Airways, I am not a keen flier and always find it nerve wracking so flying with an airline you know and trust, with good reliable service just helps the process so go much smoother!

Gate C56

Gate C56

(Excuse the lack of pictures for the next half, we seemed to not take any!)

So, we boarded the plane and found our seats, there was plenty of overhead locker space, much more than you get in normal economy, the cabin was smaller and the seats were roomier with bigger legroom. It all seemed promising….then they came round with sparkling wine and the dinner menu. Sold.

Although not as fancy as business or first class we were still treated to more drinks, ceramic dishes for dinner and real cutlery which just made the experience all the more enjoyable. In my opinion it’s worth the extra money, especially on a long (long) haul flight. I’m sure the lay flat beds in business are much better but hey I’m not made of money!

The flight was long and pretty boring, sleep evaded me as usual despite having some saline spray for my nose which gets insanely dry on flights. All in all it meant we arrived in Shanghai tired and jet lagged which didn’t make for an ideal first day but we made the most of it.

Entering China was straightforward and painless, the next experience was the Maglev train. A train which runs on magnets and travelled around 400km (248 mph) – it was quick and felt very odd while banking, netheless it got us into central Shanghai pretty quickly. Next up for the public transport in Shanghai was the subway – again efficient and fairly straightforward even for non speaking Chinese.

So we made it from Chichester, UK to central Shanghai, China…..but, before we could even get to enjoying some sights we had to find the hotel. Read this – we spent 45 minutes trying to find our hotel. 45 minutes! It was a result of a bad set of instructions, tiredness and not being able to read or understand Chinese signs. We made it in the end a little worse for wear but excited all the same.

A quick rest and a shower were in order (thank goodness for booking an early check in) before heading back out to enjoying the rest of the day. Check back soon for some posts on Shanghai.

Have you had any good experiences with airlines? Upgraded seats? What’s their best feature? 


  • Purple Parking – we used the meet and greet service which was excellent. We drove into the short stay car park, dropped off the keys and walked through into departures very quickly. Stress free and no shuttle buses.
  • British Airways Premium Economy seats – these are between economy (standard) and business or Club World with BA (posh). Bigger seats, more legroom and better food. There isn’t any priority check in or any other benefits but it was a good experience.
  • Maglev Train – this took us from Shanghai Airport straight to Longyang Road station where you can transfer to the subway. We bought a one way Maglev ride and a one day metro pass for 55 CNY each.
  • Shanghai Subway Lines 10 and 2 – we transferred to the subway at Longyang Road and travelled on lines 10 and 2.

A good site to use for information about China and travelling around is Travel China Guide.

  • Hotel – Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund. This was located near the Yu Gardens so a good location and was a nice hotel with good facilities. It had good WiFi, a good breakfast, nice rooms and friendly staff.  
    As ever all opinions are my own but please note the above link is an affiliate link and I will earn a percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.

3 thoughts on “Departing for Shanghai China – Day 1

  1. Pingback: Shanghai – Day 1 | The Non Backpacker

  2. Pingback: Beijing – Day 1 | The Non Backpacker

  3. Pingback: Pandas! | The Non Backpacker

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