Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ni Hao Shanghai

Its time to finally wrap up my China trip recap. We arrived in Beijing first and then hopped over to Xian before making our last stop in Shanghai.

WelcometoShanghai

Each city was quite different so its hard to make a fair comparison but I think its safe to say Shanhai was our favorite. It had a great young energy, was easy to get around and enjoy. Its also the city that has the least iconic sights - no great wall, no terra cotta soliders, no emperors tomb. (By this point in the trip I had had my fill of ancient relics!)

We took the famous Maglev train into town. It goes fast or so the digital indicator tells me. Just felt like taking any train to me. (Not sure what the big deal about this is. It goes fast. Maybe its a male thing? Or a train lovers thing? Im sure its highly useful if you live there but as a tourist, I wouldn't go out of my way to do it again.) Anywho, it got us there.
MaglevTrainGo

We were staying on the Pudong side a short walk from the promenade so we got to enjoy a great view of the Puxi skyline our first night there. Sadly this was the last time we got any clear sky - it rained on and off for the rest of our trip.
PudongSidePromenade

The next day we made our one and only educational stop - the site of the first National Congress of the Communist Party. Interesting but no photos allowed inside.
SiteofFirstNationalCongressofCommunistParty
Even nicer was that this site is in the beautifully restored and chic neighborhood of Xintandi.

XintandiAlleyShops

I fell in love with these dark blue bricks everywhere. I want a build a house out of them!!

We moved on to walk along the Bund and enjoy some of the surrounding areas.
CommunistFlags
This would have been such a better photo if the sky was blue but I wanted to point out how beautiful the repetition of the red flags looked. Each building has one so it really makes quite a impact when looking at a whole city full of them.

Naturally I couldn't visit a city without trying to scout out some fun vintage finds. We stopped at a couple of spots but my favorite is probably the most touristy - Dongtai Road.
DongtaiRoadMarketMarketTableWatches
MarketTableMaos

Didn't buy anything because I thought the prices were a bit high. I'm sort of regretting not purchasing one of the vintage cameras we stumbled upon. Oh well, live and learn.

We spent a lot of time in another tourist and local hotspot - Yu Garden. It was totally cheesy in many ways but we really enjoyed browsing, people watching and sampling some of the amazing food the city has to offer.
YuYuanGardenYuGardenUmbrellas ShrimpatYuGardenCafeteriaNotimpressedbyfiguresYuGardenatNight

We even had these little clay figures made of ourselves as keepsakes. I was really excited about having a tiny version of ourselves but I have to say, the result was a bit disappointing. Not really a good likeness of either of us.

To close out the day we took the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel back to the other side of the river. EPIC FAIL! It was like a really cheap recreation of an acid trip. Save yourself the yuan and take the ferry instead.
BundSightseeingTunnel


On our last day we walked all over the city taking it all in. And yes, that is a dog panting over a fruit stand.
DogOverFruitStandSparklyHallLightfixtureRedLightinFrenchConcessionBuildingontheBund

And that was it. Back on a realllly long plane ride home.

LeavingShanghai