Right next to the modestly ginormous Hongqiao Airport is the new and monumentally ginormous Hongqiao Railway Station.
That side of town is beginning to look like a level of simcity when you've unlocked all the prizes. On the elevated highway - cruise past the massive LCD screens, a funfair, the hotels with castle turrets and a couple of mighty-bling KTV's. Then the road expands into about 15 lanes, swings towards the planes and everything gets massive.
Inside is the largest space I've ever been in, it's like 55 TATE turbine halls. I remember a trip to Cape Canaveral where they said the vehicle assembly building is so big it forms it's own atmosphere. Well I'm pretty sure inside here has a few dragons circling around beyond the haze and above the clouds. That photo on the left is only half of the departures hall.
Luckily, there's a reason to come; the bullet train. It's gradually reeling China in, turning the red-eye into a commute and day trips into a quick pop to the shops. We're here for the 45 minute jaunt over to Hangzhou - some 200km from Shanghai.
After playing around with some imported Japanese Shinkansen, China Railways have started rolling out the entirely Chinese made CRH380A. It's almost comedically aerodynamic, like a cross between the Mig 21 and a sushi knife.
80RMB buys you a 360kph ride as the train slices up Shanghai like it's made of jelly. The ~300RMB 'tourist ticket' gets you a deluxe seat in the nose with a cockpit view... but we'll save that for a journey slightly longer than being 50% over by the time the train reaches cruising speed.
My Shanghai That's Shanghai has all the info and schedules for train travel around China - indispensable. I can only add to this by saying that if you turn up without a ticket, the next couple of trains will likely be fully booked. However, they'll probably have standing-only tickets (same price as 2nd class). Then you can slip into an empty seat as soon as the doors close.