When a friend says, “I’m coming to China.” You say, “Let’s meet in Shanghai.” Let the fun begin. For me, a last jaunt on this side of the world.
We checked off a wonderful tourist to do list. We rode the Maglev Train from the aiport. We visited the Bund, Yu Garden, the gorgeous and quiet Longhua Temple, the ornate and busy Jing’an Temple, and the Tianzifang neighborhood. We strolled through parks, watched dancers and taiqi groups, talked to people, took pictures with them, received welcomes, recommendations and good wishes for our stay. We sat in a small room and had our feet massaged by perfect little hands while watching “China’s Got Talent”. We ventured over to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, two of the gorgeous water towns west of the big city. We ate noodles, dumplings, and street food, and even a little Mexican food just for a change. My friends visited the financial district for a journey up in the bottle opener and views of the second tallest building in the world (Shanghai Tower, 2073 feet, 120+ stories). We walked in the rain, and then some more rain. It is Shanghai, after all. Enjoy.
The People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949, the same day my parents got married. Coincidence? Today, it means Tim gets three days off work. And we went to Shanghai. We toured, we ate, we walked – pretty typical of our Chinese weekends. We ventured to the Jinmao Tower, next door to the Shanghai World Financial Center. We experienced the observation deck with views of Pudong and beyond from the 88th floor, even a view straight down the center to the 55th floor hotel lobby.
One of the most amazing things about Shanghai is the sheer number of people. Start with 23 million and then add the tourists. On this particular weekend, there seemed to be a lot of people interested in us. Lots of photos taken of these weird foreigners. And a first – a woman asked if we would take a picture with her child. When I said yes, she handed me the 4-year old then stepped away. Somewhere in China, friends of hers are looking at these two weird foreigners holding that lady’s child. Awesome.
We visited the YuYuan (Yu Gardens) area along with about 25,000 other people. On the first attempt, Tim practically begged to leave. So we tried another day and were so glad. Less people, better weather. What an amazing place. If you ever visit Shanghai, Yu Garden is a must. The building features are stunning, along with the ponds, fish, and foliage. It was first established in 1559 as a gift from a son to a father. It has been occupied by Imperial troops, the British Army, and Japanese occupiers. Today, it is five acres of ponds, rockeries, courtyards, carvings and beautiful spaces. Enjoy the photos.