The TRUTH about Shanghai, China... (What the Media Won't Show You)
hello hello good morning you guys we have just returned from the most incredible fun fastpaced trip to Shanghai China that was so much fun our comment section blew up so most people wanted to find out has Christmas been cancelled in China? the most amazing one and the funniest one was are we being paid by the Chinese government? are we being sponsored to visit China? are people paid actors in our video? we wish but no stay tuned as we uncover the truth about China here we go so when we entered China we entered on the 144-hour Visa which in all honesty we were a little confused about so let us clear it up for you there is no information on the UK's government travel website so we needed a full onward ticket so we needed to have tickets out of China obviously into your city and then out of your city as well we were also asked for onward tickets out of the next country also so that's just something maybe just to pay attention to or just take a little note of to make sure if you are asked or you're not surprised if you're asked but once we got there it was super simple it's free of cost you can enter for up to 144 hours so it's up to about 6 days we definitely we need to plan another trip back to China because we have so much more to visit a very very big country to be able to explore the entire thing so I feel like we like tickled The Surface scratched the Surface not even no so we are very very very excited to plan another trip in 2024 to China happy 2024 by the way we wanted to just touch on the first and probably one of the most frequent comments we got which we had no idea about was is Christmas banned? or China has banned Christmas? and from what we saw in the time we were there in Shanghai in the city center Christmas was very much on it was happening there was decorations there was music there was markets it was pretty festive actually to which we were surprised about we didn't quite expect it to be as festive as it was in places we even compared it to back in the the UK as well we never thought that China would have so much festive cheer going on so the answer to the question if Christmas has been cancelled in in China as far as we're concerned from what we've witnessed not at all if anything it was going on full swing Full Throttle and that was quite a big surprise for us as well so we were very surprised and it was actually really cool to see there was decorations up everywhere every restaurant shopping mall Street wherever you went there was like Christmas jingles decorations up everywhere so no it wasn't cancelled and we are big Christmas people so that was a big Plus from us we enjoyed it okay so the other one was were we being followed because there's cameras everywhere in Shanghai did we ever feel unsafe not to our knowledge no so the minute we arrived in Shanghai when we were at the airport as well we were recording so we never once felt that there was somebody following us or keeping an eye on us we never felt unsafe once there's cameras everywhere yes a city of 25 million people so it's for Public Safety more than to track like you know each individual tourist I did not feel unsafe once while we were in China even when we were walking the streets late at night we arrived quite late actually I think we were out about midnight or 1:00 a.m. trying to find some food, priorities, but not once did we ever feel unsafe we walked around pretty much everywhere and I honestly feel the the presence of all of the security cameras hello there's so many look at these little babies six seven dogs though that is freaking brilliant like all tiny dogs with two masculine men as a tourist we didn't feel like there was any real kind of difference yes there was an increase in security cameras or in CCTV however this didn't impact us we personally don't even pay attention to it there are security cameras there are surveillance cameras if you go to London if you go to America if you go to any big city you guys you are going to have them some people said that by capita the size and population the most cctvs on the planet now in a city are either India or in the UK the bad publicity that China gets related to its surveillance for us we felt like it was unwarranted you know it's a huge City and a lot of you guys were telling us as well that more so like all of the cameras all of the CCTV are there in the interest of Public Safety so it aids you know police if there is petty crime shoplifting or something of that so it's just like you would have CCTV everywhere in every major city of the world it does not mean it's there to actually keep an eye on people it's there for various reasons so we didn't feel any different being in China so that thing is completely unwarranted we've got corgi's running around here in Vietnam how cool is this so after China we decided to come to Vietnam it's a lot warmer here as you can see I've got my shirt on you've got your T-shirt yeah we are back in our warm weather clothes which are not cold whatsoever no and the Sunshine is out it's like plus 20° yeah it's 20 plus so that is so cool it's not cold anymore so we don't need to keep ourselves wrapped up but we thought we'd touch base with you guys give you a little update about how our trip to China when it was so so so amazing we can't wait to go back again because as we were saying earlier China is such a massive country you literally cannot see the entire country in six days so we have to to go back with the 144-hour VISA there are certain ports of Entry you can't really go everywhere so most likely when we go back it will either be Beijing because it has so much culture so much history but there's so many new up and coming cities in China as well so you guys have given us so many like suggestions as well and recommendations of really good places we should visit so we've been looking into it a little bit and we're excited to see where 2024 will take us you guys you never know but but for now let's get back to the questions because I'm sure just like us before we went China we had so many questions so so another big impression that we had and that a lot of you guys commented on also was the cleanliness now again we have to say a city of 25 million people we were so impressed with just how clean it was there was never any rubbish lying around the sheer number of people who were working around the clock to clean the streets to collect the rubbish it was insane I don't think I've seen anything like it it was crazy in fact when we were leaving for the airport in the early hours of the morning when we were leaving we saw you know like teams of rubbish and dump carts kind of like bin collectors going up and down the streets just taking all of the bags that were on the side of the roads they were cleaning all of the streets it's definitely a huge operation that goes on mostly at night but also it's really present throughout the day so again this is just a representation of Shanghai that we're sharing with you guys because Shanghai is the only place that we visited we haven't really been anywhere else in China yet so from what we have to report back to you guys so we didn't see any homeless people anywhere plus the place was spotless like the Pavements everywhere sidewalks High streets main commercial busy areas no litter nowhere very very impressive also very well maintained as well you know we visited People's Park and it was all really well kept even the trees and the bushes were Manicured the gardens yeah it was really really impressive so so far from what we've seen in China we've been very very impressed so the most this was the most ridiculous comment that we were getting from quite a few people online like mostly the comments were very positive majority people were happy that we did decide to actually go to China ourselves and see the place for what it is instead of relying on the media and just going with a negative narrative the one question that really made us laugh every time was the juicy question were we being paid by the Chinese government you guys we are still waiting for the cheque in the post, they have no reason to pay us whatsoever because we're not the only people going there tourism has opened up in China right so so many people heading there so why on Earth would they pay anyone now a lot of people commented that you know it wasn't as busy as it used to be and the pandemic in general has had a huge effect worldwide like in even in the countries we' visited in Southeast Asia even I would say in Australia there has been a big big change since the pandemic so I think that China is you know it's not out of the woods either they have of course been affected by things but maybe in a slightly different way I mean imagine going to a country and getting paid by their government that would be a dream come true for every travel vlogger out there so however yes we laugh but it's a serious topic no you guys we have not been paid by a government nor would we ever take payment from a government thank you so we choose to highlight the positive things we could raise issues based on Bangladesh based on Malaysia in the Philippines Australia and all of the other places that we've visited however we choose to focus on the positives it makes things a lot more fun you guys and nowhere is perfect and we are not by any means saying that China is perfect everywhere has their imPerfections but we love looking beyond that and to travel and experience things for ourselves definitely in 2024 we're going to be doing a lot more travel where we look through our own eyes you guys we make our own opinions based on what we've been able to see that's where the fun lies all right so the next burning question that we got from you guys was about the police presence and the fact that there's so much police everywhere well firstly there's not too many there's security guards you must have seen it from our Vlogs as well there's security everywhere yeah but that's normal just security guards because it's a heavily commercial area where we were the other funny one was when people said everyone that you see in your Vlogs right now are paid actors really I mean please behave yourself now that would be an achievement you guys there's going to be nobody unemployed then if that's the case in China everyone's going to have jobs because they're all paid actors like come on there were hundreds and hundreds of people what is everyone a paid actor so I'm not even going to dwell on this one this is my response so the next one was the Western media and the portrayal let's say of China I guess it's not fantastic you guys you know anything that we had heard of China or our expectations were based off of what we had heard or read through the news through the media through the online presence and it wasn't brilliant however we wanted to go and see it through our own eyes but we understand that there was a lot a lot a lot lot of mixed comments and mixed opinions even from our own friends and family when we told them we were going to China it definitely stirred up a little debate but we are very happy to report that we went we visited we enjoyed it so much we had no issues throughout our entire trip honestly it was really good like I would highly recommend if you're thinking about traveling to China or you have any questions you can always drop us a DM over on Instagram as well we will happily answer any questions as long as we can we're happy to share our experience because like we said it was nothing but positive China is a country that divides many opinions everyone's highly opinionated about the country when we were arriving we had zero idea what to expect from what we heard in the media it wasn't exactly amazing so we wanted to go there see it for ourselves see what's happening and when we arrived we felt very much at ease straight away we didn't see or feel that there was somebody just observing us keeping an eye on us we weren't even told off from recording anywhere at an airport Shopping Center restaurants there was so many times we had the camera running while it's going in security as well at train stations no one once said anything whatsoever whereas if we were to do the exact same thing in the west that would have been a different story altogether because you cannot have your camera running everywhere especially at the airport when you're going past security or the police either yeah you get a funny eye or two from the police when you have them on camera in China you're at liberty to go and record because this was another thing in our comments where people were like you need to be very careful where you're recording you're not allowed to film everywhere well if anything from all the countries that we visited we felt the most at ease recording in China because not once were we told off whatsoever it was yeah it was very easy you know and it wasn't that people didn't want to make a conversation everyone we met in China was so so friendly but I would probably say that language barrier played a big role in this even if people couldn't speak the language they would still help us out you know so many times we asked do you speak English and people said no but then actually they could communicate like little bit and kind of we could string together sentences whilst we're on the topic of language barrier Google translate or just Google Western social medias have no access while you are in China so we knew about this we obviously of course were prepared that we would not be able to access anything however I don't think that we anticipated just how much we used Google in our everyday life for everything so it was a little bit of a shock not to have it but they have an alternative for every single app so there's like a Chinese Instagram there's a Chinese Facebook there's WeChat and alipay which you can use there's a Chinese Google yes however it was all in Chinese so we did struggle a little bit with that maybe we were doing it wrong but if you have an iPhone you guys if you have apple then you should be absolutely fine because Apple works everywhere so Apple Maps Works apple translate works that has a little lens on it as well so you can take photos of things like the menu or a street sign if you're stuck on what it says that was really helpful however if you do have an Android then you probably are going to struggle just a little bit more we could not download any new apps to our mobile phones through Android because it uses Google Play Store and again that was another challenge that we faced but to be honest for us these challenges are what makes travel interesting you know it keeps that spark alive sounds like dating someone you know it makes you like interested again and it Peaks your interest you could say so yeah we would say that it's something to note but it's not something to deter from traveling it wasn't a huge huge issue like it has previously been made out to be you'd be surprised how much you can communicate using your hands all right we got comments about traffic how easy it is to travel across Shanghai their Metro System was unbelievably organized and so easy to navigate as well they have so many Metro lines across the city but not once did we get lost and for a city of 25 to 30 million people people there is no heavy traffic as such not once that we hear anyone bib or honk mostly cars there are switching over to electric as well which is amazing for a city of that size and magnitude so overall we were very impressed with that as well the the Travel network all across buses metros and cars amazing for a city of again around 25 million we were very very surp surprised to see that there was never any grid lock there was never any road rage there was never any honking of the horns you guys told us as well that there's certain areas or I think most of the city actually you're not allowed to honk so you guys you don't want to get in trouble with the Chinese police if you're honking around in the streets of Shanghai but we were so surprised everything flowed really smoothly and the public transport was just really easy to navigate it was never super crowded we were kind of really surprised the only time things got a little crowded was the Bund in the evenings because it's a super popular spot for tourists to come and see it is Iconic that Skyline is beautiful and incredible especially when it lights up in the evening so that was the only time we felt like there was kind of big crowds but again there was a really big police presentence there just to help with crowd control and Public Safety it was all pretty plain sailing to be quite honest so China is turned into a cashless Society everyone basically takes card payments so you can pay by Ali pay you can pay by WeChat now these are things that we didn't really look into when we were arriving to China so again we couldn't set anything up but what you guys can do is if you don't have cash you can go for alipay or wechat all right so these are electronic modes of payment that's going to make life a lot easier for you guys however we decided to use cash the bank that we used was called CITIC bank and it has no withdrawal fee if you're using an international card well at least in our case that was nothing so that was really cool so overall I would say our experience of China has been an eye opener from what we've heard from people from what we've seen in news from what our friends and family back home were saying as well because everyone was a bit apprehensive based on the opinions they've formed from what they've seen in the media our experience was so different to what we heard about the country and it is so beautiful from the friendly locals to the amazing food to a very free Society at least in Shanghai again all our observations are from Shanghai So based on that we cannot wait to go back to China and explore the country a bit more what we would say is if you guys are thinking if you're contemplating making a visit to China go ahead get on that next flight check the place out for yourself as well and any reservation that you might have you know what go and experience it for yourself see the country for yourself so you can get rid of all of them preconceived notions of the Prejudice you might have about it I think so you guys honestly we don't have anything really that's bad to say about China like we said before every country has their imperfections but personally for us we choose to focus more so on the positives it makes life a lot more fun but for now that is our Roundup of China one thing I would like to add though is can you just make the 144-hour Visa into a 15-day or a one month visa for everyone else because we want to go places like Chongqing Beijing shenzen we've heard so much about the country that we want to go and check out again but 144 hours is just not long enough we're going to wrap it up here but if you have any other questions or anything that you want to know about Shanghai feel free to send them our way send us a DM on Insta I think overall China was great right now we are going to chill out for a few days in Vietnam we hope that 2024 is a stellar year for everyone with a lot of health and happiness and more travels if you haven't subscribed go ahead smash that subscribe share with all your friends and your family we will see you in the next one for a new series...!!!