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#TransportMonth from Shanghai: Life at over 300km/h!




by Rashiq Fataar

I would not advise sleeping two hours before departing one city for another, especially when trying out a new route to Pudong Airport in Shanghai. I insisted that at some point in time we used the Magnificent Maglev. The mission was therefore simple. Wake up early enough to take the Metro, using the Metro Station around the corner to another arbitrary metro station, from which we would take the Maglev to Pudong International, to reach Hong Kong.

Of course, this is easier said than done, and we found ourselves running a few minutes late, largely due to my phobia of packing bags). A mad rush saw us racing to the nearby station, and holding our breaths as we stopped at what seemed to be 10 stops along the route, to reach the Maglev interchange. The Actuarial side of my brain was in full action attempting to estimate our time of arrival (or perhaps not due to the lack of sleep) The interchange for the Maglev requires tickets to be bought at the station, perhaps not the smartest means of operating the system, with all relevant identification including flight details required.

That said, the Maglev was probably the most underwhelming part of the frantic journey to arrive in time for our flight. It still boggles my mind as to how the Maglev concept is possible in the first place. That said, 300km/h + is officially the fastest I have travelled on land, or in the case of the Maglev, on land but in the air? Apart from a few corners which saw the Maglev train, tilt (quite exciting), we reached the Airport with enough time. Needless to say, the images I do have of the Maglev were not the best, as many were taken as we ran towards the train or away from the train when arriving at Pudong International.

Upon arrival, a mild panic started to kick in as I had failed to find out whether our last minute trip from China to the semi-autonomous region of China required an additional visa. Thankfully, my Chinese visa was all I needed. Our flight to Hong Kong was delayed by an hour. The irony. Hong Kong was absolutely incredible. You must go. I insist.